Posts Tagged ‘Photos’

A Trip to Syracuse

Sculpture at Stone Quarry Art Park

A Sculpture at Stone Quarry Art Park, Cazenovia

At the beginning of the month, Evan and I went to Syracuse to spend time with his family. It was an absolutely wonderful trip — and the perfect time of year to make it. We went to Treman state park, Ithaca, Green Lakes State Park, the Stone Quarry Art Park, and Rochester to visit a friend and her new baby. We saw lots of wildlife and plants, the Erie Canal and ate lots of good food. Check out my iPhone photos from the site in the Flickr slideshow below, or check out Evan’s photos from his nice camera.

A Black Hawk Down Color Match

Last week’s other Photoshop assignment was to create a color match with a Black Hawk Down poster. We learned a few techniques for getting the colors to mesh and were tasked with creating an image and colorizing it.

The original poster we had to match

The original poster we had to match

I created another image of Evan since I felt like him looking away and sitting would lend to a similar feel to the poster. I used a landscape photo I took in Budapest and added a number of layers of cracks, dirt and noise to give it a grittier texture. Also, the color changed slightly when I saved Evan’s portrait for web, so it doesn’t look quite as close a match as it really is.

My color-matched portrait of Evan

My color-matched portrait of Evan

Frank Lloyd Wright Houses of Western Pennsylvania

fallingwater

One of the best days of my trip to Pittsburgh was spending a Saturday out in the countryside visiting Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, two Frank Lloyd Wright houses.

We got to Fallingwater first and were set to take a guided tour with a small group of about 10. We all gathered at the visistor’s center, and when they called our group, we walked down the long gravel driveway to the house. On approach, you don’t really see the waterfall, but you do get to a small bridge that leads to the entrance of the house where you can look down on the stream that runs at the top of the platform, and you can see a floating platform with steps leading down from the house where the owners could sit and dangle their feet into the running water.

fallingwater floating platform

It was a beautiful late spring day and everything was very green. And though I had seen many photos of the house over the years, visiting it really felt like something new and different. One thing I was surprised about what how small most of the interior rooms were. The bedrooms and bathrooms were quite small, as were the hallways, but we learned that Wright designed that way — to compress you through the hallways to the rooms, and to bring the outside in by making each room’s patio similar in size to the room.

Fallingwater

There were fireplaces throughout the house and beautiful views from all the windows and balconies. It was also nice to see so much original furniture, as a lot of it is custom and built in to the house. The tour guide also loved to point out which designs weren’t Wright’s — some were the owner’s own designs that Wright disapproved of. We also got to see the guest house and walk around to the far side of the stream to get the classic view of the house, where we took most of our photos.

When we were done with our tour and walk around the grounds, we started to head over to see another one of Wright’s homes, Kentuck Knob. We had some time for our drive, though, so on the way we stopped in Ohiopyle to have a picnic lunch by the river, and we also checked out Cucumber Falls, where a large, drunken bridal party was clambering down the muddy path and over slippery roots and rocks to take a photo in their formalwear. It was quite a scene.

Kentuck Knob

Kentuck Knob

Kentuck Knob was very different from Fallingwater. First, it’s a good deal smaller. It’s also tucked into the knob of  hill, so it has quite a modest exterior profile. Inside, it has large windows that look out on the trees, and it doesn’t have quite as much of the original furnishings as Fallingwater does, but it’s still privately owned and shows off the owner’s extensive sculpture collection both inside and outside the house. Again the hallways were very narrow and the rooms were even smaller, but it felt nice and cozy and if we weren’t the last tour of the day we would have had more time to go to the sculpture meadow and check out more of the modern art collection.

On our way back to Pittsburgh we stopped for dinner at Chez Girard, a quirky but lovely and nice French restaurant. We weren’t dressed as nicely as we should have been, but we sat out on the patio, enjoying the nice weather, listening to French music and eating a delicious meal.

Check out more photos on Flickr and Facbeook

A Beautiful Walk Through Phipps Botanical Garden and Oakland

The elegant Phipps Conservatory Glass House

The elegant Phipps Conservatory Glass House

Friday was a beautiful, sunny day, so I decided to go check out Phipps botanical garden and conservatory, Schenley Park and some of Oakland’s other sights.

Frabel Longfellows at the Phipps Conservatory

Frabel Longfellows at the Phipps Conservatory

The botanical gardens, almost entirely housed inside a giant glass house, were lovely. To add to the already impressive array of trees and flowers, there were also Frabel glass pieces dispersed throughout the gardens — lizards and frogs in the amazon room, floating, lacy bowls on top of a fish pond, fairies in the butterfly room and my favorites, the “Longfellows,” near and in many of the water elements.

A Brachiosaurus at the Carnegie Museums

A Brachiosaurus at the Carnegie Museums

After spening time in the gardens, I did a quick walkthrough of the Carnegie Library and also poked my head into the Carnegie art museum. It was near closing time so I didn’t buy a ticket, but I did go to the Pitt campus to check out the Heinz Chapel and the Cathedral of Learning (both closed for weddings) and took a look at the military museum from a distance, too (also closed for a wedding).

Heinz Chapel

Heinz Chapel

Oakland was such a pleasant place to wander and relax that Evan and I returned the next day to explore a bit more of Schenley Park and have a late breakfast at Pamela’s, a rather famous Pittsburgh diner chain. The pancakes were delicious.

Check out this slideshow of photos from the conservatory:

Check out more Pittsburgh photos on Flickr and Facebook

A Hike in Griffith Park

Griffith Park Observatory

View of Downtown LA from the Griffith Park Observatory

Yesterday, my friend Jared and I went for a hike in Griffith Park. I hadn’t been hiking there in a while, and it was great to get back out there and experience some of the nature LA has to offer.

The paths are mostly wide and sandy, and they wind up and around hills where there are views of downtown, the San Gabriel Valley and the Hollywood sign. There’s also the very nicely remodelled Griffith Park Observatory, where you can wander around checking out exhibits on the sun, planets and stars (and it’s free).

Me and the Hollywood Sign

Me and the Hollywood Sign

I’m not sure quite how far we walked, but I think it was between 3 and 4 miles. There were plenty of other people out walking and running, and there were lots of dogs there, too. There isn’t much shade on the trails, but there are some areas to relax, like the small garden and picnic area at Dante’s Peak, and by the Observatory.

Check out the rest of the photos on Facebook or Flickr.

Jared and Albert Einstein in the Griffith Park Observatory

Jared and Albert Einstein in the Griffith Park Observatory

A Whirlwind Tour of Niagara Falls

The view from our hotel room

The view from our hotel room

For the weekend, Evan and I went to Niagara Falls. I’d never been there before, so I was really excited to see the falls — and to return to my homeland, Canada. We had a great room on the top floor of the Sheraton Fallsview that had an incredible view of both the Canadian and American falls. We were just glued to the window every time we were up there.

A very misty morning at the falls

A very misty morning at the falls

We of course did the requisite wander by the falls, and we rode the Maid of the Mist — a boat that takes you so close to the falls you are completely enveloped in its mist and can’t really see anything. It felt like being hit by a giant storm at sea. Everything got soaked and it was so windy it was hard to keep my eyes open. And I only realized after I was drenched that my mascara wasn’t waterproof. Oops. The ponchos they gave us helped, but our pants, shoes and sleeves still got pretty wet.

Emerging from the waterfall's "mist" completely drenched

Emerging from the waterfall's "mist" completely drenched

Once we were done with the touristy falls sights, though we ventured toward the very quaint and charming Niagara on the Lake. We stopped at the botical gardens and butterfly conservatory, which was fantastic. The gardens weren’t in bloom yet, but there were tons of butterflies flying around in the indoor garden, which just created a magical experience. I tried to capture it on video.

Evan also took some great photos of the butterflies.

ButterflyIn Niagara on the Lake, we had tea and scones at the Irish Tea Room, and the night before, we had a wonderful dinner at the Stone Road Grille. We wandered around the cute shops on the main strip, bought some cookies, and checked out Lake ontario. We could JUST make out Toronto in the background.

The view of Lake Ontario

The view of Lake Ontario

We also found out that Niagara has a wonderful wine country, so we went to the Peller and Hillebrand vineyards for some wine tasting. They both had excellent chardonnays, geverztraminers and ice wines and we bought a couple of bottles to take home — apparently you can’t get much Canadian wine in the U.S. at all.

It was a marvelous weekend, filled with new sights, good food and of course, excellent company. I really miss traveling. You can check out more photos in my Niagara galleries on Facebook (more of the photos of me and Evan) and on Flickr (more of the landscapes and butterfly photos)

A Few Days in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

Thursday morning, I arrived in Pittsburgh to visit Evan, who has been working there since the beginning of April. While he was working during the day, I spent my time wandering about the city, taking photos.

Thurdsay, I walked across the Smithfield Street Bridge and started exploring downtown and the Cultural District, where all Pittsburgh’s big theaters are. I also crossed the bridge into the Northside and walked around the Commons and by the Andy Warhol Museum. I also checked the few things at Station Square, where Evan is living, which mostly involved a walk through a mall and a peek into the beautiful historic train station converted into a restaurant, the Grand Concourse.

Friday, I decided to head up to Mount Washington, and took the Monongahela Incline up to the top. Then walked along the ridge of the mountain until I reached the Duquesne Incline (which is much quainter and cuter and has exhibits about the incline’s history in its top station). I rode the incline down and walked across the Fort Pitt Bridge to Point Park and walked around downtown again, this time making it all the way out to the Strip District before heading back.

Friday night, Evan and I got to explore the city together. We went to the Warhol Museum, where we saw a great collection of Andy Warhol’s work and learned a lot about his life. There was also a special exhibit: The Vader Project, which was really entertaining. We got to see 100 Darth Vader masks as interpreted by different artists. Some of the projects were really impressive artistically and others were conceptually funny. I’m not a big Star Wars fan, but I did enjoy the exhibit.

After the museum, we went for a very tasty dinner at Eleven. The service was a bit strange, but the food was delicious (see my Yelp review for more details).

Here are a few of my favorite photos from my wanders:

The Duquesne Incline, with Downtown Pittsburgh in the background

The Duquesne Incline, with Downtown Pittsburgh in the background

Crossing the Fort Pitt Bridge into Downtown

Crossing the Fort Pitt Bridge into Downtown

A Downtown office part with lots of metallic buildings -- Pittsburgh is steel city and its downtown architecture shows it

A Downtown office part with lots of metallic buildings -- Pittsburgh is steel city and its downtown architecture shows it

One of the most delightful things I cam across in Downtown Pittsburgh: A transformer/robot sculpture made of models of Pittsburgh's bridges

One of the most delightful things I cam across in Downtown Pittsburgh: A transformer/robot sculpture made of models of Pittsburgh's bridges

There are tons more photos in my Pittsburgh galleries on Flickr and Facebook