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Category Archive for ‘Pennsylvania’

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Don't go chasing waterfalls

Spent a few hours at Longwood Garden on this blistering hot day to learn the principles of daytime long exposure.  I set up shop at the waterfalls adjacent to the Chimes Tower. The above photo was created using a B&W ND10 circular filter. It took time to figure out the f-stops and exposure times that worked in capturing the type of photo I was after.  Believe me, the photo still needs more post processing work but it gives a basic idea of the type of photos you can capture with daytime long exposures. The EXIF data is as follows:

Camera Canon EOS REBEL T1i
Exposure 91
Aperture f/8.0
Focal Length 12 mm
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire

The next photo was taken without an ND Filter with the following EXIF data.  I am continually impressed with the quality of photos taken with the 40mm f/2.8 and would recommend this lens to new photographers as a replacement for the kit lens.

Old Man Waterfall

Camera Canon EOS REBEL T1i
Exposure 0.5
Aperture f/16.0
Focal Length 40 mm
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash On, Did not fire

I still have a substantial learning curve with daytime long exposures and look forward to many more chances to explore long exposure photography.   If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating type of photography, check out this video from Scott Kelby where he shares ideas on how to shoot daytime long exposure photography.






WCASB Primary Election Results


I am so delighted to report on a primary race that is near to my heart. The West Chester Area School Board (WCASB) has for the past four years been in the capable hands of my friend and fellow photographer – Sean Carpenter.  Primary elections were held this past Tuesday in Pennsylvania.  When the dust settled from election day, Sean Carpenter secured the highest number of votes within the slate of Republican primary contenders for WCASB: Carpenter 3,930, Coyle 3,637, LaTorre 3,573, Pimley 3,322.

Congratulations Sean!  I look forward to celebrating your victory in November and viewing your incredible photography.


Blogging and Running Update

April is fast coming to a close and I want to share a few updates and a rather interesting photo walk.

I had the opportunity to document the 24th annual Civil War reenactment held at Neshaminy Park in Bensalem, Pa. I brought two lenses, a 40mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/4. Let me tell you that there is a lot to love with both lenses. This year the battle of Mine Run 1863 was chosen for reenactment. Sorry, I’ve not as yet Googled the information on this battle. If you happen to know, feel free to leave a history lesson in the comment section. I chatted with two women representing the widows of the Civil War and spent time checking out the medical tent discussing triage strategies with a civil war battlefield physician. Also took a long look at a photo collage of soldiers who survived the war with amputations or disfiguring facial injuries and wondered how they managed with their disabilities post war. I’ve a love/hate opinion of reenactments. They are an amazing source of quality information about a time or event in history, yet I can’t help but think reenactments over romanticize brutal events in our history. Just my 0.2 cents on the matter.

Now it is time to look at pretty pictures:

Army of the Potomac

The full set of photos:

I run here, I run there…

This weekend I am heading to Washington DC to participate in the inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday April 28th. The following Sunday, May 5th, I am running the 2013 Broad Street 10 miler – a race I am so looking forward to completing. A few weeks later, on June 15th I’m registered to run the 2013 Half Sauer Half Kraut Half Marathon in Pennypack Park.  I sometimes wonder how I manage to keep smiling with all the training miles needed to maintain a fitness level to complete these distance runs. In addition, I’ve been dealing with a sudden case of foot numbness which will require orthotic inserts to (hopefully) correct this annoying issue.

On the blogging front – I still need to post race recaps for 2013 Yeungling Anthem Half Marathon, Virginia Beach and Cherry Blossom 10 miler in Washington, DC. I have all the photos and information read to go, I just need to finish the darn posts.

So, it is a bit busy at chez Tania at the moment; but I will work on keeping you all in the loop :)

Happy running, y’all!


Back To Good – Breakfast With Santa

Dinner is Served

Spent Sunday with the niece and nephew at Longwood Gardens Breakfast with Santa program. Ava was so star struck when meeting Santa she forgot her carefully curated list of Christmas gifts, making my little diva quite contrary until I promised to help her write a letter to Santa.



Romney Campaign Rally in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Last night 30,000 people gathered at Shadybrook Farm in Bucks County, PA  for a Romney/Ryan rally.  Despite the chilly temperature people patiently waited several hours for Mitt and Ann to arrive.

The Mitt Bus Rolls into the Rally

As I walked around the staging area, the feeling of the crowd was that of  organic upbeat enthusiasm.  People seemed hopeful and looking forward to election day. Presidential rallies are a quintessential American experience, something everyone should attend regardless of your political affiliation.  Due to a tight marathon training schedule, the Romney rally was the only one I was able to attend this year and I was not disappointed by the show.

Crowds at Rally

The dense crowd made photography a challenge and I glanced enviously numerous times at the photojournalists milling around their reserved media stand. One day, my friends, I’ll be on that stand.  Mitt and Ann arrived to the Rocky Theme and the crowd when wild. I was able to capture video of Ann’s introduction of her husband, Mitt Romney.

When Mitt spoke, the energy of the crowd was electric despite the hours of standing and the cold temperature. Mitt was interrupted numerous times with chants of ‘Two more days’ and ‘USA, USA’. He gave a solid speech and soon it was time for my favorite part…

Mitt Romney
Fireworks!!  I can never get enough of fireworks. What a great way to end a campaign rally.


What was your favorite rally the election season? Let me know in the comment section.


Rebuild America Bus Tour Rolls into Altoona, PA


H/T Marathon Pundit.

Rebuild America bus tour is holding a rally this Friday, November 2nd (voting day for some of you) in Altoona, PA. This organization has identified 5 swing states that it plans to focus its energy – Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. They believe that winning 3 of the 5 states is key for a Romney/Ryan victory and to that end have planned rallies in each of these states.

The Pennsylvania rally details are below. If you have time go check out the rally and don’t forget to take photos!

Friday, November 2nd
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Rally Location:
Bavarian Hall
1509 13th St
Altoona, PA 16601

Pennsylvania is showing signs of breaking from the tradition of electing the Democrat Presidential candidate this year. Although nothing in politics is certain until election day, polling data is beginning to show a trend towards both the Romney/Ryan ticket and Republican Senate candidate, Tom Smith. Rasmussen is now reporting the US Senate race in PA is essentially a tie.  While I am hesitant to call both of these races in Pennsylvania, this election will go one of two ways in PA: Tom Smith and Mitt Romney win PA or Casey JR and Obama will take PA.  This election comes down to a numbers game in Pennsylvania as there are more registered democrats than republicans. The outcome of the election depends upon which party can get more people to the polls. For Romney and Smith to have a credible chance to win in Pennsylvania two things need to happen – Republicans need a strong GOTV  drive in the suburban counties especially around Philadelphia combined with a sluggish, dispirited Democrat voter turnout in both Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.

 And that is my two cents on the election predictions. What are your thoughts on the PA presidential and senate race?


Philly Marathon Training Update

My new part-time job :) #redefinepossible @NikeRunning

Good Friend ‘A’: “Hey, Tania, how are you?”

Me: “The same – sore, tired and hungry.”

Good Friend ‘A’: “Ah, marathon training going well then.”


It Must Be Election Season

Fox Chase Farm

Fall is heating up and I’m not talking about foliage.

An October surprise?  Gallop is reporting that among 2012 Presidential election voters, Romney is gaining with 52% of the vote over Obama’s 45%.  This is not surprising considering the three strong debates from the Romney/Ryan ticket over the past couple of weeks. The public had the chance to evaluate both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan without the filter of the main stream media and numerous polls reflect their impression.  In addition, the devastating debate performances by both Obama and Biden helped  clarify the differences between the two teams.  This change in polling is not unexpected.

In Pennsylvania, Susquehanna Polling and Research released the results of its polling data showing Romney taking the lead in Pennsylvania. The same polling report also shows Republican Senate Candidate Tom Smith, with two point lead over his rival, incumbent Democrat Senator Bob Casey, Jr.  Some Philly politicos have been breaking out the champagne over this poll result. I remain cautiously optimistic at this point, as it is only data from one poll. I will look for more polling data to see if this was simply an outlier poll or the beginning of a trend. Real Clear Politics labels the presidential race in Pennsylvania as a ‘Toss Up’.  I agree with this assessment and don’t have enough data to comfortably make a general prediction at this time.

Let me know your thoughts on the national presidential race and/or the Pennsylvania Senate race.



Dick Morris proclaims ‘Pennsylvania is the new Ohio‘.  It is possible to lose Ohio if you carry Pennsylvania and still win.  Pennsylvania holds 20 electoral college votes compared to Ohio’s 18 votes.  It is mathematically possible for a Romney/Ryan win if they pick up PA and lose OH.    As Morris points out, the Obama campaign has a very light advertising presence, then again so does Romney’s campaign. I catch far more Senate candidate commercials than Presidential commercials on the rare occasions I’m watching the TeeVee.

Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll has Obama ahead of Romney in Pennsylvania –  48 percent Obama to 39 percent Romney – a 14 point spread.  It also reports incumbent Senate Candidate Casey, JR with a 6 point lead over the Republican candidate, Tom Smith.

GOP SuperPAC poll has Smith and Casey, JR tied at 43 percent. No crosstab data was released.

Let Freedom Ring via Pulse Opinion Research conducted a survey of 1,000 likely voters shows incumbent Obama holding a 48 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  Incumbent Casey, Jr holds onto a thin 47 percent to 46 percent lead over Republican Senate candidate, Tom Smith.

All polls outside of election day should be scrutinized carefully. These polls have broad ranging results and can kink up the predictions of PA election tea leaf readers. It boils down to a ground game of GOTV in Pennsylvania  The successful candidate will be the one who is  more successful in turning out voters on election day.  While election fraud is a serious concern, I worry that local right of center political groups are focusing too heavily on poll watching and not so much on GOTV drives.


Democrat Messaging Problem

When no one's listening? #impact #madewithOver #textography @madewithOver

This presidential campaign season has been witness to a remarkable erosion of the once formidable message discipline within the Democrat Party. Since the DNC convention where the most talked about event was when the DNC delegates booed God to Obama’s inability to articulate his American vision during the first presidential debate and now the latest fumble centering around a Democrat State Representative in Pennsylvania who completely rejects the premise of our Pledge of Allegiance.

Democrat state Representative Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) who is resigning after 28 years refused to state the pledge of allegiance due to her objection to the inclusion of ‘under God’ in the Pledge.  It is understood that she can omit the phrase she finds offensive when asked to lead the pledge. From a pure marketing perspective reading stories like this is like scraping metal on a chalkboard. Ouch!

The take home message of her statement reads more like this: As a Democrat, Do not trust me to look after your well being. I pledge loyalty to nothing outside my own personal whims. It is a matter of trust.  Looking at this from two real world angles; what if  a human resource associate is interviewing Babette Josephs for a staff position where she finds certain aspects of the company’s mission statement to be offensive and refuses to abide by them?  What level of confidence would the HR associate have in entrusting the future prosperity of the company in Babette’s hands?  Parents considering hiring Babette to care for their child where d she finds parts of their expectations to be offensive and refuses to abide by them. How comfortable would the parents be in entrusting their child with her?  Again, it is a matter of trust.

Along with trust,  words ALWAYS matter. Democrats seem to be off kilter with their messaging strategy this election cycle. Pennsylvania is a purple state and at this point I believe the  state could go to either party in November. It surprises me to see these stories leaking out so close to a very critical election. I was expecting the well oiled messaging machine of 2008 to be right back in place for the 2012 election cycle since the same people, more or less, are running this machine.

What are your thoughts on Democrat messaging versus Republican messaging during this campaign?



Light’s Out in One Week at Longwood Garden

One week left to take in the spectacular “Light” installations designed by Bruce Munro. I would strongly suggest rearranging your schedule to accommodate a visit. I make a point to visit this garden often, as evidenced by my Flickr photo feed.  The bar is set high within this exquisite garden and for this exhibit to surpass it is quite the feat.  I’m not kidding, I had tears well up the first time I viewed this exhibit.  It is far more beautiful than what I captured on camera. It is an exhibit you have to see in person.

Longwood Garden on their website describes the exhibition:

Experience Longwood Gardens in a whole new Lightthrough the evocative and imaginative art of Bruce Munro, British artist and light designer.

Never before seen in the United States, this debut exhibition illuminates the gardens with large-scale, site-specific light installations.

Wander through a field of light reminiscent of flowers, discover a meadow of glowing towers changing hues, and delight in a shower of cascading raindrops fashioned from delicate lights as you are immersed in a new and truly unique garden experience. Both indoors and outdoors, by day and by night, Light will change the way you see gardens.

For those who cannot visit,  I offer these photos I took during several trips to view this installation. As I mentioned earlier in this post, my photos frustrate me as I don’t believe I’ve adequately captured the essence of this exhibit. However, for your perusal, are a few that give you a taste of this remarkable exhibit.


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