The Cathedral of Learning, at the University of Pittsburgh

Cathedral of Learning

Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA


Liz outside the Cathedral of Learning.

Liz outside the Cathedral of Learning.


Swiss Nationality Room window

A window in the Swiss Nationality Room.

July 1st, 2012 Photography 1 Comment



An assignment to make the familiar strange.

January 25th, 2012 Photography 0 Comment

Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh, PA

The Duquesne Incline is one of our favorite stops when we’re showing people who are visiting us around Pittsburgh.

The Duquesne Incline from below.The incline descending with Pittsburgh in the background.

The incline descending with Pittsburgh in the background.

The incline descending with Pittsburgh in the background.

A view of Pittsburgh from the top of the Duquesne Incline

A view of Pittsburgh from the top of the Duquesne Incline

These photos where taken when Liz’s mother and grandmother were visiting a few weeks ago. According to there website, the Duquesne Incline was voted one of the top ten sites in the world for viewing a cityscape. The view is the main reason we like to bring people there, but the Incline itself is a fun piece of history.

October 1st, 2011 Photography Tags: , 1 Comment

Trip to DC: National Cherry Blossom Festival

Liz on the Metro

Liz & I drove down to Washington DC  for the weekend of April 2nd & 3rd, while the National Cherry Blossom Festival was going on. I’ve never really been to DC, I’ve driven around the beltway a bunch of times going to other points south, and I’ve even driven through downtown by the National Mall once, but I’ve never spent any amount of time there walking around and taking things in. We didn’t have time to see everything obviously, but I had a good time, and look forward to going back to see more. Those monuments are a lot more impressive up close than in photos or movies.
We drove down first things Saturday morning to meet Liz’s family in Alexandria, and then took the DC Metro into the downtown area. Before getting  to the Tidal Basin, where the majority of the cherry blossom trees are, we wandered down Independence Ave., and stopped in the Haupt Garden in front of the Smithsonian Castle. There were beautiful pink trees in the garden, and having never been to see the Cherry Blossoms, I thought those were the Cherry Blossoms. Turns out they were Saucer Magnolia Trees, but beautiful none the less.

Smithsonian Castle & Haupt Garden

Saucer Magnolia in the Haupt Garden

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April 7th, 2011 Photography 1 Comment

Flickr Friday – 1/28/11

I’ve decided to start posting more photos on my flickr account. Photos I don’t particularly want to add to my main portfolio, or write an entire blog post about. So I’ll post a weekly update with info about the new photos that have been added to the flickr account.

This week I took some interesting photos of Ellie & Aslan, two of the pets at Liz’s house.

Click here for to go to the photoset.

January 28th, 2011 Photography 0 Comment

New Year’s Resolution

Mine is to take more photos.

I’ve been searching online for the past few days for inspiration and things to encourage me to take my camera out more often. Since I’ve found a few that I like, and there are probably others that would enjoy these, I thought I’d share.

Most recently, a post by Scott Bourne at photofocus, is a project I intend to work on through out the year. His list of 20 ideas is wonderful, and my plan is to shoot one idea a month at minimum, and hopefully shoot all 20 ideas before 2012. You can see all of his ideas here.

Contest are also something that I find helpful to get me going. Popular Photography has the monthly Your Best Shot contest, which is something I should start submitting too regularly, but it doesn’t provide any kind of creative spark. Getting a photo published in there magazine would be wonderful though. If you like shooting outdoors and nature, Outdoor Photographer is holding the 2nd Annual Great Outdoors Photo Contest, which is a bit more focused, but still doesn’t provide what I sometimes need to get me going and inspire me to make time to make photos.

What I’m really looking for are assignments, and I found a few. Outdoor Photographer has an assignment section, the current one being Snow & Ice with a deadline of January 25th. This is something I’ve just found, and I’m very excited to get involved with this. The New York Institute of Photography Photo Forum also has two assignment sections, one created by the staff and a “Mini Challenge” section created by the users. It’s things like these that get me going when I’m in a photographic slump, which describes me well lately.

Hopefully with the help of these things, you’ll be seeing more photographs around here soon.

January 18th, 2011 Photography 0 Comment

Reminder: The 32nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition @ the Monmouth Museum

This Saturday, January 15th from 4-6pm, come see the 92 selected works for the 32nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition at the Monmouth Museum. You’ll have a chance to not only see all the amazing art that made the show, you’ll also be able to meet most of the artists in person, and if you really like a piece, most of them are for sale.

January 12th, 2011 Photography Tags: 0 Comment

Opportunity Vs. Intention

While living in Texas, I went to a photography exhibition, at the Houston Center for Photography, with a girl I’d only known a short time. While we were appreciating the works, I commented that I really liked a photo of the Wisconsin Dells, a landscape photograph. She said she did not care for it, that she liked a conceptual photograph, it was a photo of a silverware drawer with a handwritten note in it. Being primarily a nature photographer, I was slightly offended that she did not think much of landscape photography. Recently I’ve come to understand her reasoning though.

As my last post said, I entered two photographs into a juried exhibition, and only one was accepted. I’m very happy either of them were accepted, and did not really expect both to be. When I ask myself why the one that was chosen got in, which was a conceptual piece, and why the one that wasn’t accepted did not get in, which was a nature photography, I can say that maybe the judge was just trying to be fair and not accept two works from one person, since there were many entries and few available spots comparatively. When I’m being honest with myself I’ll admit that I don’t really think that. Both photos entered were beautiful, I know that, but only one was created with intention, the other was created from opportunity.

I find my photos that I have created with a specific intention to be much more artistically fulfilling than those created of opportunity. My nature photography work makes me happy, the activity of going out into the wild and capturing the world through my eyes, is fulfilling. Although, looking back on the images does not make me feel very creative or artistic. The images, while they may be technically almost perfect, or close to it, display my ability to use a camera and other associated equipment, and to be lucky or patient. They do not show my creative ability other than my composition skills.

I’m not going to stop taking nature photographs. I will start paying more attention to ways I can incorporate more artistic creativity into my nature photography. I also plan on expanding my conceptual photography work.

December 23rd, 2010 Photography Tags: 0 Comment

Monmouth Museum 32nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition

I have entered two pieces into the Monmouth Museum 32nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition, and the one below was accepted.

Chris Townley © Copyright 2007

The show opens on January 15, 2011, with an opening reception from 4 – 6:00 pm, and closes on February 27, 2011.

The photograph, which is entitled “Light” was created in 2007 for a gallery show while I was living in Houston, TX, but was never entered. The theme of the show was light, and this was my interpretation. The bulb itself is not glowing. The image was captured in a dark room, and the light was “painted” on the bulb with a flashlight while the camera shutter was locked open.

The Annual Juried Art Exhibition was founded by the Monmouth County Arts Council in 1979 and for 32 years it has been held at the Monmouth Museum. Last year the Museum and MCAC co-sponsored the exhibition in a year of transition. In 2011, the Museum has completely taken over sponsorship of this annual program. We will build on the excellent reputation of this long-established exhibition and champion its success for many years to come. This annual exhibition embraces the arts, savors the creativity of many talented artists, and has become a tradition at the Monmouth Museum. Works in all genres and media are representative of developments and trends in the art community. Juror: Marion Grzesiak, Executive Director, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey.

December 22nd, 2010 Photography Tags: 0 Comment

Focus on Wildlife

The First Annual Garden State Nature Photography Exhibition andSale

A Benefit for Woodlands Wildlife Refuge

Autumn will play host to a dual tribute to New Jersey’s wildlife on Sunday, November 7th. At the historic Unionville Vineyards in Ringoes, New Jersey, thirteen of the state’s amateur and professional wildlife photographers will combine their efforts to support Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, a wildlife rehabilitation facility which cares for 800-1000 of New Jersey’s orphaned and injured wild animals annually.

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October 3rd, 2010 Photography Tags: 0 Comment