Friday, November 27, 2009

Bridge of Honor

You may have remembered I posted shortly after starting my blog about the demolition of the Pomeroy-Mason Bridge in Pomeroy, Ohio.

Recently the false-work was removed from the West Virginia Side of the bridge allowing me to get some shots of the completed span. The span is a 1852 foot long 4 lane cable stay bridge. The bridge took over 5 years to build. The first delay was caused by an unforeseen slippage. The second delay in construction was caused by concrete that was used in the Mason Tower failed testing and a 20 foot section had to be removed and replaced. Then a form of shale was found that had to be contained and resulted in the construction of the 730 x 35 foot retaining wall. The wall was designed to depict life along the Ohio River in Pomeroy. Look for pictures to come to the blog soon. The final delay came when the form travelers had to be redesigned and rebuilt after a failure on a bridge under construction in Puerto Rico. The bridge was originally supposed to cost $45.6 million and ended up costing $65 million. You can read more about the construction of the Bridge of Honor here and here.

The bridge was named the Bridge of Honor to honor four star General James Hartinger of Middleport who was the first commander of NORAD and Congressional Medal of Honor winners Staff Sargent Jimmie Stewart of Mason West Virginia, and Corporal Edward Bennett. You can learn more about General Hartinger here. You can learn about Staff Sargent Jimmie Stewart here, and Corporal Edward Bennett here.

The bridge is illuminated at night making it a spectacular structure. I stopped the other night to get a few shots.

The first shot is from close to downtown Pomeroy looking up the Ohio River. The river was calm and you can see a wonderful reflection of the bridge in the water.

The second shot is a 5 shot panorama stitched together using Hugin. Both shots were shot using a tripod and a 30 second exposure.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fine Art Prints

After selling a few prints here and there, I have partnered with The Home Place in Gallipolis to display and sell my fine art prints. I have 11x14 both framed and unframed and 16x20 unframed available at the store. 20x30 prints can be ordered. Please stop by and see the prints, they are located at 844 Second Ave, in Gallipolis. They are open from 10-6 Monday through Saturday.

The following prints are available.

The Bandstand at Gallipolis.

Hocking Hills

Boggs Road at Fall

Cora Mill

The Bob Evans Homestead

The Bandstand at Fall


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Colors

Unfortunately I did not get out to get as many photos of the fall colors as I would have liked but I did get a few mornings and evenings for some shots. The weather changed quickly this fall and the colors were not as vibrant. Also frequent rains created many overcast days and stripped the trees of there leaves.

It started out one morning leaving work and heading towards Tycoon Lake. Tycoon Lake is a man made lake built from 1957 to 1960 in an old channel of Raccoon Creek. The lake is very shallow and at its deepest is around 18 feet. Tycoon Lake in 204 acres in size surrounded by the 684 acre Tycoon Lake wildlife area. More information and directions can be found on the Ohio DNR Website.

On the way out I went out State Route 325 to Eagle Road. The leaves were just beginning to change. I stopped along the way to snap the road and the surrounding foliage.

Out at Tycoon Lake the wind was calm and the reflections on the lake were outstanding. I stopped at several parking lots to get different vantage points.

The boat ramp.

The Handicap Fishing Dock

The path to the handicap fishing dock.

On the way to the lake I noticed an older barn. It was still rather dark out so I decided to try for a picture on the way back home. It is an amazing barn. I wish the owner was home so I could get closer and maybe learn some history. The cupala was very large and of particular interest.

A few days later I got out in the evening. I left the house and headed out. Not far from home there is a white fence around a field of soybeans. The leaves were changing in the background.

Next I headed to Cora Mill. Cora Mill was built in 1845 along Raccoon Creek. In the 1937 flood damaged the dam and turbine at the mill and it ceased operation.

I also headed to Boggs Road for some scenic overlooks. The light was fading fast so only a few pictures remained.

On the way home I stopped at the Northup Bridge over Raccoon Creek. This one lane bridge will be removed and replaced with a concrete span in the spring. I am not sure of the age but this style truss bridge is being replaced all over Ohio. It had become dark. I had my 3 million candlepower spotlight with me so I set up for a 30 second exposure. During the exposure I used the light to "paint" the bridge structure. Near the end of the exposure a car drove by creating the red tail lights.

Thanks for looking and enjoy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Look

Over the weekend I worked on a new look for my site and blog. Take a look around and let me know what you think.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fire Fighting

On Sunday October 18 District II Fire Department had a controlled burn of a house that had previously been damaged by fire. The structure was unsafe so interior operations and training were not possible. Some entry techniques were discussed and then the fire was lit.

The fire quickly got rolling and hose lines were use to keep power lines and other items cool.

A couple of the guys that were manning the pump, tanker and supervising has left their helmets lying around. Some of these made for some nice shots.

Thanks for looking.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Photography Workshop

This past Saturday I attended Eric Hoffman's Fall Photography Workshop. The workshop was held at the Old Bear's Den. The shooting was done at Hocking Hills State Park. The weather was cold, overcast and a light rain. We headed to Rose Lake to shoot the reflections and the changing fall foliage.

I enjoyed the morning of shooting, but I was hoping for pictures with more "pop". The mood of the pictures matches the weather of the day. They just feel gloomy.

The first picture was at the end of the trail to Rose Lake. An old log was laying in the lake and the reflection of the trees in the still water was very strong.

Next I turned my camera down the shore line. I wish I could have gotten more separation of the reflection of the trees from the shore.

Walking down the shore line I came across another tree lying in the lake. Due to the overcast I could not get the highlights and shadows to expose properly. So I took a series of exposures and used Photomatix to create an HDR.

Walking back up the lake I shot another shore line shot that included the path along the shore.

Using a tree and vegetation for a natural frame I captured some of the wetlands area at the head of the lake.

Again using natural framing I shot the lake using a tree on the right and sapling with red leaves on the left.

The leaves were just starting to change color and on the trail there was a variety of leaves of different color. Just a simple shot that is oversharpened.

Along the trail there is a large group of pine trees. One had fallen. I got down low and shot along the tree. Due the high contrast of the scene this is another series of shots making an HDR using Photomatix.

Almost back to the cars looking back up the trail I shot another HDR. I am not really pleased with this image. I was hoping for a better shot but sometimes it doesn't work out the way you want.

Crossing the road back to the cars I could not resist this shot. The typical fall colors with the road winding through the scene.

We went back to the workshop center and had a wonderful lunch. We headed over to Old Man's Cave. It was the weekend of the fall hike so the crowd level was overwhelming. Since I really did not want people in my shots I did not take very many. The first is looking up some old tree roots through a mossy opening in the rocks.

Next Eric directed us to a small water flow across some rocks that easy to use natural framing.

If you are in the area when Eric is offering one of his workshops it is worth looking into.



Sunday, October 4, 2009

Creek Stompin'

Friday after school was a rainy afternoon. Shortly after 5:00 it cleared up and the boys were dyin' to get outside and play. I wanted to go down over the hill to the creek to look for some walnuts and what better way to have some fun. The hill behind our house is very steep to say the least and the 4 of us(me, the boys and Duke our lab) got down to the creek. Since it had just rained and the moisture was rising off the foliage you could easily see the sun's rays dancing through the leaves.

We walked along the creek, Duke in the creek, for a while. Isaac decided to kick at something on the ground and off came his shoe into the creek. It was a deeper section of creek so fortunately Duke rescued the shoe. After that Isaac decided that since his foot would be wet he would just go ahead and slosh through the creek and have some fun.

Trevor was not so inclined to get wet so he wanted to skip rocks so as we walked along he skipped every flat rock he could find.

After about an hour or so the light was fading due to fall arriving so we headed back up the hill. After bathing 2 kids and a large wet dog we called it a night.

As always click on the images to take you to my site to see a larger version.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ohio Foothills Outing

I recently joined a Flickr group that share photos of the Foothills of Ohio. It is dedicated to the rolling hills of the area I live in. Sunday September 27, 2009 was their monthly outing. I decided to join them in the Hocking Hills State Park. Roman Wilshanetsky AKA Lost In the Hills put together a presentation about HDRI images. Though I have done HDR images before I did learn a lot. I had primarily used an open source program called QTPFSGUI. After seeing Roman use Photomatix from HDRSoft I became a convert. We spent the afternoon hiking from Old Man's Cave to the Lower Falls and back. The weather was cool and the day started out cloudy and windy. During the day the clouds came and went creating variable lighting. It was a great afternoon of shooting in a very beautiful place in Ohio. If you would like more information about the area click here.

So here are my results from the day. By clicking any image you can see a larger view.

The first shot is looking back up the trail towards the visitors center. I set up and waited for several minutes for foot traffic to clear before taking the 4 exposures that make up this shot. Most people when shooting for HDR, shoot a 3 to 9 image bracketed exposure. I tend to take as many shots as required to make sure I get all elements of the scene properly exposed. I do this using the histogram and taking shots until I have the highlights properly exposed. I make note of this setting and then find where I get the shadows properly exposed. I then take a dark frame(put my hand in front of the lens to let me know where the correct image sequence begins). Then I capture the shots as quickly as possible with a one stop interval between the light and dark exposures capturing the full range. This allows you to get every thing from the sky to the shadows properly exposed for the HDR conversion.

So now for the first image.

The next image was at the bottom of Old Man's Cave there is a bridge over the creek. I set my tripod up low the ground and got a great image of the bridge.

I looked right and saw the sun peeking out. I turned my camera and moved so the sun was just touching the edge of a tree trunk and grabbed another series to make what is my favorite shot of the day.

The next image is the stairs leading up, around and down to the Lower Falls at Old Man's Cave.

I tried getting a shot of the Lower Falls but every image seemed to have a person in it. I am going to go through and see I can get something worthwhile out the series in the next few days.

I did go behind the bridge at the lower falls and set my tripod up in the creek, balance precariously on a rock to get the next shot.

Hiking back up to the visitors center you come to a wooden staircase that is very narrow.

Then you climb a long staircase through a long dark tunnel. After going through the tunnel I got a shot of the exit/entrance.

Enjoy the photos and if you have any questions click here to contact me.

Also on October 17 I am going to a photography workshop at Hocking Hills so stay tuned.