Monthly Archives: May 2014

Last Day of May

140531_PV Park Vert Pan by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF55-200 @ 55mm, f/11, 1.2 sec, ISO 800

Today is the last day of May.  It was a beautiful late Spring morning.  I could not help but to get up early and walk along Lake Galena in near by Peace Valley Park.  My eyes were not picking up interesting subjects.  I used a technique recommended to me by Tony Sweet to just start panning and shooting to get going.  I have learned to consistently fall back on this technique to get my “juices” flowing.  It was a nice morning.

Kimmel Center Reflections

140527_Kimmel Ctr 3 by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF 18-55mm @ 55mm, f/5.0, 1/420 sec, ISO 400

The reflections of the window frames within the windows are what attracted me to this perspective of the Kimmel Center.  The frames remind me of giant metal claws.

I tried working with B&W on this image.  I liked the sky blue and the structure blue-grey interaction over the grey scale of B&W.


140527_LOVE Sculpture by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF18-55mm @ 55mm, f/4.0, 1/1200 sec, ISO 400

I could not let this iconic sculpture in downtown Philly pass by.  It was Red, so I shot it of course.  To further highlight the red, I converted to B&W with NIK Silver Efex Pro and used selective color.

I am posting this today for my wonderful wife on her birthday!

Musical Curves

140526_Kimmel Ctr 1 by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji X-T1, XF 18-55mm @ 55mm, f/5.0, 1/3 sec, ISO 1600, handheld

The curves of the balconies and acoustic structures inside the Kimmel Center main concert hall are fascinating.  I recall attending a classical concert and getting lost gazing around all the curves and listening to the musical score.

Balancing the composition of all the curves was the challenge for this image.  I wandered about the hall with my camera to my eye to balance the curves, shadows, and lights.  I took multiple shots to get acceptable sharpness at 1/3 second shutter speed.  I can’t wait to come back and do more exploring.

The Other Side

140523_Swan Fountain 2 by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF 18-55mm @ 28mm, f/22, 1/17 sec, ISO 200

This image is from the other site of Swann Fountain, depicting the other two rivers:  Schuykill and Delaware.  My focus for this image was just to come up with a symmetric balance between the sculptures.  One lesson learned here is to pay attention to the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO trade offs.  I braced the camera on the fountain wall to get a reasonable sharpness at 1/17 second.


The Wissahickon

140522_Swan Fountain 1 by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 50mm, f/11, 1/80 sec, ISO 500

Swann Memorial Fountain (aka The Fountain of the Three Rivers)
Alexander Stirling Calder1924

This fountain in Logan Circle depicts the three rivers that converge at Philadelphia:  the Schuykill, the Wissahickon, and the Delaware.  In this image I was trying to capture the fountain image and the Philadelphia City Hall in the background.  I also wanted to capture limited blur in the flowing water.

Tuscan Girl Fountain

140521_Swimmers by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 46mm, f/10, 1/20 sec, ISO 400

Tuscan Girl Fountain
Oskar Stonorov, Jorio Vivarelli, 1965

Philadelphia is full of sculptures. Walking around Center City, sculptures are everywhere you look.  The overall sculpture draws my initial attention, but typically does not make an interesting photographic image to me.  It is very difficult for me to capture the three dimensional aspects.  I then usually just walk around and try to get a detailed aspect and perspective of the sculptures essence.  I moved around this sculpture to capture an interesting element and a “nondescript” background to frame the image.


The Printer

140520_The Printer by 2013 Karl Graf. Fuji XT-1, XF18-55mm @ 55mm, f/8.0, 1/120 sec, ISO 400

Benjamin Franklin, Craftsman
Joe Brown1981

Ben Franklin, “The Printer”, provides the foreground against the Philadelphia skyline.  I worked this image from multiple angles before I came up with this perspective.  I had to wait patiently as other tourists posed in front of the sculpture.  It was worth it.