Amanda’s senior pictures

Another great evening was spent capturing Amanda’s senior pictures. We started at Wintergreen Gorge and took a few nice images, including this shot:



We traveled to downtown Erie and went to one of my favorite locations for a nice image among the bricks:


We headed to the bayfront for some sunny shots, including this image among the posts and birds:


We finished at the beach with this great shot:


Great images, Amanda! There are many more coming in your proofs!


Rebecca’s Senior Pictures in Erie and Harborcreek

Rebecca is an Erie Otters hockey fan. We were able to capture some senior pictures at the Erie Insurance Arena, where they were conditioning the ice for the upcoming hockey season.

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We headed up to Penn State Behrend campus for some nice outdoor senior pictures.

IMG_5128 The library wall is a favorite location of mine, as the rock is colorful and natural looking.

Rebecca is also a trumpet player, and was proud to show her trumpet collection and her Harborcreek band uniform.

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We finished after sunset at a secret location that had some great light and interesting settings for senior pictures.


Amazing images, Rebecca!

Erie Engagement Portraits: Renee and Randy

Sunday was a great fall afternoon. Renee and Randy spent some time with us, and we captured some great engagement images.
First we started in the studio and created some traditional images:
Then we headed up to the PSU campus and took some great outdoor images with fall colors and team spirit:
Finishing in the woods by Behrend Fields, we managed to capture the spirit of the couple, and the warmth of the fall leaves. 

Great images, kids! I can’t wait to photograph your wedding next year!

Erie Portraits: Olivia

We escaped the rain tonight, and captured some great fall images with Olivia before darkness came. 
Woods, leaves, bridges and rock walls were our backdrops this evening. 
This one I finished in Black and White, showing the leaves in the background.
I put a bit of effects on this next image, taken around dusk. My trusty Image Stabilized lens helped me get this image sharp at 1/30th of a second!
Here’s a great sepia image.
And a great rock wall image:
Olivia’s expressions are great in Sepia!

Great images, Olivia!

Free Fall Foto Friday

I work at Knowledge Park in Erie, on the Penn State Behrend campus. As a hiker and runner, I have explored the many miles of woods trails that are part of this great area. The hike from my office to the bottom and back is a serious lunch break walk!

This week, I decided to capture some “fall colors”, before the leaves fell. Here’s the result!

The shot above included some of my favorite fall maple leaves in the stream.
There are tons of hiking trails up above the campus. I know damn near all of them.
The photo below is the “great view” of Wintergreen Gorge from the PSU campus. It’s starting to get colorful!
All of these were taken with my “backup camera” Canon 50D and my “backup lenses”: Tamron 17-50 2.8 and Tamrom 70-200 2.8. All shots were “hand held” – meaning I didn’t take a monopod or tripod with me. It required some improvisation with the water shots and darker woods shots. I had to adjust the camera’s ISO and f-stop settings to get the right exposure that would not blur the image as I hand-held the camera.
For images that didn’t have sky, I used aperture priority at -1/3 exposure, to pump the colors. In post, I pushed the darks a bit (using Levels) and pumped the saturation a but.
The whole “roll” is on my Face Book page at This Link Here
The image above is one of the paved walking trails at Knowledge Park. It’s amazing in the autumn season, and walkable most of the year.
 I dig the small details too – from weeds to mushrooms. The colors and shapes that emerge before winter are amazing.
I tried to keep my eyes open. I walk these trails often, and wanted to shot both the big picture, as if you were hiking with me, as well as the small details, like the tiny mushroom shown above.
The image above is a campfire setting that is a couple hundred yards from a paved road, but is virtually invisible to someone not looking for this specific trail. It’s very close to a running creek.
The next image shows me trying to use a really slow shutter speed to smoothify the water. Without a tripod, I was using a rotten tree and a couple of rocks for support.
It was overcast but not windy, so I it made for some excellent fall shots.
 The image above and below are shot from the same perspective with my 70-200 f/2.8 lens, at about 1/250 second. There are TONS of tree roots on the downhill portion of the PSU trail that goes from mid-campus to the bottom of the gorge. They take on a personality of their own when you focus on the light and shadow of the trees as they cover the hills of Wintergreen Gorge. They also save your butt when you hike the steep trails.
 I singled out a single tree trunk below, with the fall leaves behind.
I saw perhaps 50 chipmunks and squirrels Thursday. Below, this guy was doing the same as the rest: collecting acorns. I was quiet enough to capture him laying in groceries for the coming winter.
If you like these, contact me. I’ll be selling some of these for a benefit later this month.

Enjoy the fall colors!

Erie Senior Photography: Kayla

We had a crisp fall day for Kayla’s senior portraits.  Kayla was interested in natural light indoor images, as well as some interesting outdoor photos.
Even though the skies were overcast and cool, we took advantage of the nice, even light and fall colors and captured some great images in some of my favorite areas.

Great images, Kayla!

Cider Day!

Here are some images from our recent Cider Day. My father owns an antique cider press and has allowed friends and family to gather each fall to press apples and share in this tradition.

The press is over 100 years old and is entirely hand-operated. The apples are cleaned and rinsed and run through a crusher, which deposits the apple bits into a barrel. This barrel is moved to a press stage where the juice is pressed out and the remaining pomace is composted.

This year we produced well in excess of 60 gallons of cider. A good variety of apples and sometimes pears are used to create a good blend. Whether enjoyed fresh, canned or fermented into hard cider, the fall pressing is a great way to honor the autumn season!

Senior Portraits at Edinboro University

This fall I had the honor of taking Stephanie’s senior portraits. She chose to focus on areas in her home town of Edinboro, PA. This was great fun for me, as I grew up in Edinboro and attended college there, many years ago. I enjoyed the opportunity to see my home town from a new perspective. I told Stephanie and her family countless “when I was younger” stories about Edinboro.

We had a beautiful fall day for our session. Stephanie had some ideas and I picked a few others, and we ended up with a great portfolio of outdoor shots. Then we followed up with some excellent indoor portraits to top off the evening.

This shot captured Stephanie in a relaxed moment. This is the upper courtyard of the Edinboro University campus, near the art building and auditorium. Shot in shade in late afternoon, the exposure was 1/60 at f/3.2 ISO 200. You can see the campus behind her, but the tight depth of focus minimizes the distraction of the background.

In post-production, I finished this with a slight sepia tone and layered the logo over the bench. Then I built the graduated border by sampling brightness levels from within the image. This pose was a favorite of Stephanie and her family and friends.


This young lady is a dancer. You can see from the first image that she can really jump!

These were taken in the middle of the day, where the sky was clear and the sun was bright. The first shot used the contrast between light and shadow to create a silhouette effect, and the second was taken about 90 degrees from the sun direction with fill flash to balance. Notice her shadow to the right, indicating the sun was high and to camera left.