Winter is Coming!

No, I am not talking about “Game of Thrones”. In the Pocono mountains winter comes early though, just like it does for the Starks. Last year we had our biggest snowfall in October. The leaves were not completely off the trees when we got our surprise snowfall last year and it made a colossal mess. I am hoping for even less snow this year, I hate winter! You can buy a print of this image on my commercial gallery by clicking here.

A Winter Oak

L’shanah Tovah: Portuguese Synagogue

Tonight is the beginning of one of the most sacred holidays in Judaism: Yom Kippur. I can’t help but wonder what services would look like in the beautiful Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is known for its Red Light District, Canals, Coffee Shops and Museums. Nestled in this backdrop is one of the great Synagogues of the world. It was built by Spanish Jews escaping the Spanish Inquisition. Since Holland and Spain were at war with one another, those escaping persecution said they were Portuguese to gain entry in to the country. Many Synagogues in Europe restrict access due to persistent anti-Semitic feelings. However the Portuguese Synagogue is open for visitors for a small fee. You can also attend services on Friday or Saturday without paying a fee. The entire Synagogue is lit by candles and there is an excellent Judaica store where you can buy beautiful souvenirs and find out about the history of the building.L’shanah Tovah (Happy New Year!)

Portuguese Synagogue Amsterdam Holland

Zombie Classic –35th Anniversary

This year marks the Thirty-Fifth Anniversary of the Zombie classic, “Dawn of the Dead (1978)”. I was the only Photojournalist on the set at Monroeville Mall outside of Pittsburgh PA and you can read my exclusive interview about the experience in this month’s issue of UndeadZine. You can also see images and buy prints on my commercial gallery by clicking here. This image sums up the experience of the Life of a Film Director from Anguish to Joy in about five seconds. This is the film’s director George Romero, thirty five years ago.

The Joy and Anguish of Directing George Romero 1978

Pittsburgh from the Southside

We are looking to move back home to Pittsburgh soon. We haven’t lived there since 1978 although we have visited many times to see family and friends. There is a reason that Pittsburgh is frequently listed as one of the best places to live in recent years. Low real estate costs, reasonable taxes, one of the best medical centers and solid public transportation to list just a few. It is also a very clean city. People frequently see Pittsburgh as viewed from the North Side where you can see the confluence of the rivers. This is a more pedestrian view from the South Side with the deck of the Gateway Party Liner in the foreground. You can buy a print of this image on my commercial gallery by clicking here.

Pittsburgh from the Southside

My Interview with UndeadZine

The new issue of UndeadZine is out which features my interview about being a photojournalist on the set of Dawn of the Dead (1978). The magazine has lots of other interesting stuff and is available for tablets and phones with the free Undeadzine App that you can get at the App Store. The issue itself cost just $2.99. You can see my exclusive behind the scene images on my commercial gallery by clicking here.

Richard Burke Interview at UndeadZine

Kreplach for the High Holy Days

In the Jewish religion, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the High holy days. They are the celebration of the lunar New Year and the day of Atonement. While I am not a very religious person, I do enjoy the culture and the basis of most cultures start with food. Kreplach are little meat filled dumplings that are great in chicken soup or in a stir fry. They can be made any time but traditionally are made on the HIgh Holy Days. This video features my lovely wife, Hinda and her recipe and technique which she learned from her mother. It is long video and old school but filled with great cooking tips and by the end you will be able to make your own Kreplach and eat them too.

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Panning Running Deer

Most still photographers don’t think about panning very much. Panning is commonly used in cinematography but in still photography will cause motion blur. Sometimes motion blur can make an image work by giving the illusion of motion. If you place the camera on a tripod and pan with the action during a slow shutter speed you can still create blurred motion but through panning make the subject blur less. This was shot at an exposure of 1 second and the camera was panned with the action during exposure. The panning causes the background to blur but by panning with the action the deer are not blurred as much making them stand out. You can see more of my nature images at my gallery by clicking here

Running Deer

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Anne Frankhuis Amsterdam

The only time I ever went to the Anne Frankhuis I only had a two megapixel digital camera with me. It was in 2002 and their weren’t too many cameras that higher resolution and since I didn’t have high speed film, the digital camera was the only choice. As I looked out of the window staring at the tree that she saw every day and wrote about, a group of school children were marching by on their way to school. It struck me in an instant that she witnessed this same scene every day as she was cut off from being a children. It still brings tears to my eyes. You can see other work from my European Gallery by clicking here.

Anne Fankhuis Amsterdam NL

http://www.annefrank.org

Dino Valenti–Caught in the Act

It was 1973 and I only had one lens for my new Nikon F3 camera. We were sitting in the stands at a rock festival at the University of Pittsburgh stadium when I noticed Dino Valenti from Quicksilver Messenger Service sitting in the stands right behind me. They were scheduled to go on later in the day and were watching and listening to Billy Preston as we were. I turned and snapped this picture which was the first photojournalistic image I ever took. You can buy a print of this image at my commercial gallery by clicking here.

Dino Valenti of Quicksilver Messenger Service

Caught in The Act