My photography hobby

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Among my most passionate of interests is photography. I am deliriously happy with my Canon 5d mark iii digital camera after a long romance with a Canon 5d mark ii and original 5d, a Canon 20d and long ago, an Olympus E-20. Each of the Canons has been nice and sturdy, giving me over 10,000 exposures. The full frame of the 5d mark iii, 5d mark ii and 5d is the attraction to using that expensive and heavy camera, especially when shot with wide apertures. That gives a dreamy "bokeh"--the out of focus background that is harder to get with cropped digitals and even harder to get with point-and-shoots. My 70-200 f/2.8 L IS lens is the best consumer product I've ever owned, in spite of the 3 lb weight. Add it to the 2-lb camera and you can hold the 7 lb duo up to your eye with a smile!

A bonus with the 5d mark iii is reduced need for post-processing. I used to have to color- and exposure-correct most of the images I would use. But now that has been reduced to about 10% to 20%. For that reason alone, the 5d mark iii is worth the upgrade.

In the film days, my Olympus OM-1 and OM-2n were wonderful as long as Kodak processing (whatever it was called at the time) was available for my Kodachrome (slide) or Ektar (print) film (both were ISO 25!). I was won over to digital when trying to get a good scan of my prints or negatives. The best digital photos are from a digital camera, hands down. The lens I used most was the stock Olympus Zuiko 50mm f1.4 lens, allowing me to use polarizing filters and the slowest, sharpest film available.

A B+W filter for each lens, and a polarizing filter for each and every filter size and camcorder helps produce images with blue sky and white puffy clouds, and maximum color saturation, resulting in that good old "post card" look. Some argue it is not natural but I always wear polarizing sunglasses, so the images look just like they do in real life after removing glare.

In Maui, January 2013, I left the hotel at 10 PM, arrived at the summit of Haleakala at midnight, waited out rain at 37 degrees F for a couple of hours, squeezed off a few shots, left the mountain at 2 AM, and returned to the hotel at 4 AM to go to bed. I might be the only person to pay the $10 fee and not stay for a sunrise or sunset. Taken at 16,000 ISO for 5 seconds at f/2.8 and 24mm using my amazing 24-70 Canon L. The red comes from the tail-lights of my rental car.

In Maui, January 2013, Another one at nearly the same setting.

In Maui, January 2013, Another one showing west maui, at ISO 10,000, for 10 seconds at f/2.8.

A nice, out-of-the-way waterfall in Maui on the road to Hana.

Pittsburgh Light-Up-Night, November 11, 2012. 3.2 seconds at f/18, ISO 1,600

Pittsburgh Light-Up-Night. November 11, 2012, 1/5 of a second, F/14, ISO 1,600. Cropped dramatically.

Downtown Pittsburgh from the Alcoa Building Nov 2012

Gracie in fall 2012.

Sunset at Maui reflecting in an infinity pool January 2012

Pitt Homecoming laser show October 2011.

Pitt Homecoming laser show October 2011. This is probably my favorite.

Pitt Homecoming laser show October 2011. Time exposure shows the evning sky looking almost like dusk sky.

Pitt Homecoming laser show October 2011. 30 sec. time exposure shows the evning sky looking almost like day sky.

Sunset on the Nile River, October 2011.

One of my favorite photo subjects, the Sphinx, October 2011.

Gracie posing at a picnic in July 2011.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2011.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2011.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2011.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2011.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2011.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2011.

Lauren's cat named Gru on June 1, 2011. This cat actually has a moustache and goatee...and the bonus was that he posed with two softboxes

A canal in Amsterdam, June, 2011

The Big Moon, March 19, 2011

The Big Moon, March 19, 2011

The Big Moon, March 19, 2011

The Big Moon, March 19, 2011

Gracie on a trampline.

Gracie acting silly.

Gracie and Mom kissing Dad.

Can you find Gracie in there somewhere?

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2010.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2010.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2010.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2010.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2010.

Fireworks, Boston, July 4, 2010.

A whale named Entropy, Boston Harbor, July 2010

Here is Entropy again.

A sunrise at Marblehead, north of Boston, August 2010.

One of my favorite photos ever--this was taken on the island of Naxos at sunset.

From a boat near Santorini we were treated to a sunset and this sailboat.

On Santorini, May 2010, we saw this sailboat from up on our hotel on Santorini.

We stayed in a hotel on Santorini island and I pieced together this panorama. Colors don't quite match up right but it's close.

This boat in Naxos served to frame the bay so perfectly!

At night the Parthenon gets lit up beautifully!

Wonderful windmills on Mykonos, May 2010

On Santorini, this mule herder posed beautifully without really trying!

From a trip to Greece in May 2010--What a pose this guy gave me!

From a trip to Greece in May 2010--these guys were playing a board game and I just saw a classic pose here.

Now she's getting bigger than ever AND cuter than ever. She's now almost 2 and a half. This was taken in late January, 2010.

A cardinal outside our window in December 2010.

Wow, is Gracie getting cuter than ever at her 2-year birthday party in late August, 2009!

Moonrise Sept 4, 2009

People ballooning at night in Prague Aug 30, 2009

Prague castle Aug 30, 2009

Precious granddaughter!





Boston fireworks July 4, 2009

Boston fireworks July 4, 2009

Boston fireworks July 4, 2009

Boston fireworks July 4, 2009

Gracie and Mommy




Eiffel Tower December 18, 2008 (post-ICIS)

Another shot of the Eiffel Tower December 18, 2008 (post-ICIS)

Cathedral of Learning lit up with Frick fountain in foreground. The Cathedral was lit up for the Pittsburgh 250 celebration. This is unretouched (except for changing the contrast a little).

Another shot of the Cathedral of Learning lit up (see above).

Lunar Eclipse February 20, 2008

AMCIS 2007 Fireworks at Keystone Resort in Colorado, August 2007

AMCIS 2007 double rainbow at Keystone Resort in Colorado, August 2007

Sunset from the top floor of our apartment building in Philly

Love park again but at the end of Oct 2006 with a rainbow and larger art museum (shot at 55mm; or a little over 90mm in 35mm terms)!

The Grand Tetons from the Schwabaker turnoff just above Jackson Hole, in August 2006. One of my new favorite spots. Same mountains, but from the Oxbow Bend approaching Yellowstone from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Here is the best of the lightning bolts that supplemented a fireworks display after the wonderful AMCIS 2006 fiesta on Saturday evening, August 5 in Acapulco. Thanks, Guillermo, for arranging this spectacular natural fireworks display!

Here is another shot of the AMCIS 2006 lightning storm in Acapulco.

Here is a lightning storm that I caught at about 2:30 AM, early this morning as of this writing, June 22, 2006. Standing on Mount Washington from 1:00 AM to 2:30 AM is probably not the smartest thing I've done, but I've waited months for a storm to come in from the north.

Top of a dandelion from our front yard. We have not used a lawn service for the 2nd year straight, and it shows! The full sized version is much sharper looking, but this is a hint.

It's great to have nephews and nieces. Josh and Emily provided the cutest pose I could imagine as they walked along in the water.

A toucan in Brazil. It was only a few feet from me. I had to blur the background with gaussian blur to make it more pleasing.

A cat appeared to be laughing at us in his "new home" in this sidewalk display in Abigny, France

A brave squirrel was looking for food, as usual, in Philadelphia's Washington Square park.

Spider that photographer/author Nancy Rotenberg coaxed out of its comfortable surroundings on her house and into a plant during her excellent macro workshop May 12-14, 2006. I used Photoshop to soften the focus near the edges--the focus was too sharp all the way out to the edges that the impact was reduced a little.

An abstract made by Rain-X on a window, water beads and various designs, made at Nancy's Workshop.

Nancy asked us to sit in one pre-assigned spot for a half hour and study our surroundings. This is where I learned to "think small." Anyway, she also asked us to be creative. So I decided to take an unpopular angle of a flower, complete with little bug and raindrops.

Nancy had some frogs and a fancy setup for photographing them.

This is one patient frog!.

At Nancy's workshop, we were up at 4:45 the first morning and I got this shot that I'm very happy with.

The caterpillar from the underside.

If you zoom into the above shot, you can see the little webbed feet of the caterpillar.

Las Vegas with Philadelphia fireworks superimposed on it. This was shown at ICIS and Reza said some kind things about it. I liked it without the fireworks, but after putting them there, the old shot seems ill-cropped and dull.

Reflection of the Cathedral of Learning (five times at once!) in Mervis Hall glass

Cathedral of Learning in fall splendor, framed by two lampposts

Cathedral of Learning in fall splendor with a tiny sign removed

Reflection of a "bottomless" Cathedral of Learning in Mervis Hall glass

Philly's Love Park, plus the Art Museum in the bottom left foreground

Philadelphia fireworks, July 2, 2005, from the top of our apartment building. Facing Camden NJ. (retouched to remove some sparks that messed up the Camden skyline).

More of the same!

Pittsburgh at night, West End Overlook.

Pittsburgh by day, same spot.

This is an unretouched (except for darkening a little) photo of a storm June 6, 2005--the first placed on this site from my Canon 20d, in Philadelphia off our 16th floor deck. The storm was approaching from the west and the lightning was the most frequent I've seen. This was one in a series of 20-second time exposures. Thanks to the 20d, I did not have to wait at all between exposures and was able to get several dozen photos (of which this was the best). About a half dozen had any lightning at all, but these were very cooperative in their strength and placement. Thanks, Mother Nature!

Pittsburgh from Mount Washington

Cathedral of Learning, Univ. of Pittsburgh, from Frick lawn

This angle of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken in March 2004, really struck me as surreal. I think that it is a common sight, however, but I am still proud of it. More shots are available at

Ok, so I cheated. The top and bottom halves are from two different shots. I didn't have the camera pointed properly to get both halves, but I only had to turn the camera a few degrees between shots. The couple watched the lightning storm from the beach at Cedar Point. The top part with the 28 second exposure with lightning was taken at about 9:49 PM and the bottom part with the 20-second exposure of the couple was taken at 10:08 PM. Both halves were taken on August 1, 2003, at ISO 80.

A small number of my photos have been used in a variety of "publications." Naturally, they are non-refereed and I've only exhibited my work informally once. However, here is a sample (some remain needing to be scanned and linked):

1995: cover of AIS Americas Conference Advance Program

1995: Other shots in and around downtown Pittsburgh for the 1995 AIS Americas Conference (see the "This is Pittsburgh" pages for the 1995 conference.

1995: Shot of Maureen Jenkins used in University Times

1977-1980: Various wedding photos used in newspaper announcements

1977: Two shots used on the cover of a brochure for a proprietary business college in Erie, PA: one shot of the front of a building and another shot of my wife at sunset.

Self-timer (I think) portrait used on cover of Northern Connections Magazine (Pittsburgh), even though they got the number of days wrong!

And here are some pictures that were not used anywhere, but which have some special entertainment value:

Our neighbor's new dog; perhaps my favorite shot yet from my Olympus E-20N.

Saw this bus on fire on McKnight Road (August 2002) on the way home. This is perhaps my second favorite shot from my Olympus E-20N. See more at

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

I almost missed this one!

I actually like Pepsi better but they gave up small glass bottles!

This boat came along just in time.

Sometimes when kids pose, they don't fully realize they're posing.

Two dogs who never saw a camera before.

A very tired pup!

Some kids are so intent on little puppies.

It almost looks as if Natalie were telling us how old she would be on her next birthday.

Some kids are so serious!

A halloween pumpkin.

Taffy is asking "now what?" (note; this one won Honorable Mention in an Erie Color Slide Club contest)

From my thinner days at Penn State-Erie when I went cross-country skiing every day rather than eat lunch.

A time exposure as the Gateway Clipper slowly drifted toward the fountain at Three Rivers in Pittsburgh.

Miscellaneous shots around Helsinki and St. Petersburg in December 1998.

Here are 500 shots from our around-the-world trip on Semester at Sea in Fall, 1999. My favorites are (with descriptions next to each shot):
A child having lunch in Vietnam

A rainbow facing Greece to the north of the ship in the Mediterranean

Full moon from the ship

Sunset in Dubrovnik, Croatia, close to the "Old City"

Children in Kobe, Japan, at a temple

Lauren and Elizabeth at a pet store

One tiny part of the Great Wall of China

A butterfly in Chennai, India

One cooperative child at the Crocodile Farm in Chennai, India

Sunrise at the great pyramids of Egypt

The Sphinx

A steeple in the Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of many picturesque sights along the Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Sailboats in the harbor near the Old City of Dubrovnik, Croatia

St. James Church in Medugorje, Bosnia

Sunset at our docked ship in Dubrovnik, Croatia

The coliseum under a deep blue sky

The Koutubia Mosque in Morocco

This was my favorite sunset, but alas, it was the last one of the voyage.

In the Atlantic, the day before arriving, the reality of returning home is beginning to hit.

The ship parked in Victoria 2 years later.