a teatray in the sky

steel city, second take

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, Pennsylvania, Photography, Pittsburgh by firthefirst on August 31, 2010

keeping the commentary on mute today. (more…)

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steel city, first take

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, Pennsylvania, Photography, Pittsburgh by firthefirst on August 30, 2010

starting to count down the days before the wedding.  easy week at work? … please.  juggling like a circus act.  wanted to clear out some of the backlog from the trip tina and I took to pittsburgh over memorial day weekend, and realized all over again what a fantastic place the burgh is. (more…)

is the good life better than the life I live

Posted in 5D Mark II, Cumberland, Food, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Photography, Technique and Development, Uniontown by firthefirst on August 23, 2010

the good life — it feel like … Cumberland?  Uniontown?  just because it’s puzzling doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing.  today’s post is going to be easy on the writing and heavy on the drooling.  just one of those days, I guess. (more…)

[lots of] falling water

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania, Photography by firthefirst on August 17, 2010

tina and I took off on saturday morning in opposite directions but for the same reason: the bachelor[ette] party.  given the fact that Randy was responsible for planning mine, and Rachel was responsible for planning hers, you may begin to suspect that the two parties would veer in very different directions.

and you’d be right. (more…)

f/2.8 and be there

Posted in 5D Mark II, Pennsylvania, Photography, Pittsburgh, Technique and Development by firthefirst on July 23, 2010

didn’t seem to work out quite the way I thought it would.  perhaps you’ve heard of the technical term “f/8 and be there.”  photojournalists shoot like this because they need the detail captured in the deep DOF, and because they need one less button to worry about while getting that critical shot without being shot by a non-camera weapon.  for landscape photographers, I guess the rule is probably “f/16 and be there before sunrise.”  but for almost everyone else (wedding photogs, portraitists, hipsters), you could really say the opposite, that the less DOF you have the more artsy your shot will have: “f/2.8 and be there.”

I think the majority of photographers out there now probably spend 80% or more of their time shooting at f/4 or less.  it’s not a bad thing, unless you start to take shooting wide open for granted.  a mistake I made during my trip to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. (more…)

Cork & Cap at the Cork Factory Hotel

Posted in 5D Mark II, Architecture, Food, Hotels, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Photography by firthefirst on July 9, 2010

Tina and I have lately been making a series of forays into east-central pennsylvania for a project in lancaster.  one of the surprising discoveries is that lancaster is actually a great place for food.  it’s also a great place to see old buildings from the industrial glory days.  the Cork Factory brings these two things together, with a neatly renovated factory-cum-hotel, and a great restaurant to go along with it, the Cork & Cap. (more…)

the black cauldron

Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, Philadelphia, Photography by firthefirst on April 25, 2010

a shot from the archives today … reminds me of one of my favorite childhood stories, the chronicles of prydain, and arawn’s hollow-eyed warriors emerging from the cauldron.  welsh mythology is full of wondrous dark stories and well worth checking out.

Longwood Gardens, third take

Posted in 5D Mark II, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, Photography by firthefirst on April 20, 2010

if you thought this was going to be a flower post, you’re wrong.  well, almost wrong.  anyway, today is an exploration of some of the other bits of nature on display at Longwood Gardens, stuff that usually takes second billing but in many ways is more unique and interesting. (more…)

Distrito, and on a proper lark in Philly

Posted in 5D Mark II, Food, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Photography by firthefirst on April 19, 2010

tina and I spent last monday out in Philly hanging out with the very-awesome Peter Bang.  obviously we weren’t there to just hang out, but, well, we don’t want to discuss details yet.  too bad.

*update: cat’s out of the bag.  you can check out the photos here

it was one of those magical [long] weekends where you decide to not really do/think about anything and, surprise, manage to do exactly that.  granted, it had some repercussions (as in, we are still not fully moved in yet) but so what. (more…)

Longwood Gardens, second take

Posted in 5D Mark II, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, Photography by firthefirst on April 15, 2010

I know there are people out there that hate flower photography.  some say it’s cliché, sappy, cheesy, and they’re right.  some say it’s easy.  and they’re wrong.  as with any other type of photography, or anything at all really, getting good is damn hard.  which is why I’m not terribly good at it. (more…)