Smithsonian Candidate #3…From The Speaker’s Balcony

I am thinking of entering the Smithsonian Photo Contest even though I have zero chance of winning. I say that not to denigrate my ability as a photographer, but each category already has over 50,000 entries. Sure a lot of them are crap but some, well follow the link above and see for yourself. Also you can only submit work from 1/1/2016 until the present and all works with people must have a model release.

If you are familiar with any of my work (e.g. Moment and Souls) you probably realize I don’t have a lot of model releases.

Fortunately I do have some images that may qualify in other categories and will be publishing some here to see if you feel they quality. Please comment and let me know your thoughts. This was taken from The Speakers Balcony of The Us Capitol. It kind of reflects the mood of the country.

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From The Speakers Balcony

An Aviary Moment

On November 11th along with former student and professional photographer Dale Schmitt we will open our two man show at the Percolate Gallery in Pittsburgh. The show is called Moments and Souls because Dale is known for his soulful portraits and I have been trying for decades to capture the decisive moment in photographs. If Dale is channeling Yousuf Karsh then I am trying to channel Henri Cartier-Bresson, Pete Davidson and Elliot Erwitt .

The difficult part for both of us is going through our work and choosing the twenty best examples of our work for the exhibition. Maybe after of the show we will publish a book of the winners and the out takes. I took this one at the National Aviary on Monday. It was shot through glass and isn’t good enough to exhibit but it is a moment that might make the book.

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An Aviary Moment

Baby Flamingo Update

We tried to go to see the eclipse at the Science Center today but it was literally a mob scene so instead we went to The National Aviary.

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild.

On July 18th I published an article on the baby flamingos when they were just 10 days old. They could barely walk. They have grown a lot and even are testing their wings. The blue bands are to strengthen their legs for wading.

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Baby Flamingo Update

Baby Flamingo Update

Baby Flamingo Update

Bluebird of Happiness

A few weeks ago I published a post about the National Aviary in Pittsburgh
The aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. We liked the Aviary so much that we have become members and plan to visit often. Soon I will publish an update on the baby flamingos.

Until then here is a picture of the Blue Bird of Happiness. Well at least it made me happy to see it flying over head.

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Blue Bird of Happiness

Baby Flamingos at the National Aviary

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild.

Right now you can see a special treat at the Aviary. Each morning they bring out the Baby Flamingos to meet the public. Maybe not quite as exciting as the baby elephant at the Zoo but they are awfully cute little creatures and learning how to walk.

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Baby Flamingos

The National Aviary–Part Two

This is the second in a series about the National Aviary in Pittsburgh
The aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. Although the Aviary has been in Pittsburgh for a long time on October 27, 1993, by declaration of the U.S. Congress, the Pittsburgh Aviary was designated honorary national status and renamed the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. It is truly a one of a kind experience that can only be found in Pittsburgh.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

The National Aviary Pittsburgh PA

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. Although the Aviary has been in Pittsburgh for a long time on October 27, 1993, by declaration of the U.S. Congress, the Pittsburgh Aviary was designated honorary national status and renamed the National Aviary in Pittsburgh. It is truly a one of a kind experience that can only be found in Pittsburgh.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

The National Aviary

The National Aviary

The National Aviary

Storm Clouds Over The Capitol

The U.S.Capitol is currently being renovated inside and out. They are working hard to have it ready for the inauguration next January. Too bad few inside the building are working at anything except making themselves richer and being errand boys for the lobbyists that own them. Sigh. Sorry, I really do try to keep politics off this blog.

The building is beautiful and so is its history. This is an HDR merge photo of the exterior front.

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Storm Clouds over the Capitol

Storm Clouds over the Capitol

The Washington Monument

Washington D.C. has a lot of wonderful monuments. The Lincoln and Jefferson are fantastic and so are the newer monuments. However, The Washington Monument is our Eiffel Tower and iconic of our democracy. It is also fitting since George Washington was the father of our country. Not just because he was the first President.

People wanted George Washington to be King but he said we had just worked to overthrow a King and we didn’t need another. People wanted him to rule the country as a General but he resigned his commission and insisted that the Military and The Government had to be separate. Along with Jefferson and many others he developed our Constitution and resigned his Army commission to become our first President. In his final speech he warned us about political parties and oligarchy. Too bad we didn’t listen.

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The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument

The Speaker’s Balcony

On our recent visit to The Nation’s Capitol we were given a personal tour of Congress by an aide to Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH). Our own Senator never answered our request and my great nephew arranged for the tour. I want to thank Mr. Tiberi’s office for arranging the tour on such short notice. I learned that if you want to visit go through your Representative or Senator rather than arrange a tour on your own.

There are many perks for doing this. Your group will be small, it was just myself and my wife. Your tour guide can save you hours in line. If Congress is not in session you will be allowed on the floor of Congress. You can only do this with a personal guide. It was really inspiring to sit in on one the chairs and have the view that congress has when listening to the State of The Union. Also the Representative from your home district will be knowledgeable about your state and the history as it relates to the Capitol.

You will be allowed to visit The Speaker’s Gallery which offers one of the best views of Washington DC. This is where the Speaker of the House can sit outside and enjoy a private lunch with his colleagues or a cigar. This is the view that the third most powerful person in our government enjoys every day.

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The Speaker's Balcony

The Speaker’s Balcony