Jan 13

Phipps Conservatory

Bonsi / Orchid Show

The Following are just a few of the photos I took during a recent outing to Phipps Conservatory with the Westmoreland Photographers Society.

outdoor Phipps Grounds
Generally I create a shot list on my iPhone with a short notation about each shot which includes lens used, camera body, f-stop, shutter speed subjects name, location etc. but for some reason, today I had a severe brain fart and none of that happened so forgive me if I don't have the name of this beautiful orchid listed.

outdoor Phipps Grounds
Most of the shots I took today were of the outside grounds at Phipps experimenting with exposures and creating backgrounds that I can later use in photoshop composites.

Panther Hollow Bridge
Shot of the stone arch of The Panther Hollow Bridge just a short walk down the road behind Shenley Park Cafe across the street from Phipps.

Panther Hollow Bridge
This is the view thru the first arch under Panther Hollow Bridge, just love the textures of the cobble stone.

Jul 29

A Summer Sunset

Sky painting by the hand of god

sunset photo
Trying to get caught up enough to do this every day but somehow manage to find less and less time. You know how the saying goes busy doing a lot of nothing. Any way Monday night this week we were out for a walk in the evening and glad that I had the camera with me, it's not often we're blessed with such a colorful sunset.

Jul 20

Just Playing In The Sand

with Sand Sculpture Artist Alan Matsumoto

Ok, so I'm a couple of weeks behind in getting this posted but I've been busy with family matters and the blog has been one of those things put on the back burners for a while. Anyway, the wife and I attended the 36th Annual Westmoreland County Arts and Heritage Festival at Twin Lakes Park, over the fourth of July weekend. We had a great time chatting with Alan Matsumotto pictured above and in the following photos.

Beginning on the early morning of July 1st, Alan and his friends began work on a “larger than life” sand sculpture for the 36th annual Arts and Heritage Festival. Starting with several tons of sand…Matsumoto and his fellow sculptures begin the process of making a creation from the ground up. It is fascinating to watch them work and attempt to figure out exactly what the ending result will be. He may give some helpful hints along the way…

sandman2 Matsumoto served as a structural engineer in Vancouver, Canada for 19 years and has been professionally sandsculpting fulltime now for 21 years. He currently lives in Roanoke, VA.

He shared the World Champion Sandsculpting title with his teammates for seven years straight, held a Guiness World Record in sandsculpting, and has appeared in various media including National Geographic magazine and on the NBC Today Show. Matsumoto has also been the National Snowsculpting Champion of Canada and twice Champion of Province of British Columbia.

His professional sandsculptures have been seen in more than 21 State Fairs and more County Fairs, malls, and festivals from Florida to Alaska and Hawaii. He has created sand sculptures in other countries and cities that include Perth, Melbourne, Sydney Australia, Luliang, Sanya China, Johannesburg South Africa, Venice Italy, Aruba, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Quebec City. Most recently he was called to carve snow for the NBC Today Show during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. We wish Alan the best of Luck in his semi-retirement and many thanks for allowing us to photograph him doing what he does best.


Jul 19

A couple of new friends

I think they were born hungry

The other day my wife asked me to cut down some very overgrown shrubs in the back yard so in my attempt to keep the boss happy I got our the pruning shears and the chain saw and began hacking away at these things. About an hour into the project I began to hear a bunch of squaking, the mother robin having a frantic fit as I tore away at her home. A few more minutes with the pruning shears and I could see why...

Baby Robins

After the mother robin finished reading me the riot act she finally allowed me to get close enough to capture the shot above, four baby chicks crying for food. You can just make out the tip of the fourth youngsters beak to the lower left.

Jul 18

Taking it to the water

Row or paddle your way around at Twin Lakes Park

Baby Robins

What a wonderful day, about 96 degrees in the shade, and 100 percent humidity, you know the kind of weather that just makes you want to melt, or perhaps kill the local weather man. But alas there are ways to beat the heat. How about some water based fun in a paddle boat at Twin Lakes Park. Kick your shoes off, roll up your pant legs and jump on in. Ahh! almost as refreshing as a snow cone at Kennywood Park.

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