Pittsburgh’s Perfect Day

It was a perfect day to be a tourist in Pittsburgh today. Lots of Pittsburghers strolled through the farmer’s market in Market Square while we enjoyed a family lunch at City Works. The iconic view from Mount Washington never disappoints. The temperature, humidity and the puffy clouds all conspired to create the perfect day, reflected here in the PPG Tower.

#PPG #Pittsburgh, #reflection, #sky #clouds, #perfect, #tourist
The PPG Tower reflects the sun and sky on June 1 in Pittsburgh.

As my husband said, it’s like this here all the time.

Egret Composition

This great egret wading near a mangrove tree makes a serene scene. When you take a careful look, can you see the circular bands of light reflecting up on the egret?

#greategret, #egret, #sanibel, #dingdarling, #florida, #wildlife, #nature, #bird, #reflection, #blueandgreen
The great egret stands alone in the still water, accompanied only by his reflection.

My favorite part of this image is the composition, in which the strong vertical lines complement the horizontal lines. In addition, the generous amount of negative space adds to the simplicity and the serenity of the image. The color palette is also simple and natural.

What do you see? What do you like?

A Painter’s Eye

When my friend Susie accompanied me on a sunset cruise in southwest Florida, we were looking forward to seeing Eagles, Ospreys, Pelicans and Heron in Rookery Bay. We were not disappointed, as we observed all of those species and more. Our first wildlife observation was a pair of bald eagles and their eaglet. But just as the sun was beginning to set, Susie, who is a painter, leaned over and whispered to me, “Do you know what is my favorite part of this cruise?”

“No,” I said.

“The clouds,” she said.

#clouds, #blueandorange, #reflection, #waterscape, #nature, #rainoverthere
Clouds in Rookery Bay near Marco Island, Florida.

 

Egret ballet

Watching this graceful American egret in the evening light, my mind went right back to Lincoln Center and the vision of a ballerina dancing Swan Lake. The egrets lines were so beautiful as she moved ever so slowly, and her reflection in the wading pool accentuated her grace.

#egret, #nature, #florida, #wadingbird, #tropics, #wildlife, #naples, #relfection
An American egret and her reflection in the evening light.

Golf and Photography

One of the best side benefits of golf is spending time outside in Nature. On Florida golf courses, you have the palms, the birds, the Spanish moss, the water and yes, even the alligators to make the links stimulating.

#golf, #reflection, #florida, #sky, #orangeandblue, #naples
The Pines Course of the Royal Poinciana Golf Club in morning light.

But this morning I’m not golfing, just up early looking for birds and hoping to photograph them. So, I have extra time to look at my surroundings and enjoy Nature.

Before the Fireworks

I bet you have often seen a spectacular sky, but the foreground is terrible and besides, you don’t have your camera with you. I’m with you. Last night the spectacular sunset met the perfect foreground (two parts of the trinity), but alas, my camera was sitting at home. So, I did my best with the iPhone.

While waiting for the fireworks to begin around a friend’s swimming pool, the setting sun lit up the clouds and reflected in the infinity pool. Lying down beside the pool, I captured this colorful image.

#july4, #sunset, #sky, #reflection, #color
Sewickley Heights sunset before the Fireworks

Intentional Camera Movement

Yesterday in a Florida swamp, I recognized an opportunity to try a new style (new to me): Intentional Camera Movement (ICM). It was late afternoon, and the sun was behind me as I gazed across a pond at a placid scene of trees and brush reflected in the still pond. Admiring the sunlight on the vertical lines of the trees, elongated into their reflections, I suddenly realized that I could make an interesting graphic by moving the camera vertically while exposing as long as possible.

Since I had been working on shooting a bird and some otters across the pond, I had the equivalent* of a 300mm  f/ 2.8 lens mounted on my D800. This was a good choice to switch to ICM, because, as you may know, it is pretty easy to blur a shot made with this lens if you are shooting handheld!  I set my camera aperture as small as possible (f/32) in order to generate a slow the shutter speed (1/6th second) in Aperture Priority mode. This would set the shutter to be open long enough to create a vertical blur as I moved the camera. I recalled that I should begin the camera movement before pressing the shutter and keep an even movement speed. I experimented with about 6 images, and of course each one was a little different.

#ICM, #Florida, #trees, #blu, #green, #reflection
Intentional Camera Movement: Evening Colors at Six Mile Cypress Swamp

This one was my favorite for a few reasons: 1) Camera movement was truly vertical so the vertical lines of the trees are emphasized. 2) I like the color palette of blue, green, white, yellow and brown. 3) I like the tonal contrast and the mirror effect created by the shoreline. 4) My overall impression is that I would not tire of looking at this image. I think it would look cool in a home or office — especially as a metal print. Do you?

*Nikon 70-200mm lens with Nikon 1.5 teleconverter.