Also went on a tour of the Philadelphia Brewing Company on Saturday (three brewery tours in one day = good times). This is a shot of their bottling machine. I highly recommend the tour to anyone in the Philadelphia area. Cool brewery and they have a great bar upstairs that functions as their tasting room. You can hang out for as long as you want and taste as many of their delicious beers as you want. Makes for a good Saturday afternoon.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Toured the Yards Brewing Company brewery on Saturday. Turned out to be a private tour, which was very cool. Nice small local brewery and quality beer, although I don't know that you can get it outside of the Philadelphia area.
This is one single shot. I made the beer tap its own layer in Photoshop in order to make it stand out a bit. For reference, here is the shot as it came straight out of the camera.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Valley Forge National Park outside of Philadelphia. General George Washington camped here, although I'm fairly certain not in this replica cabin, built, I'm guessing, sometime in the last 20 years. However, you are free to make your own conclusions.
This shot is a three exposure HDR image.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Ok, this is my last shot from Eastern State Penitentiary. I really like the colors and textures in it, so I'm sharing it with you. Hope you're not too burnt out on the prison shots, but what a cool place to shoot.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This is my first self-portrait. I had the idea as soon as I processed "Eye of God" below. I thought that lone table sitting there was cool, but wouldn't it be better if it was me instead of that table?
This was tricky, as I had to take the self-portrait with the same exact lighting as was coming through the window at the top of the cell. This required me sitting in my garage with a halogen lamp hanging from the garage door opener above me and the camera mounted on a tripod on a table to be at the correct height.
One the shot was taken, I removed the table and added myself. The shadow is as taken in my garage. I have a few other shots with me in various different poses, but this one was my favorite. Maybe I'll post the others later.
The feeling in this shot is meant to express what I feel like sitting in my office at work every day :)
Monday, June 22, 2009
This is the view looking north up South Broad Street towards City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Every night for about the past year, the buildings have been lit up in different colors, which makes for great night photography.
I actually work right behind where I was standing when I took the shot. Don't know why it took me so long to get out there and actually do it.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Interior of a cell in the Eastern State Penitentiary with a lone dresser inside. The only light the prisoners ever got was through the window on the top aptly called the "Eye of God."
This will be either the last or penultimate shot that I have from Eastern State. Really a cool place to go visit. I recommend it to everyone.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Another shot from Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I'm about 90% sure this is a view down Cell Block 11, one of the "newer" cell blocks.
Some info about the Penitentiary from Wikipedia: Designed by John Haviland and opened on October 25, 1829, Eastern State is considered to be the world's first true penitentiary. Its revolutionary system of incarceration, dubbed the "Pennsylvania System" or Separate system, originated and encouraged solitary confinement as a form of rehabilitation.
The Pennsylvania System was opposed contemporaneously by the Auburn System (also known as the New York System), which held that prisoners should be forced to work together in silence, and could be subjected to physical punishment (Sing Sing prison was an example of the Auburn system). Although the Auburn system was favored in the United States, Eastern State's radial floor plan and system of solitary confinement was the model for over 300 prisons worldwide. The name "Penitentiary" comes from the word "penance". The original goal was for prisoners to want to open up to God, thus seeking penance.
I decided to take this picture and add some texturing to give it more of an ominous feel. I think it worked.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I've always wanted to take one of those shots where the yellow lines in the road stretch off into the distance. Unfortunately, the road here went down hill, so I didn't get the lines stretching off as far as I would have liked. The clouds were very dramatic though, so I like the way this turned out. As if you couldn't tell, I removed all color aside from the lines and the blue sky.
This is one of the roads that winds through Valley Forge National Park outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Very cool park to wander through on a nice day.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
One of many shots I took at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You could spend days in there taking pictures.
Here's some info on the Penitentiary's architecture, from Wikipedia:
When the Eastern State Penitentiary, or Cherry Hill as it was known at the time, was erected in 1829 it was the largest and most expensive public structure in the country. Its architectural significance first arose in 1821, when British architect John Haviland was chosen to design the building. Haviland found most of his inspiration for his plan for the penitentiary from prisons and asylums built beginning in the 1780's in England and Ireland. These complexes consist of cell wings radiating in a semi or full circle array from a center tower where the supervise of the prison keeps it under constant surveillance.
The design for the penitentiary which Haviland devised became to be known as the hub-and-spoke plan which consisted of an octagonal center connected by corridors to seven radiating single-story cell blocks, each containing two ranges of large single cells--8 x 12 feet x 10 feet high- with hot water heating, a water tap, toilet, and individual exercise yards the same width at the cell. There were rectangular openings in the cell wall through which food and work materials could be passed to the prisoner, as well as peepholes for guards to observe prisoners without being seen. To minimize the opportunities for communication between inmates Haviland designed a basic flush toilet for each cell with individual pipes leading to a central sewer which he hoped would prevent the sending of messages between adjacent cells.
Despite his efforts, prisoners were still able to communicate with each other and the flushing system had to be redesigned several times. The hub-and-spoke plan was chosen above other possibilities because it was the cheapest to build and less expensive to maintain once in operation. Haviland remarked he chose the design to promote "watching, convenience, economy, and ventilation" (Norman Johnson, Crucible of Good Intentions:35). Once construction of the prison was completed in 1836, it could house 450 prisoners in solitary confinement where they remained during their entire sentence except for serious illness.
Monday, June 15, 2009
This is the view down cell block seven at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I encourage everyone to take the tour if you have time while you're visiting Philadelphia. A really amazing building with an amazing history that not too many people know about.
According to the Penitentiary website: In May 1833, architect John Haviland created a new model for Cell Block Seven, one with several advantages over earlier cell blocks at the site. The most noticeable difference between Cell Block Seven and the previous two story cell blocks – Four, Five & Six – is the 30 foot barrel vault ceiling. In addition, Haviland set the catwalks back so they did not hang over the first floor. This made the block brighter and contributed to the Cathedral - like atmosphere. When Cell Block Seven was finished in 1836, it marked the completion of the original construction.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Saw this gal looking at me at the Philadelphia Zoo. She's a blue eyed Black Lemur. Only the males are black, the females remain light brown. Interestingly, they are the only primates besides humans that have blue eyes.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
From my last shoot with my motorcycle. I really like the way the texture works with the mechanical nature of this shot. A lot of power gets transferred through that chain to the tire, 123bhp at 12500rpm, with 53ft.lbs torque at 11750rpm to be exact. I guess I should have cleaned it before I took the shot.
This is an HDR image blended from three exposures. I then took out all of the red, yellow, and orange tones in photoshop so only the greens and blues were remaining (I left a little gold). I needed a break from posting all the flowers, so here it is.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
This shot was taken a few months ago near City Hall in downtown Philadelphia. The reflection is of City Hall's clock tower with William Penn standing on top. The gentleman's agreement in Philadelphia for many years was that no building could stand taller than the top of Ben Franklin's hat. The first building to break that rule was Liberty Place, which is actually the triangular topped building you can see in the upper left corner of this shot. That's one of the reasons I tried to get the two buildings in the same shot.
This is an HDR image blended from three exposures in Photomatrix. The colors were then adjusted in Photoshop.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Whenever anyone on Flickr posts a picture of a single tree in a meadow with beautiful clouds, I get jealous. I finally found one of my own. Unfortunately, at the time I didn't realize that my camera's ISO was set to 1600, which was less than ideal. Oh well.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Train crossing the Rockville Bridge just north of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Rockville Bridge is the longest stone-arch bridge in the world (although you can't really tell from this angle).
I grew up a few miles away, but never photographed it until this Memorial Day weekend. I saw the train car with all the graffiti coming up from the right, so I tried to get a shot where it was right above the arch. As I was watching it pass, I thought it would make a cool selective color shot.
This picture is actually three blended together. The bridge and water below it is an HDR image combined from three exposures. The clouds are from an under-exposed image, which gives them their depth. Finally, the train car is a third image in which I left the color. This is the same bridge in the shot I posted on May 29th if you couldn't tell.
Friday, June 05, 2009
This was going to end the week of flowers, because, as I keep saying, I'm not a big fan of flower shots. They're a bit banal. That said, as you should have figured out by now, I was a Longwood Gardens last weekend and they happen to have quite a few ... wait for it ... flowers. So I have a ton of flower shots saved on my computer. You'll just have to put up with them for another day or two.
These, water lilies are from the water lily garden at Longwood Gardens. I had never seen a garden dedicated specifically to water lilies before, but it was pretty cool. They dye the water black to get rid of a certain kind of bacteria, but also to make the flowers stand out more. It works.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Flower week continues here on NegativeMode. In a departure from my normal modus operandi, this shot is straight out of the camera with only minor adjustments to contrast and brightness. Color is as shot. In hindsight, I wish I wasn't using such a shallow depth of field and the petals were in better focus. Also, I forget what kind of hibiscus this was exactly.
I still have a few more shots from Longwood Gardens. You'll get my favorite one tomorrow, although this is a close second. Hope this lovely flower brightens up your dreary day (it's rainy and cool in Philly today).
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Since this has turned into Flower Week, I'm posting another shot I took of, wait for it, flowers. I've heard people say that taking pictures of flowers is for amateurs and beginner photographers, and, after taking more pictures, I agree with that sentiment to an extent. Taking a shot of a flower seems to me to be a safe, easy thing to do. They're generally colorful, have interesting features, and, importantly, they don't move. Basically, they're hard to screw up. That said, they're hard to make interesting too.
This is one of the first shots I took with my camera. It was taken at the Philadelphia Flower Show, which is like nirvana for beginner photographers: nothing but pretty flowers, bright colors, and they stay put. In hindsight, I don't think this is a particularly great or interesting shot because, like I said, it's just flowers, and everyone takes pictures of flowers.
The reason I posted it is so that it would be around the more recent flower shots I've taken, ones that I feel are more interesting, for you to compare. It's not that I think this is a bad shot, I just don't think it's very compelling or skillful. I think I've rambled enough, please enjoy the pretty pictures.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
My Mom had the most beautiful roses arranged on the kitchen table when I was home for Memorial Day Weekend. They were all the color of the middle two roses. I took this shot at night when only the kitchen light was shining down on them, which resulted in the dramatic lighting and black background.
Since my focus was on the two center roses, I decided to desaturate the rest to make those two stand out even more. Unadulterated, all of the roses would like like the center two.
Maybe I'll post pictures of flowers all week, even though I generally find flower shots to be pretty banal.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Went to Longwood Gardens this past weekend, which, for those of you that don't know, are beautiful gardens and a conservatory located near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The gardens were beautiful, but the conservatory was even more amazing. Some of the flowers and plants in there were stunning.
In the conservatory, there is an "orchid room" with nothing but different types of orchids. Some of the most beautiful orchids I've seen. I took a bunch of pictures of course. I'm not sure what type of orchid this is, but I thought it was neato.
Obviously, I added a lot of texturing to this photo, and I'm happy with the way it came out. As a point of reference, here's what the shot looked like directly out of the camera, without any postprocessing on my part: