Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018 Year in Review: Josh Friedman's Photographs

"Be at War with your Vices, at Peace with your Neighbours,
and let every New-Year find you a better Man."
-Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanac)

The past 12 months have been one of transitions within our family:  Jason (18) is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, studying engineering; Alex (22) is a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, and he will start working in NYC as a software developer after graduation this coming Spring; and Cynthia and I have become "empty nesters."

Photography has continued to be a source of creativity, peacefulness, friendship and joy.  Over the past year I've had the good fortune to spend hours photographing the beauty and history that surrounds us in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Some other highlights have included:  San Francisco and Muir Woods in California; the Wormsloe Historic Site near Savannah, Georgia; The Cascadilla Gorge Trail, in Ithaca, New York; the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas; Washington, DC; and various areas of interest within Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh's bridges; Gettysburg National Military Park; the Philadelphia skyline on the night before the Super Bowl; and the historic Eastern State Penitentiary).

Below are some favorite images from the past year.  Thank you to Cynthia, who helped me edit my initial collection of photographs.  Additionally, for those who may be interested, HERE is recent story about my photography in Bucks Happening magazine.  Wishing everyone a holiday season and a new year filled with peace, happiness, companionship and fulfillment. 

Lake Afton and Saint Andrew's Church in Snow,
Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Muir Woods National Monument, Marin County, California.
Painted Ladies, with the San Francisco Skyline 
(a.k.a. "Postcard Row" of Victorian Homes, as seen from 
Alamo Square Park, just before sunset).
Pittsburgh Skyline at twilight, reflected in the
Allegheny River (as seen from the Three Rivers
Heritage Trail, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).
 Stone Arch Bridge reflected in Pidcock Creek, in Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Royal Towers and The Cove, reflected in Paradise Lagoon.
Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas.
"Oak Avenue" at the Wormsloe Plantation, with Oak Trees and Spanish Moss, Wormsloe Historic Site, near Savannah, Georgia.
Late Autumn Sunrise at Patterson Farm,
Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Cascadilla Gorge Trail in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
Lake Afton and the Old Library in Winter,
Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
The Golden Gate Bridge at Sunrise,
from Fort Point, San Francisco, California.
Blue Heron along the Delaware Canal and Towpath
Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC.
Lake Afton and the Old Library in Autumn,
Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia Skyline in Green at Night,
Prior to the Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl.
Lumberville-Ravenrock Bridge with partially frozen
Delaware River, Lumberville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Sycamore Trees in Morning Fog, Washington Crossing Historic
 Park, Washington Crossing, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Civil War cannon on West Confederate Avenue, in Gettysburg
National Military Park,
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
 Andy Warhol Bridge and Roberto Clemente Bridge reflected in the Allegheny River, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Delaware Canal and Towpath before sunrise,
Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Historic Bridgetown Gristmill, next to the Bridgetown
Mill House, in Langhorne, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Schofield Ford Covered Bridge, Tyler State Park,
Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Barber's Chair, Eastern State Penitentiary,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Patterson Farm before sunrise, Yardley,
Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
New Hope and Ivyland Railroad, New Hope,
Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Rachel Carson Bridge and Pittsburgh Skyline, (as seen from
the Three Rivers 
Heritage Trail, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). 
Reflections in the Cabin Run Creek, near Pipersville,
 Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Late Afternoon Clouds over Patterson Farm,
Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Under the Andy Warhol Bridge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Patterson Farm at Sunset, Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Cabin Run Covered Bridge reflected in Cabin Run Creek,
 Point Pleasant, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Muir Woods National Monument, Marin County, California.
Lumberville–Raven Rock Bridge in morning fog,
Lumberville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Cabin Run Creek in Autumn, Point Pleasant,
Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Cascadilla Gorge Trail in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
The West Trenton Railroad Bridge in early morning fog,
Yardley, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Friday, November 16, 2018

The Cascadilla Gorge Trail in Ithaca, New York: Autumn Landscape Photographs and Tips for Capturing Moving Water

"Nature is a source of truth. Experience does not ever err, it 
is only your judgment that errs in promising itself results 
which are not caused by your experiments." 
-Leonardo Da Vinci 

Early this past Saturday morning I spent two hours photographing the Cascadilla Gorge Trail, in Ithaca, New York. The combination of cascading water and autumn color was truly beautiful. As it had snowed the night before, and a cold drizzle fell as I drove to the gorge, I was lucky that the clouds began to clear as I arrived.  While I walked and photographed in the gorge, there was a stretch of nice, filtered light (although it remained quite cold - in the mid-30s) before another stretch of snow later that morning.  I started at the Treman Triangle Park entrance to the gorge (off of Linn Street), and worked my way up the trail.  Below are nine of my new images of the Cascadilla Gorge, followed by several tips to improve your photographs of waterfalls and cascading water.

1) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
2) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
3) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
4) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
5) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
6) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
7) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
8) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.
9) Cascadilla Gorge in Autumn, Ithaca, New York.

Tips to Improve Your Photographs of Moving Water

In my images above, I tried to give the flowing water a soft, white, silky appearance (rather than trying to "freeze" the movement).  To create beautiful photographs of the cascading water in Cascadilla Creek, or any waterfall, here are a few tips.

1) Use a Tripod.  As you will need to use slow shutter speeds, its important to avoid camera movement. You want the land, rock and trees to appear crisp and sharp, in contrast the moving water. Whenever I use a tripod, I also use and external shutter release.  This avoids pushing (and possibly moving) the camera.

2) As with any photograph you need to find the correct balance between ISO, shutter speed and aperture.  The key to achieving the silky appearance in moving water is finding the right shutter speed.  For each of the images above, I used the following settings: 
     a) a low ISO (100 or 200).
     b) a slow shutter speed (between three-tenths of a second and
     half a second).
     c) a small aperture (for these images, my aperture ranged 
     between f/14 and f/29).  This allowed a wide depth of field, 
     so both the foreground and background are sharp.

3) Experiment.  Different situations require slightly different settings, so you will need to experiment and make minor adjustments.  After each shot, I checked the image on the LCD to see if the water appeared silky, to see if there was some detail in the water, and to make sure the highlights were not blown (overexposed and all white, with no detail).

4) Vary your composition and emphasis. For some images, I tried to give the viewer a broad perspective of the setting, usually with a wide angle lens.  These images have foreground and background elements (e.g. images 2, 4, 6 and 9).  For other images, I tried to isolate a small section (e.g. images 3, 7, and 8).  Additionally, I tried to incorporate other compositional guidelines (leading lines, rule of thirds, filling the frame, diagonals, etc.).

5) Be Patient.  While I was in Cascadilla Gorge, there were fairly frequent gusts of wind.  If I was shooting a scene with trees, the wind meant that the leaves and branches were moving.  As I was using a slow shutter speed, the leaves and branches would appear blurry in my photograph, and diminish the overall image.  I often had to wait a few moments for the wind to die down.  It generally pays to be patient, take a few shots, and keep checking your LCD.  Similarly, for my landscapes, I usually do not want people in the images.  If folks happen to walk into an area while I am shooting, it pays to wait until they pass out of the frame.

6) You generally want soft, filtered light, so its best to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon.  The early morning has the added benefit of having fewer people along the trail.

I hope these simple tips help to inspire your creativity.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Beauty in the Fog: Landscape Photographs of Bucks County, Pennsylvania on Foggy Mornings

"The truth is a fog, in which one man sees the heavenly host 
and the other one sees a flying elephant."
-Terry Pratchett

Each season offers different opportunities for landscape photographers in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  As late summer gives way to early autumn, morning fog often makes the familiar appear new and interesting. At times there is a feeling of mystery. At times landscapes take on a lovely pastel tone.  At times the fog combined with the rising sun allows for beautiful silhouettes.  At times the fog alters our "usual" experience of perspective, as bridges and paths seem to disappear into the distance.  At times, as the fog begins the clear, the remaining colors have a unique richness.  What what follows is a small collection of photographs that I took on foggy mornings in Bucks County between late August and early October, 2018.

Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge in early morning fog.
Lumberville, Pennsylvania.  8/28/18.
Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge in early morning fog.
Lumberville, Pennsylvania.  8/28/18.
Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge in early 
morning fog, with a touch of backlighting.  
Lumberville, Pennsylvania.  8/28/18.
Silhouette of the Lumberville-Raven Rock Bridge and a bicyclist in fog,
with backlighting from the early morning sun. Lumberville, Pennsylvania. 8/28/18.
Cabin Run Creek from under the Loux Covered Bridge, in
early morning light.  
Plumstead Township, Pennsylvania.  8/28/18.
Calhoun Street Bridge in early morning fog,
Morrisville, Pennsylvania.  9/16/18.
Washington Crossing Bridge and the Delaware River, in early morning fog. 
Washington Crossing Historic Park, Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.  9/16/18.
Row of sycamore trees in early morning fog, Washington Crossing State Park, 
Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.  9/16/18.
The "Trenton Makes The World Takes" Bridges, just 
after sunrise. (from Trenton, New Jersey, looking
back at Morrisville, Pennsylvania.)  9/29/18.
The West Trenton Railroad Bridge in early
morning Fog, Yardley, Pennsylvania.  9/29/18.
The Delaware River and Bowman's Hill in early 
morning fog, Upper Makefield Twp., Pennsylvania.  10/2/18.
Delaware Canal State Park, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  10/2/18.
Frankenfield Covered Bridge and its reflection "framing"
the fall foliage in the 
Tinicum Creek,
Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania. (10/2/18).
Frankenfield Covered Bridge reflected in the Tinicum Creek,
Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania. (10/2/18).
Blue Heron in Morning Fog along the Delaware Canal
and Towpath, Yardley, Pennsylvania. (10/10/18).
The Delaware Canal and Towpath disappearing 
into morning fog in Yardley, Pennsylvania. (10/10/18).