Ricketts Glen State Park

I’ve written about this location many times in the past, but I’ll say it again.  If you get the chance, go hike the waterfall trail at this Pennsylvania state park.  There are a ton of great waterfalls all within a three-mile hike.  Just amazing.

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Great waterfall in a great state park

Great waterfall in a great state park

Industrial Urbex

Today’s post is another photo from the Carrie Furnace outside of Pittsburgh.  This former steel blast furnace help produce tons of steel per day, back when steel was actually made in Pittsburgh.  I liked how this yellow handle seems untouched by the decay and years of abandonment.     

To view a larger version, click HERE

Don’t forget to check out my photo galleries.  I recently updated them.

Sedona Landscape

This beautiful landscape is from right outside Sedona Arizona.  We were fortunate and got to spend a few days in this part of the world a while back.  The weather and the landscape is amazing.  I’d go back in a heartbeat.  It’s that good….if you haven’t been, put it on your “to do” list.

To view a larger version, click HERE.

Don’t forget to check out my photo galleries.  I recently updated them.

Funky Tunnel

I didn’t know what to call this photo.  I like it of course.  It’s a little artsy, a little different and maybe a little weird.  How would you describe it?

I took this inside the Carrie Furnace during our photo walk there with a group of friends.  Click HERE to read more information on this site from one of my prior post.

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Don’t forget to check out my photo galleries.  I recently updated them.

Carrie Furnace

Carrie Furnace

OBJ

Time for another football photo!!  Here is Odell Beckham Jr.  I captured this photo of him last December when the New York Giants were in town to play the Steelers.  He had a good game with 10 catches for 100 yards.  But his team lost to the Steelers that chilly day and he didn’t seem to be in a good mood.  What do you think about his hair????

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Don’t forget to check out my photo galleries.  I recently updated them.

Odell's hair....wow!!

Odell's hair....wow!!

Empire State Building

MJ and I spent hours at the Top Of The Rock during our last visit to NYC.  What a great time….at least for me.  MJ tolerates my photography obsession.  She stayed with me on top of that building hours longer then most people would.   This photo is from that summer evening before the sun set.  

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Morning Sun

The beauty of waking up early for a sunrise is that normally I’m alone.  Or mostly alone.  The popular beach is abandoned.  The resort pool is vacant.  The Lido deck on a cruise ship is quiet.  You get the point.  It doesn’t seem to matter where we travel to, I can count on this phenomenon.  Which allows me the opportunity to capture great photos without tourists in the way.  And I’ve come to the realization that people around the world, all like to sleep in…. 

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Don’t forget to check out my photo galleries.  I recently updated them.

View From The Renaissance Hotel

Brad, Dave, Blair and I were on photo walk in downtown Pittsburgh a while back.   As you know from my past posts, we wandered into the Renaissance Hotel.  The hotel management and staff were very nice to us.  They even let us into an upper floor hotel room to capture this photograph.  This building has some unique Pittsburgh views, including this one.

To view a larger version, click HERE.

Don’t forget to check out my photo galleries.  I recently updated them.

View from the hotel rooms

View from the hotel rooms

Beach Sunrise

Blair and I got up early during our trip to Mexico on a number of times to capture sunrise photos.  Some mornings were more productive then others.  I think this photo turned out okay.  What do you think?  Something about the warm colors that the photo in my opinion.

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What a morning!!!

What a morning!!!

Puno Cathedral Basilica Menor

As we go into the weekend, how about a photo of some religious architecture?  I took this photo during our trip to Peru.  This is the Puno Cathedral Basilica Menor in Puno, Peru down on Lake Titicaca.  This church was built in 1757 in an Andean Baroque architectural style.  I love the architecture in these old churches, which is why I’ve visited more churches around the world then most religious people.  I’m no world record holder or anything, but my total number of churches visited is pretty high.  

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Elephant Octopus

The Wynwood Walls area of Miami is so cool.  As you know from my past picture of this area, the city converted this abandoned area into an artist display exhibit.  There are now a ton of amazing murals created by the best graffiti artists in the world.  They rotate topnotch artists so that it is always changing.  If you visit it again down the road, the murals (graffiti) will be changed. 

To view a larger version, click HERE

Wynwood Walls

Wynwood Walls

Details at Acropolis

When I was walking around the Acropolis during our trip to Athens Greece, I tried to capture photos of the entire structure.  But I also took photos of the small details and portions of the structure.  I’m probably the one person who finds these things interesting.  I don’t know.  Maybe everyone finds these things interesting as well.   

Anyway, today’s photo is the upper corner of the Acropolis.  If you look closely, you can see a carved horse head at the very top of the roofline (see the enlarged image below).  I doubt most of the visitors even noticed this little detail.  Then again, maybe everyone noticed it immediately….. 

To view a larger version, click HERE

Check out the horse head in the circle above

Check out the horse head in the circle above

Atlas Statue

I realize this statue has probably been photographed more times then a normal person can count.  But I wanted to capture it in my own unique way and thought I did.  At least I thought so, until tonight.  I went to Google to find details about this statue and found a bunch of pictures taken basically the same way.  Oh well…..    This statue sits in front of the Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. 

To view a larger version, click HERE

Rockefeller Center in Manhattan

Rockefeller Center in Manhattan

Ceiling

Today’s photo is from the Basilica of National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC.  I took this photo during my last visit to Washington DC.  I’d love to go back, but they now have a renovation projection going on that will take a few years.  So it will be a while before the scaffolding comes down.  Maybe I’ll go back in a few years. 

Beyond the scaffolding, this is an amazing facility.  It is the largest Roman Catholic Church in all of North America and is one of the largest churches in the world (its in the top ten).  It has so many great sanctuary locations inside with over 70 chapels and oratories.  Every chapel has a different style and design.  You could spend days in this facility and not catch all the little details. 

Anyway, this photo is of one of the many dome ceilings looking straight up at it.  Have a great weekend.

To view a larger version, click here:  https://500px.com/photo/201359315/domed-ceiling-by-brook-ward?ctx_page=1&from=user&user_id=3695440

Sunrise on Carnival Vista

Sunrise on the ocean is a very special place.  This sunrise took place last May on board the Carnival Vista in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.  It was the first ever cruise for this ship.  We were lucky and got to experience this wonderful brand new ship.  Like normal, I got up super early to photograph the ship and captured this beautiful sunrise. 

To view a larger version, click here:  https://500px.com/photo/201254531/sunrise-on-carnival-vista-by-brook-ward?ctx_page=1&from=user&user_id=3695440

First United Methodist

I don’t know what it is about doors, but I’m always drawn towards photographing them.  These doors are from the First United Methodist Church in Washington PA.  The church started in 1784 and moved to this building in 1876.  Presidents Andrew Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant both attended services with this church during their time when traveling through the area.  Regardless, I like this photo and I hope you do as well.

To view a larger version, click here:  https://500px.com/photo/201113437/first-united-methodist-by-brook-ward?ctx_page=1&from=user&user_id=3695440

Renaissance Hotel Lobby

Today’s photo is from the inside of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.  The hotel was very nice and allowed us run of the place.  We photographed the lobby, upstairs, bar, and from within a hotel room.  I’ll probably post the photo from the hotel room later.  It was a unique view out of the hotel room window.  That’s for another day.  

Check out the video below to see a behind the camera look at how I captured this image.

To view a larger version, click here:  https://500px.com/photo/200967011/renaissance-hotel-lobby-by-brook-ward?ctx_page=1&from=user&user_id=3695440

Hotel lobby

Hotel lobby

Sleeklens Overlays

A few weeks ago, I was approached by the Sleeklens.com PR Relations Manager (Jane Grates) asking me to try their overlays.  They provide a number of great overlays for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.  Her offer was simple.  In exchange for a free set of overlays, I’d have to use them and comment about it the experience on my website.   So here goes….

Here is my honest moment.  I’m okay at photography and using Adobe Photoshop, but I don’t consider myself great at it.  Photoshop is an amazingly powerful software package, where I probably know how to use 5 percent of it.  I always feel frankly like a weak Photoshop user.  So when Jane asked me to use their overlays and comment on the process, I was sure she contacted the wrong person.  But I also felt very honored Sleeklens contacted me. 

So I accepted her offer and accepted a set of sky overlays.  They have a number of different types.  I watched a few of the Sleeklens’ “how to” videos on Youtube.com and then tried a few of them on one of my photos. 

Tonight I am sharing four photos with you.  One is the original photo, as I took it in Valletta, Malta.  I loved the location, subject matter, and composition.  But during my limited time there, the sky was ugly.  Therefore, I wasn’t very happy with the photo.  It seemed like the perfect photo to try these Overlays with and I created 3 photos using 3 different sky overlays from Sleeklens.  I’m sharing them all with you, just so you get an idea of how they look and the impact they have on the photo.

Not being a great Photoshop user, after watching the videos I found them extremely easy to use.  So it wasn’t difficult to use them or make them look good. 

I don’t know how often I’ll use them, since I don’t often modify the subject matter of my photos that much.  I often use my raw images to create HDR images, which enhances the color, but I don’t often remove entire portions of the photo and replace it with something that wasn’t there.  It just isn’t part of my normal thinking, when processing images.  That’s probably because my photos are visual reminders of my actual experiences.  I create them because it helps me remember what I saw and felt when I was standing there in real life.  They’re flash cards from our travels and experiences.  Ways to share my memories with you.  So replacing the sky with an alternative sky, would change what I experienced.

But I can see why photographers would love these.  Some amazing photographers do all kinds of cool things in Photoshop to create amazing images.  So if you’re looking for overlays, the Sleeklens overlays are great and easy to use.  I might not use them much, for the reason I listed above.  But they’re great.  Check out their website at http://www.sleeklens.com

More links for Sleeklens.com:

https://sleeklens.co m/product-category/photoshop-o verlays/

https://sleeklens.com/product/ professional-photo-editing-ser vice/

To view a larger version, click here:  https://500px.com/photo/200804381/valletta-malta-by-brook-ward?ctx_page=1&from=user&user_id=3695440

Valletta Malta with Sleeklans Overlay sky applied

Valletta Malta with Sleeklans Overlay sky applied

Original photo with the sky I didn't like

Original photo with the sky I didn't like

Another version with a different overlay used.

Another version with a different overlay used.

Another overlay version used.

Another overlay version used.