Monday, April 23, 2012

Abandoned Turnpike

Our last trip for nature photography was to the Abandoned Turnpike, which I was really looking forward to because it was a bit different than the others. I was really intrigued by the turnpike and before the trip, I wondered if I could get anything that would fit my portfolio. Well I think I had success with this trip! I definitely got some different and new photos to add to my portfolio, as well some other interesting ones. I didn't take many photos of the abandonment, mainly because I wanted to focus on getting good photos for my portfolio. These first couple are before we made it to the tunnel.

At the end of the tunnel there was a lot of dripping water, which definitely added some interest to the photos.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Light Painting

For my Arts and the Human Experience class (COPA 251), we had to take on a personal art project. I decided to try light painting because I had always been fascinated with it, but never really got around to trying it. I was inspired by a Flickr group with the theme of light painting in nature, so my focus was nature for this project. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, so I really respect the amazing light paintings that some photographers are able to create. It's very experimental and requires a bit of patience, but I'm happy with what I did overall. I definitely want to keep experimenting! Below are some of my favorites...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pittsburgh Zoo

I wasn't sure what to expect from our nature photography's class trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Even though I was excited to go behind the scenes, I wasn't really sure if I'd get any good photographs this trip. I've taken quite a few pictures at the zoo, so I wasn't sure if I'd get anything new or exciting. Well, I ended up getting some photographs that I really like! I tried to challenge myself to look at certain parts of the zoo differently so I could come away with unique photographs that I had not taken before.
Probably my favorite part of the trip was going behind the scenes of the zoo's sea turtle program. The Pittsburgh Zoo rescues, rehabilitates, and then releases sea turtles back into the wild. I got a lot of great shots of the turtles, but the one one below is my favorite.
This next group of photos are all from the aquarium. I didn't really expect to get anything good considering the lighting is low and there's glass to deal with, but I ended up liking a lot of them.

Mt. Davis

Mt. Davis is the highest elevation point in Pennsylvania so I was looking forward to some great views on this trip. When we got there, there was an observation deck would could climb up on. Unfortunately, after about halfway, the tiny open stairs/height got the best of me, so I didn't end up seeing that view. My friends and I decided to head off onto a trail. It was rocky and not very green, a little disappointing for photos. I did get a few I was happy with.

We then went to another open area where there were more trees and twigs. I definitely got a few things, but most of the subject matter hadn't interested me that much; it wasn't anything unique. Though I tried my best to find what I could. Although the more I look at my photos from this trip, the more I like them. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Urban Nature

It was time for another independent assignment in nature photography. My first attempt was in Edinboro since I was visiting a friend there. However, gloomy weather and time contraints kept me from getting anything that I really liked. So when Chris gave us class time to go out and photograph, I gladly took the opportunity to try and improve on what I had already done. Plus everything is in full bloom so I was excited to see what I could find.
I was on my way to Point State Park, but I stopped at the plaza at Gateway Center and ended up getting what I wanted. But after about 20 minutes or so, I got kicked out by a security guard. Luckily I was just about finished anyway!
In these next two photos I wanted to focus on just a tiny sliver of the ground. I really like the way these turned out.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Stephen Chalmers Reaction

When I first saw Stephen Chalmers’ Speaking Light presentation being promoted at Point Park, I figured he specialized in nature photography. The beautiful photograph (titled “JC”) I saw was of blooming trees in a grassy field. But after learning more about Chalmers, he’s much more than a nature photographer; his photographs are of places where dead bodies were disposed of. This obviously puts a very dark twist on his peaceful, serene landscape photos. The titles of the photos are the victim’s names, which adds another creepy dimension, but I find it quite fitting. As I saw his work, I paid close attention to the names and it kind of made me reflect on death. Jane Doe, Debra Estes, Dennis Frank Fox. How did these people die? Why were they dumped in these particular locations? Obviously Chalmers did his research for this project, but it certainly makes the viewer wonder. It’s haunting how beautiful many of these places are, too. The places vary quite a bit: in the forest, near a creek, in a grassy field, among rocks. But they’re all similar in the fact that they have this sort of emptiness to them. It feels like something is missing. I think Chalmers did a fantastic job with the composition and creating that empty feeling. Overall, I like Chalmers “Unmarked” series. It’s a unique idea and is a haunting twist on nature photography. It’s certainly inspiring to see someone take such a different approach with the idea behind the image.