Friday, May 30, 2008

First Pronghorn...

This was the first Pronghorn I had ever seen in the wild. The photograph was taken in Wyoming in July 2005. It was getting close to 9 p.m. she looked a little ruff but it was the first and I just had to photograph her. A very slow shutter speed, the camera resting on the car door and an image that I never really liked. I don't feel the same way now that I can process them in camera raw. I am beginning to learn that you can turn some bad photos into good ones.

Remember today is the real Memorial Day (the actual day), don't forget to thank the vets you see today. Thanks again veterans.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kissing Elks...

It has been a long time since I posted a wildlife photograph, way to long. Of everything I photograph I enjoy wildlife the most. These two elk were caught doing whatever they are doing at Mammoth (Yellowstone) in July 2005.

With the upgrade to CS3 along with the skills I have gained since that time I am revisiting some of my older photos. I tried working this picture up a few years ago and never liked it, but being able to send it through raw (it was a jpeg) makes a big difference.

I can't wait to get back out there this year and put my new skills and equipment to the test.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


No before any of you get happy thinking I am going away and reflecting on the past, I am not. I would never let anyone off that easy. I like to make you suffer. This is another shot from Philadelphia and now that I look at it today I wonder, is this the rear of yesterdays building. We walked one street from the Franklin Institute towards city hall. Once near city hall we crossed a block or two before heading back to the train station, looking at the opening in the top of the building makes me think it is the same building. I am really glad I seen that this morning because I had no idea going into this what to type.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sky Is The Limit...

Yesterday this site was silent in honor of Veterans that keep this great nation safe, past and present. From me I thank you very much.

Today's photograph comes from Philadelphia a few weeks ago. After the museum we went for a walk and numerous buildings caught my eye. Now for the artist non me language, I pre-visualized what they would look like before taking the photo, bet you never thought you would hear a big word like that from me. I don't know if the final image is what I was going for or not. I doubt I will find out here either, last week only three people noticed that I urinated in a wet suit. Now that in itself worried me, one that only three people noticed anything and that what they noticed was that I did it in a wet suit.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Present Military...

All this week I posted photographs of our armed forces over the last 150 plus years. As I mentioned before the event in Carlisle was just awesome and I could post another few weeks without running out of images, this is where I insert what Brian and I have talked about. The fact that no one comments, good or bad but I will let it slide this week since like my wife says I am just a miserable sob anyways. Honestly, this week was like being at work, I felt good about my photos but it was like urinating in a wet suit I got a warm sensation all over but nobody noticed.

This was an afternoon demonstration by our present military called small unit tactics. The unit showed how they check for booby traps and clear homes in Iraq, all of these soldiers are active military and I salute them.

Next week a will take a break from the Army Heritage days and do an assortment of things as I work on the following weeks images and write ups. I plan to do a week on the Civil War photographer that was at the event. It is amazing what he does and it is also a good time for some photographic history since this is a photographic web site.

I would end this with telling you all to have a good holiday weekend but the way you enjoy your weekend is none of my business, so see you next week.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Civil War Zouaves...

Before I begin to repeat soldiers from a certain time period I thought I would try and cover most of the re-enactors groups that were at Army Heritage Day in Carlisle.

As we approached these men Shane asked me what country they were from, my reply was New York. I then began to tell him a little about the history of the New York firefighting Zouaves. I informed him that they were volunteer firemen from New York city and like most firemen they were very colorful, rowdy and loved to fight. I went on to say that while they were off fighting the war in 1865 the powers to be in New York decided it would be a good time to do away with volunteers in the city. It would be easier at this time because the men would not be there to fight for their existence. Of course by the time I finished the gentleman informed me that my history was correct but that they were a different outfit. So much for my history lesson.

The original Zouaves were native North African troops serving in the French Army in the 1830s. They wore distinctive uniforms. The uniforms usually consisted of a fez and turban, very baggy pants, a vest, a short jacket that was cut away from the top with only one button or clasp at the throat and a sash. They also wore leggings. The uniforms were usually brightly colored and had much trim and/or braid and many brass buttons on them.

These soldiers fought in North Africa for French interests. Later Zouaves fought in the Crimea and Italy in the 1850s. These troops were well trained and disciplined and were famous for great feats on the battlefield, and often mischief and rowdiness off the battlefield.

Zouaves disappeared at the end of the Civil War in the US, except for veteran's groups. They continued on in the French Army until World War I when the ability to blend into the battlefield required more traditional green uniforms.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The German's Are In Carlisle...

Today continues my photographs from the Army Heritage Center on Saturday. You have seen the American side, now it's time for the other side. This German soldier was on a Douglas two-cylinder motorcycle. I could speak on the history World War 1 and 2 but everyone should have learned that in school and even if you didn't you are not coming to my site to learn it.

I mentioned before that it was an all day program but I didn't elaborate. The event opened at 9:00 a.m., followed by the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles parachuting into the area at 9:30. The rest of the day was filled with living history, a lecture by General David Petraeus, demonstrations on Civil War artillery, WW II weapons, life in the trenches and modern small units tactics and at the end of the day there was a discussion panel with present military personnel to answer questions about Iraq.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Life In A Foxhole...

As I said yesterday all this week will be photographs from the Army Heritage Day in Carlisle. Shane and I combined shot almost 600 photographs so even if we did poorly there just has to be a few usable ones in the bunch. I just want to give you a little bit more back round on the event before getting into history (don't worry there will not be a test). The site was loaded with re-enactors from the revolutionary period, French and Indian war, one from the Spanish American war, the Civil War, WW 1 and WW 2 including the Germans, Vietnam and then we also had today's active military present.

If you have never attended on of these events you don't know what you are missing. These men and women really love what they are doing and are very knowledgeable in the area. Quite a few carry the real weapons and not reproductions. Throughout the day in whatever it is the stay in character in what they say, how they act and what they use. These WW 2 soldiers dug fox holes and were eating lunch when I happened upon them. They were playing the part 100%, I spent enough time there to shoot them with three different lens including the Lensbaby 3G. I have had this lens for some time but have used it very little because I have had bad results. These guys just looked like they were screaming for me to use it, so I did. I was very happy with the results for the first time since I had the lens.

Now I can't take credit for all of it, I downloaded the images Sunday at work and was telling Brian that I had shot with it and thought I got some good stuff. For those of you that don't know Brian or look at his site he is a lensbaby master. He quickly said open that up in Photoshop and I did, he spent the next 15 minutes playing around with it and when he finished I said "B" I can't improve on it so I am posting it with your edits. So here it is for my first posted lensbaby shot I hope you like it, I know I do and this image and yesterdays are starting to make me feel good about myself as a picture taker.

Monday, May 19, 2008

U.S. Army Heritage Day

Today's post comes from U.S. Army Heritage Day at the Army Heritage Center in Carlisle, Pa this past Saturday. With all the armed forces day events going on every place the big question was where to go. After reading about the living history that would be at Carlisle that became an easy question to answer.

All this week I will be posting images from this event. You will also see this place revisited more in the future. As a historian this was a great event but as a extremely patriotic person that loves military history this event was just "off the hook". We went as a family but Linda had things to do and didn't stay long. Shane and I walked around taking in the demonstrations and talks for seven hours. We both recorded the event on digital film also, him a little more than me.

I hope you enjoy the series half as much as I enjoyed shooting it. I just hope I am not putting my best up first, I really liked the way this one came out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Old And The New...

Well since the video didn't work yesterday it put me in a spot for today. Of course the video not uploading wasn't the only thing that didn't work yesterday, everything I touched or came into contact with went south. I took this photograph a couple of weeks ago in Philadelphia. We were heading back to the train and I noticed this man welding, I liked the sparks and smoke coming from his welder but even more I liked the lines of the buildings behind him. The domes with the glass just seemed to compliment each other and scream the difference in architecture from years ago and today.

I didn't have a bigger lens with me and I could only get so close so I had to do allot of cropping in photoshop. I don't know if I captured what I envisioned, but it is what you get.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Presidential Race...

Sorry for the delay today, I tried to put a video up and four hours after starting it the video was still uploading, then it gave me an error message. So I tried to upload it to photo bucket but it turns out it is slightly larger than allowed for their site. So you get Friday's post and hopefully I will find time to get something ready for then.

This one is for the Cliatt family, looking out for you buddy. The train in the top photograph was at the Harrisburg transportation center a few weeks ago when we were there for training. Obama charted this train to bring him to Harrisburg. We tried to peek through the windows so we could not see much but what we did was fantastic. Could I ever travel this way. I don't know what it cost but the man we were speaking to said it was allot to charter the train, then you had to pay the crew and you had to pay Norfolk and Southern to use their tracks.

The other photograph was shot from an overpass in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago. I liked the view and the posters and thought it would be a good shot. With the way the election is going I thought it would be fitting since the election is getting a little clearer now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pennsylvania GG 1...

The Pennsylvania Railroad's GG1 electric locomotives were built between 1934 to 1943 at the PRR shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, with a total of 139 units constructed. They remained in service with the PRR's successors The Penn Central Railroad until the early 1980's. The GG1 became one of the most recognized and famous classes of locomotive worldwide.

The GG1s were large locomotives, 79 feet 6 inches long and weighing 477,000 pounds. The GG1 was designed to run on the standard Pennsylvania Railroad catenary power of 11,000 Volts AC, 25 Hz. One flaw in the design of the GG1 became apparent in the Blizzard of 1958. This storm, which swept across the northeastern United States, began on February 16. The usually unstoppable GG1s were knocked from service when their electrical components were shorted out due to moisture.

This unit #4859 in located in the Harrisburg transportation center with an old all wood PRR caboose behind it. What a beautiful site it is, the only thing in my mind that can compare to it is the T1 locomotive.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Someone Shot The President!

On April 14, 1865 John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in Fords Theatre as he attended the performance of Our American Cousin. After his assassination the people forced the closure of the theatre. The doors of the theatre reopened to the public in 1968 and since that time it has become one of the most visited sites in Washington.

After Lincoln was shot he was carried across the street to the William Peterson residence, a German-born tailor. From the back room of the house Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton announced at 7:22am on April 15, 1865, "Now he belongs to the ages", referring to the passing of President Lincoln. Lincoln died, lying diagonally because he was so tall, on a bed the size of the one in the room, now. In 1896, the government bought the house for $30,000, and the National Park Service now maintains it.

The Peterson house is open for tours but if you want to see them both wait a few months as the theatre is undergoing renovations.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Skull And His Little Buckaroo...

I will be mixing things up once again this week, so if you like a variety this will be a good week. Both of these were taken a couple of weeks ago at work. Skull a wagon rider on A shift was working overtime with us this day. I could say allot about Skull all good but it you read Brian's blog he all ready covered everything. About the only thing Brian didn't say about him is that he truly is a piece of work. Skull you can work overtime with us any day, you always have a way of making the men smile.

The color photograph is of Brian Bastinelli, some of you already know him and some even look at his photography blog every day. This photo was taken from inside the cab of the CF Mack engine we were using because our KME was broke down. Yes I know who would ever think a KME would break down. This old Mack is 27 years older than that rig and still far superior in quality and workmanship, something KME has none of. Oops I got off the subject which was Brian. Brian and I have been truck partners for the last four or five years, we also share many of the same interest including photograph. With any luck I will get to visit Brian again out west this year to shoot the rut and just plain wear the shutters out on our cameras.

Oh yes the title, I have always heard Skull refer to Brian as the little Buckaroo...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Am I All Alone...

The title seemed fitting, when doing these blogs sometimes you feel all alone. I have been getting good feedback on this site and I thank you for that. But, my other site on the Shippensburg Fire Departments history has been getting nothing lately. Now if the incidents I was posting were unimportant or minor I could understand that but in the last ten days I posted an alarm that three firefighters died at, the Vigilant's getting the Jennie Cameron with photographs and a large fire downtown that would have gone to four or five alarms by today's standards. I know you can't force people to comment but when they don't it makes me feel like I am standing in the station and this is all I see.

Now for the photo itself, it is another I took while training a couple of weeks ago at the Harrisburg Transportation Center. Like others I thought it looked better on my laptop when I edited it, they always looked washed out on my home monitor.

I promised you a week of all different things and that is what you got, next week will be more of the same with another video from Alaska. I have my photographs ready through next Thursday but all the new ones I will be work on after that will be a learning experience (like they are not now) as I upgraded from Photoshop CS2 to CS3 last night. Actually I paid for it Linda did the work for me, maybe I can get her to do the laptop tonight, thanks Linda.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What Were They Thinking!

The other day we had to go to the Hill station to pick up supplies and this is what greeted us in front of the bays. I would hope that the candy cane stripes were a joke and that no one actually had that taste. It was terrible looking and had it been on the uptown house we would have been embarrassed, but for the hill this may mean things are looking up.

The other photograph was taken as Tower 3 was sitting close to the train station a couple of weeks ago for training. When I seen them sitting there with the old and the new buildings behind them and the porta pottie they were dragging along behind them I just couldn't resist the shot. Of course all these photos look better in my head than they do in print.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Katmai, Alaska Grizzly Bear Gets Dinner...

Today I am going to post something a little different, a video. I have photographs prepared for the next week yet but Linda found time to get some video ready for me so here it is. This was taken by her last July in Katmai, Alaska during our family vacation. Up to now you have seen many photographs of the bears at this location, now you can see just what the bears were doing here. The entire video last one minute and 46 seconds, so please be patient and let him fish. The video footage was taken by Linda (Shane and I were busy with the DSLR's)I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Harrisburg Railroad Station...

The week before last we finally got some good training at work. None of the keep you busy type stuff that we are just going through the motions on but training that people learned from and that we should all get when we come on the job. The safety representative from Amtrak was in and did a two day class on dealing with Amtrak emergencies. If you payed attention there was allot to learn.

One of the perks of going to the Harrisburg Transportation center was that we could bring our cameras along. This shot was taken inside the train station when we were leaving. The camera was hand held at 1/25 of a second using existing light with my Nikon D70. It looks like there are no trains about to go out as the place was empty at the time.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Last Hockey Photos Until October...

Today will be my last Hershey Bears or Washington Capitols photographs until there season starts back up in October. The Bears went out in the first round of the playoffs four games to one. We really didn't have a team to compete this year with all the call ups, injuries and key players that went back to Europe. The Capitols won the first round against the Flyers but the NHL didn't have it written up that way so the referee gave the Flyers a goal in game seven to tie the score after a clear goal tender interference. It was that bad they said Ray Charles was yelling at the officials that he could see it. That allowed the Flyers to win on overtime and advance. That's okay the Pens are about to hand them their butts.

The top photograph is of one of our young guns Andrew Gordon. I believe Andrew may have a future in hockey ahead of him, I know I expect big things from him next season in Hershey. The hair cut is something the Bears started a few years ago when we won the Calder Cup. I think we will see the Mohawk from now on when we make the playoffs.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Last Day Of Kough's Quarry...

Last day from here I promise. This is the same building from Tuesday just from a different angle and I put some color back into it. The same couple of people comment each day, today I would like to hear from some other people also. Do you like the photograph, witch one do you like better, this one or the one on Tuesday? Do they both suck, should I call myself a picture taker or a photographer? It seems like the only time I can get the rest of you to speak up is if I stir the pot on my other site.

It is Friday or in my case Monday since my week starts today, I can only hope it does not go like last Friday. Next week has no theme, just an assortment of photographs shot in the last two weeks from train stations to Philadelphia, fire department and the Bears.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kough's Quarry Continued...

I thought I would bring a little color into your lives today, and I just happened to process them this way so that's what you get. This is the small shed that can be seen on the right side of yesterday's photograph. I took this with my wide angle lens just a few feet away from the building. If you look close to the top photo you can see a label through the broken door. That label peaked my interest and upon further investigation this is what I found.

I like the black and whites better than the color photos, there is just something about my black and whites that is missing contrast or depth. I guess I will just keep trying and posting until I get it right. Or until I get to old to try and die.

One more day from Kough's and then I have an assortment of images planned for next week and the week after. For you train buffs there will be trains shots coming in the next couple of weeks also.