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Category Archive for ‘Photography’

It is Sunday Night and I’m Editing Photos with LR5

It’s Sunday evening and I’m relaxing in the afterglow of a solid eight mile run earlier in the day. Yes, people, the runner’s high is real and it is fabulous. I’d thought I’d work on editing photos taken weeks ago that had promise but needed something more to boost the images.



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.






Meet Penny

Meet Jewel

Welcome to the family, Penny!

Penny is the newest addition to our family of pets. She is a mix of Chihuahua, Fox Terrier and Yorkie.  Just three years old, she is a bouncy ball of energy as well as a snuggle bunny.  She is quickly becoming my little shadow following me everywhere and snuggling next to me every chance she gets.  The prince of the house, otherwise known as Buster, seems non plussed by this new arrival and tolerates her presence.  I have noticed that Penny’s interest in his chew  toys has made Buster more interested in playing with his toys.  Buster has been far more active than usual and I’m so happy to see him interacting with his toys and with Penny.

So far, Penny has not displayed the same adversion to the camera as every other dog I’ve owned. I’m already behind post processing photos of this cutie-pie and have several snippets of video of her playing with her favorite ball. Here is one made a day or two after I adopted her. She has an exhuberant way to play fetch:

I missed having my little shadow follow me around and Tiny will always have a place in my heart.  Penny has her own personality quirks that are slowly manifesting as she adjusts to her new home; but one thing is clear, this is her forever home.

Welcome Penny!


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Supermoon Saturday

Moonlit Garden

June 2013 full moon has garnered the title of ‘super moon’ due to the moon being closest to perigree. What this means to us mere mortals is the full moon will be at its closest point to the earth.  What a fabulous time to take photographs of the moon. The one pictured above was taken in September 2012 at Longwood Garden. Quite frankly I was lucky to get this photo as I knew nothing at the time about lunar photography.  This time around, I researched what I need to use to snap a better photo of the moon.

Below are listed what gear and settings I plan to use to photograph the moon.

70-200 L lens
Lens Hood

ISO 100
Aperature f-11 or higher
Shutter Speed 1/125 through 1/250

Feel free to copy and try these settings tomorrow night.   If this works as planned, I will post the photos to this blog.  Please share links to your lunar photos in the comment section.

Here is a photo I took of tonight’s Supermoon.  The detail captured of the lunar surface is simply stunning!

Get over yourself!

The EXIF data for this photograph:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • 200mm
  • 100 ISO
  • F/4.0
  • 1/250 (0.004 sec)
  • +1 EV

The entire photoshoot tonight I kept humming ‘That’s Amore‘ and thinking of one of the best scenes from the Academy Award winning movie Moonstruck:


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!


Hello There!

Time flies when life happens.

Have been busy with work, travel and a half marathon in Virginia Beach. I didn’t really train for this Half and was ever so happy to complete the course with a sort of acceptable time of 2:14:00. Honestly, I had no idea how I would fare in this run since I made the decision to stop boot camp the month prior to this run. Brilliant move, girl.

As you can see in the short  FaceBook video below, I survived the run and was very, very happy to share the news:

I’ve gone back to bootcamp fitness training and have adding more miles of running per week in anticipation of  two big runs in April; The DC Cherry Blossom 10 miler and Nike Women’s Half Marathon. Also, the first Sunday in May is reserved for the awesome Philadelphia Broad Street Run where I am looking to PR.

The 2013 Philadelphia Flower Show this year showcased the best of Britain.  During my visit, I took a few hundred photos of the exhibits and found perhaps a dozen that actually look like I know how to work a camera.

Diner En Blanc Ideas

In a nutshell, I’ve been goofing off the past few weeks and have found myself behind in posting on the blog. No worries though as I  have some amazing content to share and plan to catch up on my posts this week.

One final note, an awesome reader of this blog is celebrating his birthday on March 30th and has made the following request:

For my birthday, Tania, I ask that you perform a random act of kindness to someone.
I would also like you to pray, read your Bible, or otherwise get close to God that day.

I will make sure to follow through on this request, Trevor.


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Farewell My Sweet Tiny

Le Poofy Dog

Though she be but little, she is fierce!

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the sudden passing of my little Pomeranian named Tiny. Her journey here on earth ended around 10 this morning, in her bed with those she loved near. He passing was quick and painless – one moment she was standing, the next, she shook free from the surly bond of life and went running into eternity.

In a few days, Tiny would have reached her 15th birthday. A great age for a little dog. In August, Xrays revealed an enlarged heart and liver along with a twist in her esophagus.  It was soon after that her health started to decline rapidly and changes in her baseline personality became more apparent. She was my constant shadow over the years. However, last night she stopped following me simply sitting motionless in the living room staring at nothing in particular; she did not react when I called her name or touched her.  I knew then her time was short yet was not prepared for how little time was left.



Everyone Loves Pancakes!

The Canon 40mm f/2.8 STM lens is especially delicious.


Took the lens out for a test drive at Longwood Garden conservatory in the midst of Orchid Extravaganza. I set the f-stop at 2.8 and strolled around the conservatory snapping pictures.  The lens is nicknamed ‘pancake’ for its compact size in comparison to other prime lenses. Though its size makes it less obtrusive for street photography, it does look a bit silly when paired with a hefty dSLR. However, I did feel more comfortable photographing people with this lens then with any of my other lenses.

The photos I captured during my conservatory walkabout were anything other than silly. The lens was quick to focus and did well in the variable lighting of the conservatory. I did notice some slight vignetting along the edges of the photos. The bokeh is excellent for this lens as it is a f/2.8.  The focal length of 40mm gives slightly more area for composition, however,  I was shooting with a cropped sensor camera. To get a better appreciation of this focal length, I need to slap this lens on my Rebel SLR and go for another photowalk.


All the photos shown were taken with the Canon 40mm f/2.8 and uploaded to Flickr via LightRoom. I did not apply any LR edits the photos, what you see is precisely what I photographed with this lens.  Feel free to click on the photos and examine the images in full resolution.


This lens retails about US$150 at Amazon.com making this a reasonably priced prime lens to add to your collection. This lens would be a great addition to your full frame dSLR as its 40mm focal length close matches the 35mm full frame sensor. The compact size and light weight of this lens makes it a great choice for street photography or fun photo walks.


I’m quite happy to with my purchase of this lens and look forward to using this lens on a future full frame Canon dSLR.


Finding Vivian Maier

The video biography takes a closer look at the mysterious street photographer, Vivian Maier and her posthumous rise to photographic acclaim.

If you have not had the chance to view her photos click on Vivian Maier Photography to view selected photos from her extensive portfolio. Trust me, every photo will draw you into her world. I was hooked with the first photo and continue to be awed her work.

Vivian Maier was and always will be a mystery. She completely sublimated her raw talent it was only after her death that the world became aware of her talent. Her photos, negatives, and undeveloped film rolls were auctioned off and the purchaser soon ‘discovered’ Vivian Maier.

Every time I view her work, I cannot help the disquieting reality that she did not benefit from her talent. She gave her photography passion everything she had, yet never allowed her work to support her. As her photos inspire an increasing numbers of photographers today, I can only imagine the impact her trailblazing talent could have had on photography and the perception of women photographers back in the day. We cannot undo the past, just learn from it and hopefully improve.

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