Honors College

Last night I got an opportunity to take some photos with Dave and Brad Truxell.  We debated about where to meet and ended up settling for the Oakland area of Pittsburgh (since the Pirates had a home game downtown).  This area of Pittsburgh is very busy, vibrant and has that “college vibe”…..maybe because the University of Pittsburgh campus and a few other colleges are spread throughout the area.  It isn’t the typical college campus.  It is more like NYU (college buildings spread around the city). 


Anyway, we walked around taking pictures and ended up inside the Cathedral Of Learning.  If you don’t know, this is the tallest college/university building in the United States.  The public is welcome on the first three levels, which includes the famous Harry Potter like common room and the international classrooms.  We’ve taken photos of those areas before, so we went for the elevators to explore the upper floors.  We ended up on the 36th floor, which is setup for the Honors College students.  There is a nice 2-story suite up here for these students. 


Tonight’s photo is of the stairway connected the two floors of the Honors College on the 36th and 37th floors.  It is a 5 exposure auto-bracketed HDR image.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

The Beach

This is a 7-exposure auto-bracketed photo captured at sunrise from the Secrets Silversands Resort in Puerto Morelos Mexico.  MJ and I got up every morning before sunrise to check the weather….just so I could capture some nice photos.  As you can see, we succeeded.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, please click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, please click the photo above.

Cruise Casino

It’s been a very long week.  So I am keeping my post short tonight.  This is a 7-exposre auto-bracketed HDR photo of the casino on the Carnival Dream.  If you’ve been on this ship, you know this is a large floating city including the casino.  Have a great weekend.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Insane In The Brain

As you can imagine, there was a ton of graffiti all around Detroit.  Most of it is the typical quick “tag” type work you see in any city….the quick hit and run type of graffiti they do before someone catches them.  Some areas of Detroit have embraced graffiti and they invite great graffiti artist from all over the world to come paint wonderful pieces of art on the buildings, walls, etc…


Well the Eastern Market, which is a huge farmers market area with little shops and stores around it, has done this.  It is like walking around a huge outdoor art gallery.  Many of the paintings were huge. 


Tonight’s photo is called “Insane In The Brain” by Okuda San Miguel, who I think is from Europe.  I looked at his website and can’t read the foreign language, but he appears to be from that area of the world.  He had done work in Asia, America, etc…. 


Anyway, this painting was my favorite and it was probably around 20 feet tall by 25 feet wide.  Its’ amazing and my photo doesn’t do it justice. 

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Carnival Dream Theater

I am still working on processing images from our Carnival Cruise last spring.  As I was processing some of them last night, I completed this beauty and decided to share it with you tonight.  I think it is a very unique photo.  I doubt anyone else will like it, but I did.  Have a great Monday night.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo here.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo here.

Ballroom

This is the ballroom from the abandoned Lee Plaza Hotel outside of Detroit.   My man Jay and I found this beauty while we were looking for an abandoned church.  We could see this huge abandoned hotel (maybe 15 to 20 stories tall) off in the distance….so of course we had to check it out.  Like all of our exploration of abandoned buildings, if they are locked up, we don’t go it.  Fortunately for us, someone (not us) cut a huge hole in the fence and knocked a wall out…so we could walk right into the building. 


I knew from researching on line that this hotel had an awesome ballroom, I just didn’t know where the hotel was in Detroit.  So when we rolled up and noticed the name of the place, I knew there was a killer photo op waiting to happen.  I think you’ll agree…..the ballroom in this hotel is very cool.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Picture of Jay getting ready to take a picture. - this was taken with my iPhone.

Picture of Jay getting ready to take a picture. - this was taken with my iPhone.

Detroit’s Finest

I’ve been absent from social media and my blog for a few days.  Sorry about that!!  Jay Cassidy and I took a quick 3-day trip to Detroit just to photograph abandoned buildings.  There is no better place in the world right now for abandoned urban exploration photography.  Detroit is THE place for this.  We literally spent every waking moment (minus a few meals and travel time to the next site) in abandoned buildings and in graffiti row (Eastern Market).  We dodged a few homeless people, security guards and junk.   


Jay and I had a great time.  We went to Detroit to “work” and I can honestly say, we did.  I was seriously tired at the end of every day.  But we got into a ton of great places and captured some awesome photos. 


This photo was taken inside the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant, which was huge (3.5 million square feet on 40 acres).  We spent about 5 hours in this place and probably saw less then 10% of the complex.  It is over 10 blocks long with tons of multi-story buildings (most at least 7 stories tall).  This is the former automobile-manufacturing factory where luxury Packard cars were made and later Studebakers’.  It was opened in 1903 and closed in 1958, although a few other businesses used parts of it until the late 1990s.   It’s a great urban exploration site.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.




Super Moon

I looked up and read about the Super Moon taking place this weekend.  I told my wife about it and I had my camera ready.  But I forgot all about it last night until a friend sent me a text asking how my shots looked.  With that reminder, I went out and captured a few.  So a big thanks to Rico for the reminder.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Koala

This photo is for Kris.  She loves these little guys and was so excited to see them in person last weekend.  So I am posting it for her.  I took this at the Columbus Zoo last weekend.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Ohio Theater

Last weekend, MJ and I spent time in Columbus Ohio visiting with some wonderful friends.  Our friends live in Chicago, we live in Pittsburgh, and so we meet in Ohio to hang out.  About three blocks from our hotel, was a very cool 100+-year-old theater called the Ohio Theater.  Saturday night we poked our head into the lobby just to take a look.  This resulted in a conversation with the facility manager, who invited us back on Sunday morning for a private tour and some photo time.


So you guessed it…..we went back on Sunday.  Chuck gave us the private tour of the facility, which included some behind the scenes access spots.  He also provided us with great history on the building and items within the theater.   As we followed Chuck, I snapped a bunch of photos. 


I’ve had the honor of photographing numerous theaters in the past; I’d have to say that this one is amazing.  It is in the top 5.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click here.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click here.

Pittsburgh River Front

Tonight I have a photo for you from the Pittsburgh river in front of the convention Center.  This is a 7 exposure auto-bracketed HDR images well after sunset.  Maybe not the best composition, but I liked the boat tie down device (that’s probably not the technical term) in the photo.

 

Please note below the Pittsburgh River Front photo.  Don't miss it.

Surprise Virtual Pep Rally

 

On Sunday afternoon, a large number of friends and family members are holding a Surprise Virtual Pep Rally for our friend, Larry.  He is fighting a serious disease.  His close family decided to hold this Pep Rally for him.   So everyone is emailing him photos of themselves in their “Go Team Larry” shirts.  I am sending my photo as well as posting it here for him.  I hope he keeps his head up and gets healthy soon.  Go Larry!!!!

Go Larry!!!

Go Larry!!!




Milky Way

I’ve been talking about doing some star trails and Milky Way photos for a while.  Why I haven’t tried it before, I don’t know for sure.  I guess it’s just like other things people put off doing for no reason.  So last night, I just got the bug to go do it.  The moon was right, it was a clear sky, I wasn’t tired, and I tracked the Milky Way using Stellarium software.  Once I decided to go, I quickly threw my stuff in the truck and drove south looking for the darkest spot I could find.  Ideally, I should have used a light pollution map to find a spot that was perfect.  The problem is that “perfect location” really doesn’t exist on the east coast of the United States.  The best places are all out west.


Because of the hills and valleys around my area, I needed a spot on top of a tall hill or mountain.  So I found a cemetery on a hill about 15 miles south of my house.  Yes, I stood in a dark cemetery in the middle of the night photographing the stars.    


After getting back home, I spent some time researching how to process the images.  So the photo I’m sharing with you tonight is my first attempt at photographing the Milky Way.  I’ve got a lot to learn about this type of photography, but I don’t think it is terrible.  What do you think?

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

The Beast

Tonight I’m posting something different.  I think you need something different from time to time and so do I.  For your viewing pleasure, I present to you “The Beast”.  I took this picture off the coast of Isla de Guadalupe Mexico in 2012.  It took us 30 hours by boat to reach this spot.  We traveled from San Diego and by boat to Ensenada Mexico where we checked in with Customs.  Then from Ensenada, we made the long crossing to Guadalupe. 


Once on site, we anchored off shore and drove with the Great Whites for three days.  I don’t know how many different Great Whites we saw, but they circled us on every dive.  Sometimes there would be only one at a time, other times there was up to 5 at time….that we could see.  So I don’t know if there were only 5 sharks or 50 different sharks.  In the end, it doesn’t matter.  We had a great experience and enjoyed the show. 


The Beast in this photo was typical of the 14 footers we experienced.  Large, graceful, and just amazing. 

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click here.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click here.

Bar View

First, let me get this out of the way…..  I know this isn’t a great photograph technically.  The photography experts can point to all the problems with this photo.   No need, I already know they exist.

 

Now, the reason I shared this photo was because of the great memories associated with this spot.  This was the view from the beach side bar at the Secrets Silversands Resort in Puerto Morelos Mexico.  I got up before the sun on numerous days to catch the sunrise.  As you can tell, one of my favorite spots for watching the sunrise was from this bar.  For the record, the bar wasn’t open at this time of the day…..so it wasn’t the drinks that made this a great sunrise spot.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Honest Abe

It’s been a long couple of weeks lately and today was tough.  We lost a family pet today due to a tumor.  I’ll stop there with that subject. 


So here is a quick post tonight.  The Lincoln Memorial is one of my favorite monuments in Washington D.C.  Something about his statute looking down at you is impressive.  I also love all the details built into the statute and the surrounding structure. 

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, click the photo above.

Something Totally Different

Tonight I have something different from what I normally post.  I took this picture last summer while on a visit to Georgia.  This is from within the Aviation Museum at Warner Robins Air Force Base.  Honestly I don’t know what type of plane this is and won’t look it up.  The last time I looked up an airplane name from the museum’s website, I had people telling me that I was wrong.  So I’ll just leave it at this…..  It is a very cool looking plane.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, please click the photo above.

To purchase a print or view the entire gallery, please click the photo above.