Posts Tagged ‘PA


Grey Towers With Bonus Discovery

Please check out this video. I share some of my exploration at the National Historic Site of Grey Towers. I discuss some historic components and my compositional set ups. There is a total surprise I encountered and when you see it I hope you will find as much fun in it as I did. I will share some of my settings and how I utilize the Olympus OM-D camera system. Explore, Capture & Create.

Click Here For Link


Autumn at Ricketts Glen

This video will show you the beauty of Ricketts Glen State Park in the fall. I discuss compositional suggestions, timing and I’ll share some of my settings and how I utilize the Olympus OM-D camera system. Explore, Capture & Create. Click Here!
Here is a link to the YouTube video:

November 2020 Newsletter

Please check out my current newsletter and if you don’t subscribe please consider.  Click here for the link!


Photographing Steamtown USA + Live Composite and Rust

This video details my visit to Steamtown, USA. This place is an assembly of vintage trains and period associated railroad structures. This is part of the National Park service. The images include daytime Live Composite, gritty rust and abstract compositions. I share my setup and some of my settings.

Here is the video link.


Looking For Autumn at Horseshoe Bend Park

This video attempts to capture some of the remaining summer colors combined with the start of autumn colors. I’ll take a look at composition options and I’ll share some of my camera settings. Enjoy the hike!

Here is the YouTube link


Exploring The D&L Trail From Weissport to Jim Thorpe, PA

This is a quick video of my hike into Jim Thorpe, PA on the D&L Trail. Check out the many photographic opportunities along the way, including some of my camera settings. I hope you enjoy the trip and please consider subscribing. For better quality here is a YouTube link.


Railroad Boneyard

Check out the video of this amazing place my friend took me to.
For better quality here is the YouTube link:

Photographic Adventure to Jacobsburg State Park

Take a look at my discoveries during my photographic adventure to this amazing state park. Explore, Capture and Create!

Here is the Link to the video


Smoke on the Water



An early morning hike at Peace Valley Park.
Camera: Get Olympus #getolympus OM-D EM-1 Mark III
Lens: M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO
Settings: ISO 200, 25mm, f/6.3, 1/50 sec. (handheld)
#olympus #getolympus #travel #travelphotography
#travelphotographer #landscape #landscapephotography #mzuiko #omd#omdem1markIII OMDEM1Mk3 #photo #photograph #franksmithphotos#olympusvisionary #getolympus #franksmithphotosdotcom #franktsmith#franktaylorsmith #franktsmithdotcom #franksmithphotography#OlympusOMD #breakfree #BreakFreeWithOlympus #CloseToHome#HomeWithOlympus #Hike #SmokeontheWater #PeaceValleyPark



Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Photographing in the fall has so much potential with the changing seasons as well as with the holidays. Every year the photographic opportunities increase not only by the number of organizations and families that go all out decorating, but also by the ability to combine the in-camera features of the Olympus system with a few post-processing tricks to create haunting moods in your Halloween images.

Behind the Shot:
Spooky Pumpkin Patch

Who doesn’t love a pumpkin patch? The season is brief and the dramatic tones created by nature are perfect for setting up the “great pumpkin shoot.”

The Planning
Since Halloween displays are only up for a limited amount of time, it’s important to plan ahead. Strategically plan your locations or even do a site visit to scope out the best time to avoid overcrowding. Plan out your shots knowing that you will also need to be fully adaptable when you are actually shooting. This may require extra tools like step ladders or potentially even lighting to capture the shots.

On my site visit, I’ll typically utilize many of the in-camera filters to plan out my shoot. The time of day is also a critical factor (as is the weather) to capture the best imagery.

Pumpkin patch
OM-D E-M1 | M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
1/160s | f4.5 | ISO 200

The Shot
Once I am on location my goal is to set up the shot, take a few test images and determine the best lighting; location and camera settings. I typically will have my tripod and if needed, I will use a step ladder (which means handheld shots). You need to have strong foreground for the image, and you can look to create “moods” through shadows and post processing.

Pumpkin shot wide
OM-D E-M1 | M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
1/400s | f6.3 | ISO 200

Composition is always foremost. For my pumpkin shoot, I typically get low to the ground. Before deciding on my positioning, however, I move around and check out the potential image from various angles. It’s important to also make sure there are no random objects in the image that would otherwise detract from my goal.

I always look for a primary subject which can be either in the foreground, mid-ground or background to focus on for the shot.

Pumpkin Composition
OM-D E-M1 Mark II | M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
1/60s | f16 | ISO 250

A few of the in-camera filters such as dramatic tone; selective color and focus stacking work great for capturing the “dramatic” or “spooky” elements of Halloween.

Selective Color
Example: Selective Color

I also like to use High Dynamic Range (HDR) shots when there are extreme contrasts. HDR requires you to take a series of shots at different exposures. You can either allow the camera to process the images or you can process them in post processing.

HDR Pumpkin
For this photo, I combined shots with the following exposure values: -4,-2,0,+2,+4
HDR Example
Exposure: -4
HDR Example
Exposure: -2
HDR Example
Exposure: 0
HDR Example 2
Exposure: -2
HDR Example 2
Exposure: 0
HDR Example 3
Exposure: +2

After the Shot
I will typically post process these types of image to create the final mood. I work with the RAW files from my shoot and will look at both the RAW shot as well as the in-camera JPEGs. I’ll also bring the RAW files into Photoshop to bring out the light and the dramatic tones of the photo in order to achieve the desired effect.

More Secrets for Creepy Captures

Find a strong foreground for the image, then look to create “moods” through shadows and post processing. Check out these examples below.


While creating this series of images, I first noticed the shadow on the floor. Taking note of the door opening, I decided to add an interesting element in the doorway – the vacuum. I then decided to look for a model to be in the doorway, and to focus on the shadows. Light is very important and any opportunities for shadows can really add to the photo.

final visitor
OM-D E-M1 Mark II | M.Zuiko Digital 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
1/80s | f3.2 | ISO 200

To create the mood, I used the in-camera dramatic black & white setting and the monochromatic setting in post processing. Finally, I created a swirling vignette to eliminate any distractions and to enhance the creepy effect.


I found this eerie subject in good light with a dark background. In post processing I slightly de-saturated the image and added an exaggerated amount of contrast. The resulting dark shadows enhanced the creepiness of the mood. (2 images with mask).

Ghost Mask
OM-D E-M1 Mark II | M.Zuiko Digital 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
1/60s | f2.8 | ISO 640 | -0.3 Exposure


In order to create more power and add drama to this image, I positioned my camera very low to the ground and used a very wide angle. I also activated the in-camera black and white dramatic tone filter.

OM-D E-M1 Mark II | M.Zuiko Digital 7-14mm F2.8 PRO
1/250s | f5.6 | ISO 200
Frank Smith


Twitter: @Frank_T_Smith
Instagram: @Franktaylorsmith

Frank Smith is a self-taught photographer whose love for the craft goes back to a very early age. Decades later, Frank’s passion for photography has yet to fade as his skills continue to evolve. A native Northeasterner, Frank often focuses his lens on regional and local scenery including the Pocono Mountains and the historical sites of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His raw travel and philanthropic photojournalism covers global themes, shedding light on cultural issues such as regional corruption in areas including South Sudan and Haiti.



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February 2021

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