Annual Giving: My Portrait Project

If it’s July, it’s time to shoot family portraits for the remarkable families at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children. For the past six years, I have donated my time  to create portraits. This year with my husband assisting, I completed 23.

#portraits, #studio, #portablestudio, #schoolforblind, #pittsburgh, #pennsylvania, #volunteer
The portrait of seven staff members at the Western PA School for Blind Children.

While I protect the confidentiality of the patients at the school by keeping their photographs private, I can share a portrait of a staff member with her family.

#smiles, #family, #portrait, #familyportrait, #volunteer, #blackandwhite, #school, #familyday, #pittsburgh
Smiles were abundant on Family Day for the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.

Hydrangea Twins

Just outside my back door, I found fraternal twins on my hydrangea bush: a pink and a blue blossom on the same plant. All the rain in the past few weeks are helping the blossoms last. Stay away, hungry deer!

#hydrangea, #july, #pinkandblue, #favoriteflower, #nature, #flowers, #nikon, #sewickley, #pennsylvania
Fresh pink and blue blossoms on my hydrangea bush. Shot with Nikon D800, at 1/500 second, f 2.8 and ISO 100. Shallow depth of field gives the photo an intimate feeling.

The hydrangea may be my favorite flower, thanks to associations with my daughter’s  June wedding as well as memories of seeing them on Cape Cod.

Vibrant Rhododendron

All year I look forward to that special week in May when the rhododendron bloom around my house, and color my garden shades of pale pink, magenta, lavender and deep purple. Somehow these hearty evergreens survive the bitter cold and snowy winters, and then announce loud and clear in May that they do love the Pennsylvania climate. Oh, if only those delicate blooms could last longer than they do.

#house, #spring, #rhododendron, #rhody, #victorian, #pennsylvania, #sewickley
The rhododendron have bloomed two weeks early this year around my house.

Here is a closer view of the blooms.

#spring, #may, #rhododendron, #nature, #sony
One bouquet of rhododendron, partly opened.
#spring, #may, #Ireland, #pennsylvania, #rhododendron, #bloom, #pink
While these rhododendron are blooming in my garden, I recall seeing lush rhododendron in Ireland, also in May. Who knew?

Pennsylvania cherry blossoms

Americans associate cherry blossoms with the iconic Tidal Basin in Washington D.C., but they are harbingers of Spring in western Pennsylvania too. On this cherry tree in Edgeworth, white and magenta flowers bloom side by side.

#cherryblossoms, #pennsylvania, #spring, #easter, #selectivefocus, #nikon
White and magenta cherry blossoms herald Spring in western Pennsylvania.

A More Colorful Time

Today Nature is giving us bare trees and gray skies in the Pittsburgh region. I’m thinking back on a more colorful day at Sewickley Heights Park. I captured a photo of the foliage lining Tortilla Flats. Today I made a painting out of it with Topaz Impression. Does this painting make you feel a bit brighter inside?

#topaz, #foliage, #sewickley, #fall, #autumn, #pennsylvania
Foliage at Sewickley Heights Park. Memories of a brighter day in Pennsylvania

“Pull over. I see a photo.”

You know when you are driving along, and you see a striking scene, and you think to yourself, “I really should pull over and get out and take that photo?” You say that because you know the scene will never present itself exactly that way again. Well, this time I had my camera with me, and I did pull over, get out and take the photo.

Driving past Allegheny Country Club on a crisp Fall afternoon, I was struck by the contrast between the sunlit clubhouse and the darker sky as well as the stark nearly leafless tree in the foreground. What do you like about this scene? The red tree? The combination of feelings in the image: both the warmth and hints of chill? Do you get the feeling that this day might be on the cusp of Autumn turning to Winter?

#Fall, #countryclub, #ACC, #sewickley, #trees, #warm, #chilly, #pennsylvania
Late Fall day at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley Heights, Pennsylvania.