Blackwater Falls State Park #2

On December 31, 2010, in Photography Tips, West Virginia, by admin

Elakala Falls #1, Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

This is an image of the first waterfall on Shay Run in Blackwater Falls State Park.  Known as Elakala Falls, there are four separate waterfalls as Shay Run descends the Blackwater Gorge.  The falls get progressively more difficult to access as you descend the gorge.  Kevin Adams book, Waterfalls of Virginia And West Virginia, contains a great description on how to access each of the four falls.  I made it the third fall, but by that point my wife could not go further.  If you ever have plans to descend to the fourth fall let me know, I will go with you!

The swirls in the water are the result of the two second shutter speed.  This slow shutter speed also gives the falls that veil appearance that I prefer.

Blackwater Falls State Park is a small park and all of the major falls are easily accessible.  An easy three hour drive from DC makes this a scenic day trip, especially in the spring and fall when colors abound.

Philadelphia Graffiti Underground

On December 31, 2010, in Pennsylvania, by admin
Philadelphia Graffiti Underground

Philadelphia Graffiti Underground

This image was taken at a place in Philadelphia called the “Graffiti Underground”.  The area appears to be an abandoned loading pier jutting out into the Delaware River.  The concrete structures look like the support beams for a rail spur.

This is a great location to work on compositions consisting of repeating shapes and bright colors.  There are also a lot of neat textures and small color patterns for close-up and macro work.  The first structure on the pier has larger columns spaced further apart and some rooms with graffiti on three walls.  The second structure has smaller columns placed closer together which make for a different type of composition.  This image was taken near the front of the first area with the larger columns.

The Graffiti Underground is only a 15 minute drive through Philadelphia from the Eastern State Penitentiary.  Two great locations that can be combined into a single day trip from DC.

To find the Graffiti Underground, enter “2225 Richmond St, Philadelphia, PA” in  This address takes you to an industrial warehouse with a road looping behind the back.  The image below shows the satellite picture of the area.  Park where indicated and then walk about 1/4 mile along the path.  If you go north under the interstate there are a lot of restaurants and gas stations.  It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Springfield, VA (with no traffic!).

Eastern State Penitentiary Part II

On December 28, 2010, in Pennsylvania, by admin

Cell Block 9 Mirrors, Eastern State Penitentiary

The images above show the facing mirrors located in Cellblock 9 in the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA.  The image on the left shows both mirrors.  Note the fire extinguisher along the right side.  Not shown are the exit sign and the museum information sign.  These are distractions you need to work around.  The mirrors can be arranged to show the length of the hallway or to focus on the hanging door visible in the left image.

I used the mirrors for the image on the right.  I focused on the portion of the walls just below the two mirrors.  If you did not see the image on the left, my image on the right would appear to be an abstract.  Try to imagine what the right image is without the left image.  Kinda like an M. C Escher image huh?

Next time I will do something to improve the image.  Notice the slight shadows on the upper left edge of the right image.  I find the shadow a bit distracting and would like to get rid of it without doing a lot of photoshop work.  I will take a reflector and try to redirect some light up into that area to get rid of that shadow.