Monthly Archives: December 2013

Would you be disappointed?




When you decide to get up early and shoot sunrise are you disappointed when a nice sunrise is elusive?  I must admit that I am, but at the same time I quickly shift gears and look for what is right with the scene rather than what is wrong.  On the first morning in Cape May this past October, we were on the beach while it was still dark and as dawn approached we quickly realized that we were not going to have much of a sunrise.  We just shifted our mindset and started working on long exposures to capture the movement of the clouds and waves.  While I think pre-visualization is important, you must also be willing to embrace what is right with the scene and not let your disappointment detract from the creative process.

W. A. Young and Sons Machine Shop

Whew! It has been a tremendously busy fall… no complaints though. Since October 1, RRPT has held 7 Meetups! This means major backlog in photo processing. I have finally had a chance to look at my images from W. A. Young and Sons Machine Shop. We visited this historical and truly amazing facility in Mid-November. It was the second day of a two-day weekend Meetup in PA (Carrie Furnace and the Machine Shop). We have such a rich and vibrant industrial history in this area.

The W.A. Young & Sons Machine Shop & Foundry is a century-old, belt-driven machine shop and foundry featuring 25 fully operational machines.  This will be ideal for photographers who love macro and detail work and a great way to end our weekend in the Pittsburgh area. Our guide shared with us the history of the shop and even turned the belts on so we could see the machining equipment in motion.

For those who may have missed the opportunity to visit this very unique location, we are heading back! We have scheduled another PA Weekend (Carrie Furnace on May 10 and W. A. Young and Sons on May 11, 2014). For more information, see our Meetup page by clicking here.

Here are few images from this adventure in history!

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A Little Flash



My favorite time to light paint is usually 20 minutes after sunset, but what to do while waiting for it to get dark enough to light paint?  In my case flash is sometimes the answer.  During our recent trip to Carrie Furnace we started losing light about 45 minutes prior to sunset.  It was not dark enough to light paint because we could not expose for more than a couple seconds.  Unfortunately for me not everything I need during a shoot will fit in one bag, so I ran back to the car and grabbed my bag of speed lights and accessories.


I must admit it took a few minutes to get back in the groove, since I can’t remember the last time I used flash.  But it was like learning to ride a bike after a few minutes and a few test shots.   In the  photo above I combined 5 different images, each taken with one flash lighting a certain aspect of the composition.  I use the Nikon Commander on my camera body and hand hold the flash.  The general settings are usually 1 stop underexposed for the flash.   I use the self-timer and rear curtain sync to be in position when the camera clicks.


We are in the planning stages of setting up a new date for Carrie Furnace next May.   Be sure to join our Road Runner Photography Meetup to get notification of when the date is announced.