Over Christmas, I spent the week with my nieces and nephew (oh, and the rest of the family…). I always come with plenty of craft and game ideas for the kids, but this year… as we were wondering around one of those “everything’s a dollar” stores, my husband spied an aisle of glow-jewelry and got a bright (hehe) idea for a fun time with the kids, that was really all a project for me ;-) So, a basket full of necklaces and bracelets in every available color later, and a rave with a 3, 6, and 8 yo in the basement, and this is what we got! The kiddos had a blast, and I got to take some really cool shots. Trying to get them to do anything planned was a bit like herding kittens, so everything here (except my poor attempt at drawing angel wings) was spontaneous. Maybe it’s just because I did it with kids, but I see animals and dinosaurs in a lot of the shots… what do you see?

holy moly….

I’m not much for going to church, but I sure do love to go in them. The first place we visited on our walking tour of Philadelphia (not counting the trip to Eastern State Penitentiary the day before… still working through that set! photographer’s dream!) was the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. This cathedral was built around 1850, back when the Catholic Church was apparently quite flush with cash! Absolutely gorgeous, intricate ceiling, statues, stained glass… you know, all of the things that you need to worship… At least the starving artists of the day were getting paid.

Christ Church burial ground

One of the stops during my visit to Philadelphia over the Thanksgiving holiday was to the Christ Church burial ground, where Benjamin Franklin is buried (and several other important figures in American history, but like most Americans I couldn’t tell you anything about who they are or what they did…). The more interesting aspect of this cemetery, for me at least, is the old worn away gravestones that means no one knows who’s buried there.

warming up

If I ever have a bright idea to visit a tropical exhibit of butterflies in the middle of walking around Philadelphia in November, I really hope whomever I’m with bashes me on top of the head! 85°F (30°C) with 80% humidity after a couple of hours at 40°F (4°C) with no humidity means about 30min of sitting in a sauna, waiting for the condensation to leave the lens. Oh, and did I mention that I was wearing a sweatshirt and fleece-lined leggings under jeans in that sauna? Yeah, I’ve had better ideas… at least the butterflies were worth it!

where the angels live

It’s been forever since I’ve been togging at a cemetery, but I finally made time to wander around Allegheny National Cemetery this weekend. The main goal was to try out a wide angle lens that has recently been added to my collection– what an experience that is! Slight shifts in the camera and you get completely different perspectives, a bit like looking at a funhouse mirror. It’s fun, but definitely going to take some practice. I’ve also played around alot today with the processing… usually I try to keep a similar tone throughout, but some of these just needed to be B/W and others needed color–so you get a mix of both.

waterfalls

Last month, I visited McConnell’s Mill Park and tried to take a step back and focus on the big picture, rather than just closing in for macro shots with lots of pretty bokeh. I carried my tripod around for about 6 miles and must say that it was worth feeling like a pack mule when I finally got the chance to go through my photos this past weekend. Here are a few from the Hell’s Hollow trail.