View 335: Syracuse Night Photography Tour

Statue of Ben Franklin in Franklin Square Park in Syracuse, New York was the start of the Syracuse at Night Teaching Tour on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Statue of Ben Franklin in Franklin Square Park in Syracuse, New York was the start of the Syracuse at Night Teaching Tour on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 30s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, tripod.

I am a member of two online and local photography Meetup groups.  One, the Syracuse Photographers Association, is an invitation only (just ask!) group which has an active forum and meets regularly for social and photography reasons. The other, Syracuse Area Photography Classes, is run by local photographer Phil Spitze who teaches classes for people wanting to learn how to use their cameras and create better photographs.

In the past, Phil has done mostly classroom sessions.  This year he introduced Teaching Tours. These tours give opportunity for group and individual instruction in fun and interesting places to photograph.  He has done tours of Waterfalls and Zoo Animals so far this year. A couple of weekends back, I attended his latest one: Syracuse at Night.  The subject was night photography and tripods were required. :)

Phil picked the evening of the full moon in hopes of getting photos of it rising over the Syracuse cityscape.  The clouds which stuck around were both aggravating and rewarding as the moon played peek-a-boo with us.

Full moon rising over Franklin Square during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Full moon rising over Franklin Square during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1s, f/11, ISO 4000, EV 0, 75mm focal length, tripod, cropped.

From Franklin Square, our group of six photographers with tripods slung over each one’s shoulders took the Onondaga Creekwalk from Franklin Square towards Clinton Square. We stopped under the Route 690 bridges and practiced using different white balance settings. I liked this one using the Cloudy White Balance under the sodium lighting along the path.

Under the Route 690 Bridges on the Onondaga Creekwalk taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Under the Route 690 Bridges on the Onondaga Creekwalk taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 15s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 75mm focal length, tripod.

The next stop was Clinton Square.  A very popular place people enjoy all day and into a hot summer’s evening.  I found this group of young women talking as the water fountains and Soldiers and Sailors Monument looked on.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

The tour lasted a couple of hours and I did the last shot.  I know but I just had to get a motion photo of the cars moving north and south on Salina Street past Clinton Square. Yes, I had to.

Cars going up and down Salina Street and leaving light trails over a long exposure as they passed the Onondaga Savings Bank building and Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Cars going up and down Salina Street and leaving light trails over a long exposure as they passed the Onondaga Savings Bank building and Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

If you live in upstate New York, give these two Meetup groups a try.  If you live elsewhere, check out MeetUp.com for photography and other groups in your area.

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View 334: The Stanley Cup

Fans of the Stanley Cup show their appreciation during the viewing event at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.

Fans of the Stanley Cup show their appreciation during the viewing event at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 120mm focal length, cropped, flash.

Is it possible to have a love affair with a sports trophy? Fans of the NHL sure do have an attachment to the Stanley Cup, the league’s championship trophy.  LA Kings Captain and Ithaca native Dustin Brown brought the Stanley Cup to a viewing event at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014. Dustin Brown is a two time winner of the Stanley Cup as the LA Kings won it in 2012, too. Hundreds waited for hours to get a chance to have their photo taken (including Yours Truly) for a small donation to go towards Ithaca charities.

Fans of the National Hockey League and Ithaca native Dustin Brown wait in line for a chance to have their picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

Fans of the National Hockey League and Ithaca native Dustin Brown wait in line for a chance to have their picture taken with the Stanley Cup.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, flash.

The Stanley Cup was on display for over two hours and there was still a long line of people when they cut it off.  Dustin Brown only had it for one day and there was another event he and Stanley needed to get to. My party and I did get to pose with the Stanley Cup before it made its exit.  First was big LA Kings fan, TJ, who is also a Syracuse Crunch season ticket holder.

LA Kings fan, TJ, posing for his photo with the Stanley Cup at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.

LA Kings fan, TJ, posing for his photo with the Stanley Cup at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 50mm focal length, flash.

Then is was my turn.  My wife and I felt justified on touching the Stanley Cup as both our teams had won it in the past: Anaheim Ducks (once) and my Montreal Canadiens (24 times).

Waited a couple of hours for this.  Thanks to Dave Burbank Photography for all his hard work and this photo.

Waited a couple of hours for this. Thanks to Dave Burbank Photography for all his hard work and this photo.

The Stanley Cup which Dustin Brown brought to Ithaca is one of two official cups the NHL uses.  The other one is on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.  There you do not have to wait as long to have your photo taken with it.  You can also see the original Stanley Cup given by Lord Stanley of Preston which, is kept in the vault at the Hall of Fame in a walk through display along with all the retired rings.

To be there with a Stanley Cup winning player was very special.

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View 333: Fireworks Season

The days leading up to and after the July 4th holiday in the United States of America is, what I call, Fireworks Season. Cities, towns and villages big and small celebrate the birth of their country with patriotic displays featuring fireworks. I attended the following shows over the last couple of weeks.

The City of Syracuse decided to combine their annual July 4th Fireworks show with the Syracuse Chiefs AAA baseball team.  The city bought out the general admission seating at the NBT Bank Stadium and gave the tickets away to anyone who wanted them.  This amounted to the first Sold Out game of the season for the Chiefs.  While the home team lost in extra innings, the fireworks show afterwards was spectacular.

Fireworks explode over the NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York after the Syracuse Chiefs baseball game on July 4, 2014.

Fireworks explode over the NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York after the Syracuse Chiefs baseball game on July 4, 2014.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/2s, f/8, ISO 3200, EV 0.

The above photo was taken hand held as the stadium rules do not allow fans to bring in tripods or monopods.  I did brace myself against a cement wall and set the upper ISO limit to 3200.  Using the Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens helped as it is very light and easy to keep stable.

My home town of Baldwinsville ended their Seneca River Days celebration with fireworks over the river.

Seneca River Days fireworks show over the Seneca River in Baldwinsville, New York on Saturday, June 14, 2014.

Seneca River Days fireworks show over the Seneca River in Baldwinsville, New York on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 22.7s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod, cropped.

Here is another one from the LEON Day fireworks show I shared with you last week.

LEON Day Festival at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, New York on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

LEON Day Festival at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, New York on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 9.8s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod, cropped.

The last two were done the more traditional way with a tripod, cable release and using my camera’s Bulb mode.  Click Here for my Fireworks Tutorial detailing the technique. There is still plenty of summer left with more fireworks shows to photograph.  Enjoy!

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View 332: LEON Day

LEON Dayhalfway mark to Christmas. Leon is Noel spelled backwards. It is celebrated on June 25th, i.e. the turning point when Christmas begins to come closer on the calendar.

For the first time ever, Syracuse had a LEON Festival to celebrate LEON Day.  Local radio station Sunny 102 played Christmas music all day, Onondaga County Park and Recreation put up a few Lights on the Lake displays and many free family oriented activities. After sunset, the dropped an Orange Ball half way to mark the half way point to Christmas followed by fireworks.

LEON Festival montage at the Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, New York.

LEON Festival montage at the Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, New York.

From top left, a Bouncey House was one of the free activities for the kids, LEON Festival logo, a Lights on the Lake display  with the Orange Ball in the background.  A series of firework photos from the show at the bottom. The middle photo is the Mercy Flight helicopter getting ready to take off from the festival grounds after the fireworks show.

LEON Festival was delayed a day due to some very inclement weather in the Syracuse area on June 25th.  Did not deter from the enthusiasm of the large crowd which attended including Santa Claus, Elves and many families.

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View 331: Summer Breeze

Sailboat eclipses the sunset  on Lake Ontario as seen from Brennan Beach RV Park & Campground as the first day of the Summer of 2014 comes to an end.

Sailboat eclipses the sunset on Lake Ontario as seen from Brennan Beach RV Park & Campground as the first day of the Summer of 2014 comes to an end.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 120mm focal length.

The first day of Summer for 2014 lasted 15 hours and 34 minutes at my latitude and ended in a beautiful sunset.  I photographed the event from the eastern shore of Lake Ontario as a sailboat taking advantage of the summer breeze moved past.

Reminded me of a time back in 1972 as my parents drove us to St. Louis, Missouri, to visit my sister and her family.  The hit song at the time was Seal & Croft’s Summer Breeze.

 

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