I went back Wednesday evening and got some shots using my tripod.
The Cleveland Botanical Garden is hosting Orchid Mania. It’s really amazing to see the wide variety of orchid colors and styles. It is a great opportunity for some close up photography.
As a participant in the Holden Arboretum Winter Photography Workshop, we hiked into Stebbins Gulch. The icicles are amazing, with some more than 20 feet tall. This area is designated by the National Park Service (U.S. Department of Interior) as National Natural Landmark in 1967
For more on Stebbins Gulch, visit Holden Forests & Gardens website.
Excited that all three of my photos were selected for the Black and White show at Stella’s Gallery. The reception is Friday, January 11th from 7-9pm. Two of my prints are for sale.
Update: “Lacey” received First Place in the Photography category. I tagged it “not for sale” but had somebody really interested in buying the print. I didn’t sell.
I haven’t experimented often with compositing photographs. The ASM headquarters building inspired me. Parts of it have the look of a spaceship, and after some Photoshop work I was able to make a space themed photo I am happy with.
My friend and fellow photographer, Cory Klien, and I took a hike to Blue Hen Falls yesterday as a way to get out in nature while we had a spell of good weather. It was overcast and the temperature was pleasant. I think we both got shots we were happy with.
Check out Cory's work at http://corykleinphotography.com/
The campus serves as the headquarters of ASM International, formerly the American Society for Metals. The dome is the "world's largest open air geodesic dome", and is rare among Synergetics, Inc.-designed geodesic domes in that it was never intended to be a covered structure.
Originally serving as headquarters for the American Society for Metals in September 1959, the geodesic dome was built on a 100-acre parcel donated by William Hunt Eisenman (1886–1958), a charter member of the American Society of Metals and its secretary for nearly four decades. In 1961, ASM purchased William Hunt Eisenman's Sunnimoor Farm and 400-acres of land adjacent to the ASM campus.
The geodesic dome is actually a triacon truss rising to a height of 103 feet and is 274 feet in diameter. The dome is built using approximately 65,000 parts, including 13 miles of extruded aluminum tubing and tension rods bolted into hexagons. There are no internal supports and the entire 80-ton weight rests on five concrete-filled pylons driven up to 77 feet into the earth.
The original investment for the building and landscaping was $2.4 million. The semi-circular building, capped by a geodesic dome, symbolizes humanity’s mastery of metals and materials.
The complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 22, 2009.
-description excerpted from Wikipedia
If you are looking for holiday gifts, my online store will have the following sales over the next few week. You can go to the shopping page on my website at:
or directly to my store at
November 22nd - November 26th
Free Ground Shipping on All U.S. Orders
25% Off Tote Bags, Weekender Tote Bags, and Zip Pouches
25% Off Wall Art (Canvas Prints, Framed Prints, Posters, Wood Prints, Metal Prints, Acrylic Prints, and Tapestries)
25% Off Home Decor (Throw Pillows, Duvet Covers, Shower Curtains, Bath Towels, Coffee Mugs, and Fleece Blankets)
25% Off Phone Cases
All of the promotions begin at 12:00 AM Eastern U.S. time on the listed start date and end at 11:59 PM Eastern U.S. time on the end date. If only one date is listed, then the promotion starts and ends on the same day.
Steampunk Inspired | Amy Lauria and I designed and decorated this Steampunk inspired Christmas tree for the 17th Annual Festival of Trees. We received an Award of Excellence and the award for “Most Original”. Our tree sold in live auction for $1000.
All the trees were beautiful this year and pictured below.
The Festival of Trees is the single largest fundraiser of the year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio, typically raising over $100,000 for the organization.
Took a hike in the rain yesterday to capture some of the fall colors.
Every year KelbyOne hosts a World Wide Photo Walk the first Saturday in October. Volunteers in cities all over the world set up local walks. I joined the Pixel Connection and Sam Young Studios for a walk from Public Square to the North Coast Harbor in Cleveland. The sponsored performers for us to photograph along the way including a ballerina and fire dancers.
Keeping with tradition I spent the weekend in Milwaukee visiting my sister and touring the city with DoorsOpenMKE.
Doors Open Milwaukee is a two-day public celebration of Milwaukee’s art, architecture, culture and history. This event offers behind the scenes tours of more than 170 buildings throughout Milwaukee’s downtown and neighborhoods and 30+ ticketed tours led by community leaders.
Friday night we went to see In the Heights, a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Most of the cast is from New York and many have performed on Broadway. The story is set over the course of three days, involving characters in the largely Hispanic-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. This show is in Milwaukee though October. Then the same cast is on to Seattle followed by Cincinnati. I highly recommend going if you are in the area.
Honey Pie Cafe | Retro-style eatery with patio serving creative comfort food & desserts made from local ingredients.
Doors Open MKE 2018
St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
The rare, centuries-old art of handmade glass mosaics is on full display in this Byzantine-style cathedral, providing a wondrous, luminous effect to visitors. They follow the Byzantine Orthodox tradition, depicting Christ, Mary, prophets, angels, Old and New Testament scenes, apostles, and Serbian saints in a hierarchical order from the dome, or heaven, down to earth. In the days when people were illiterate, scenes depicted in mosaics and frescoes were a vital reminder of the Bible’s teachings. They still inspire and assure people that Christ watches over them along with His angels and saints.
This Byzantine-style Serbian (Eastern) Orthodox Cathedral features soaring spaces, marble columns and inlay, with its most prominent feature being the central dome. A city landmark, the cathedral is one of the few churches built in the U.S. since World War II that have the Serbian-influenced, Byzantine Revival’s splendor and craftsmanship. Its most exquisite adornment are the hand-laid mosaics covering virtually all the walls and vaulted ceilings. The cathedral was built in 1957-58, but the mosaics, hand-made in Italy and using approximately 2,000 colors and tones, were not begun until 1969, and took 30 years to complete.
St. Nikola Serbian Orthodox Church
First built as a Lutheran church, St. Nikola’s was transformed into an Orthodox Christian worship space in 1963. The style of the church, though western, is reminiscent of many of the churches built in Yugoslavia during the captivity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Seriously damaged by fire in 2010, it was renovated receiving a new hand-carved iconostasis with traditional Byzantine style iconography and the interior was decorated with beautiful Serbo-Byzantine style frescos. Like many Orthodox worship spaces in Europe it does not have pews. The porch of the church was also enclosed in 2010 and functions as a narthex where the faithful light candles for the living and departed.
St. Nikola Serbian Orthodox Church is a jewel in Cudahy and one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful Christian worship spaces. Founded in 1963 by Serbians who had fled the tumult of WWII, parishioners integrated themselves into community life looking to St. Nikola’s as a place where they could preserve their faith, heritage, and language.
— in Cudahy, Wisconsin.
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee
The church was designed for the Unitarian congregation in 1892 by architects George Ferry and Alfred Clas. View the Chanticleer on the steeple, as well as the carved sculptures adorning the entrance. Enter the English Gothic-style sanctuary from the Perpendicular period and be surrounded by the golden glow of stained glass windows. View the wooden hammer beam arches and uniquely carved stone corbels. Also on the tour is the church parlor and, on Sunday only, the Leenhouts Common Room, which displays new, local art on a monthly basis.
This is a church not built as a Christian church, but in a very particular style. It is one of the oldest churches in the city.
Sanger House Gardens is a feast for the eyes, filled with trees, shrubs, perennials and plants of all kinds, but our specialty is inspiration. Built high on hill overlooking the young city of Milwaukee in 1872, Caspar Sanger’s Cream City brick Italianate house still dominates it’s setting, but now it rises from almost an acre of lush landscaping just blocks from downtown. Over the past 3 decades, the current owners have created a complex, richly layered series of garden rooms that have inspired thousands of visitors. The gardens include Mediterranean and English styles, and celebrate the urban surroundings with recycled cobblestone and limestone materials, as well as historic architectural elements. Water features and plantings attract a wide variety of birds, as well as the occasional fox. Somewhere in the garden you may find a setting that sparks your imagination and leads to a transformation in your own landscape-and even if you aren’t a gardener, the beauty of our special place may bring joy to you just the same.
Caspar Sanger, a German immigrant who had made his fortune in the tannery and millwork businesses, built his first grand house in 1872. He occupied it for only two years and sold it to a fellow German-American businessman Joseph Phillips, it was owned by his family until 1911. Today it is owned by Steve Bialk and Angela Duckert who acquired it in 1985. They have done a major restoration on the house. It has 5 marble fireplaces, a mahogany staircase, original pine floors, plaster rosettes and cornices along with reproduction wallpapers produced by Bradbury and Bradbury which are an interpretation of William Morris, a famous designer of the 1860-70’s. Many other improvements and upgrades have been done. The property is part of the Historic Brewers Hill historic district. The owners have also renovated the horse and carriage barn along with construction of a new carriage house which is used for events and an AIRBNB stay.
Originally built in 1892, Fortress has seen several additions in the years leading up to 1912. The result is a distinct, red brick building with unique architectural flourishes and a tower that’s reminiscent of a medieval fortress. The building’s original tenant was the F. Mayer Boot and Shoe Company, which at its peak produced over 9,000 shoes per day and became one of the largest tanning producers in the world. The building remained in use for shoe manufacturing until 1938, and since that time many other firms have occupied it – from musicians, artists, and even a daycare and Montessori school.
The main entries have Neo-Classic Revival detailing; however, the tower has a Romanesque flavor, creating an overall effect of Victorian eclecticism. The original architect was H. Schnetzky and Company. Future additions were designed by E. R. Liebert.
In the midst of its rehabilitation efforts, Fortress is being brought up to modern standards yet retains the historic charm and character that we know and love. Throughout your tour you’ll see exposed brick walls, open heavy-timber ceilings, restored windows, raw concrete pillars, pulleys used to power machinery, refurbished wood flooring, original fire-rated steel doors, and various other historic elements given new life or returned to their former glory.
One of Milwaukee’s most recognizable historic buildings has undergone a major transformation. A complete historic rehabilitation of the 1892 former shoe manufacturing plant has created 132 new apartments, a first floor office and retail space, and a wide array of community amenities to match all interests. Adjacent to the thriving Brewer’s Hill neighborhood, and just steps from a unique mix of dining and entertainment options, this is where historic character meets modern convenience.
Urban Ecology Center
Menomonee Valley Branch | This “green” environmental community center was once a vacant tavern at 37th and Pierce. Designed by Uihlein Wilson Architects, the branch serves 22 south side schools who are clamoring for our Neighborhood Environmental Education Project. Like our building in Riverside Park, our Menomonee Valley branch serves as a model of “green” building options. The Urban Ecology Center Menomonee Valley branch opened on September 8th, 2012! Size: 6,500 square feet.
Model Railroad Club of Milwaukee, Inc.
Generations have visited this model railroad club since late 1936, and the layout today is as it was rebuilt around 1950. Models are built to 1/4 inch scale, Some of our models are from before World War II, and some are brand new. We are happy to talk to visitors, and we offer stay-as-long-as-you-like self-guided visits (with informational handouts). Small groups are welcome and we can show them around. Children are welcome, too.
Our building is a former railroad station, built by the CMStP&P Railroad in about 1916. A Century old! Yes, it is UNDER the railroad tracks. It was later abandoned by the railroad, and the Club took it over in 1936 as a ‘temporary’ location.
Much of the original components still exist, such as the beautiful white Subway Tile on the walls, genuine tin ceiling panels, concrete walls, and some original steam heat fixtures.
In mid-August I traveled to San Diego for a conference. I didn't have lot of time to explore, but did get out a little. The bulk of these are from the U.S.S. Midway tour.
Made it out to the Asian Lantern Festival at the zoo this weekend. Such beautiful and elaborate lanterns set up throughout the property.
My dog, Lacey, and I set out for a hike on the Pierson Creek Loop at Holden Arboretum. On the far side of the loop we came across a couple beautiful scenes where streaks of sun rays streamed through the trees, and this wonderful moss covered log. Lacey is not the best photo assistant so I didn't take as much time as I would have liked.
I've had Skylum Luminar software for a couple years, but use it sparingly. I have my workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop. Last week I had some Milky Way shots that I processed in LR, and I was happy with them, but decided to invest a little time in Luminar to see what I could get.
My original edits in LR/PS highlighted more of the magenta and orange tones. In Luminar I deliberately shifted to more blue and yellow.
When I edited in LR, I also used Photoshop more that usual. For me, PS is primarily used for cloning or removal of objects. For these shots I did a lot more layers and masks to bring out the detail in the foreground. I typically had a saturated layer with colors I wanted, a desaturated layer that I overlayed in PH, and a layer exposed for the foreground that I masked into the the sky layers.
In Luminar, I was able to do all the layering with the program. The only need for Photoshop was to remove a sign that was distracting.
My rough Luminar workflow starts similar to the LR workflow, but the first layer (sky magenta/orange) turns the saturation down just a bit. Then I add an image layer where I adjust the sky color for blue and green. I couldn't get overlay to work the way I wanted, so I used the opacity slider to blend the layers. Next I used one or more image/adjustment layers to edit the foreground. Once those layers were edited, I merged the layers and ran the denoise tool.
I like the results I got with Luminar. I'm not sure if it was the software, or just deliberately working toward a different result.
Friday night was perfect for stargazing. Lacey was at the sitter, 70 degrees, the sky was clear, the moon was hiding and the Milky Way is in view. So I took a drive out to Observatory Park.
Observatory Park has permanent distinction from the International Dark-Sky Association as a Silver Tier Dark Sky Park. As of December 2017, it was one of only 39 Dark Sky Parks in the U.S. and 55 in the world.
Most of these shots are composites of multiple exposures - one for the sky and one for the foreground. I set up with a Platypod Ultra to get low behind the rocks and my iPhone provided illumination for the rocks.
Sitting low in the sky, the planet Venus has been shining brightly the past week. Photographing the night sky at Lake Erie Bluffs, Venus is so bright it looks like the moon and leaves a reflection on the water.
Wrapped up a trip to Moab, Utah visiting Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as well as, Dead Horse Point State Park. Pictures do not do justice to the extraordinary views. My goal was to get sunrise and sunset photos. During the day, the light is not great for photography. I took those shots to remember the trip.
My first night (Sunday) in Arches I didn't catch a great sunset, but did get a bit of color in the sky. I hung around until dark and took a few photos of the night sky.
Monday morning I headed to Dead Horse Point State Park to see the horseshoe bend in the Green River. I didn't get the sun, but watched the canyon walls light up as the sun came up.
Monday night I went back to Arches and took some sunset photos near Balanced Rock.
Tuesday morning I got up at 4:30am, drove 45 minutes and hiked 20 minutes in the dark to get my spot at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands. I walked with another photographer who parked at the same time - check out @ashtg_photos on Instagram. There was one other person at the arch when we got there. By the time the sun came up there were probably 40 people. I set up in an excellent spot and witnessed a fantastic sunrise.
Downtown Moab is only a few blocks. There are a lot of gift shops, several galleries, coffee shops, and restaurants. There are also a lot of rental outfitters for bikes, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles. I had dinner at The Spoke on Center and would recommend it to anyone visiting.