Posts Tagged ‘PA


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.




“The Machines” – Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend (post 3 of 3)

This is a continuation of the previous post from the World War II reenactment.

























“The Other Guys” – Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend (post 2 of 3)

This is a continuation of the previous post from the World War II reenactment.


















































“The Americans” – Atlantic Air Museum WWII Weekend (post 1 of 3)

This past weekend I had a chance to photograph at this incredible World War II reenactment in Reading PA. It has been several years since I last attended. I was not disappointed. The reenactors were true to form and very accommodating. I’m already looking forward to next year.


















































































March 2019 Newsletter

For those of you who don’t receive my newsletter, please see below:

Introducing Olympus OM-D E-M1X

So the NEW Olympus OM-D E-M1X is here.  This camera is “off the charts”.  I am super excited to share some imagery from this camera with a special focus on the internal ND filters and Hi-Res modes as well as a few other new features in the camera.”The E-M1X is packed with innovative tech, like world-leading image stabilization, AI-based Intelligent Subject Detection AF, and a handheld ultra-high resolution shooting mode” as Olympus shares on their site. Everything I love about the Olympus system just got ratchet up to the next level.  Overall the new camera has taken all of the key features of the Olympus system to the next level and beyond without adding any significant weight to my travel bag. As an avid outdoor and photojournalist photographer, this latest release is AMAZING! Check out a few of the images.  Thinking of converting to the Olympus system – NOW is the time!!!

Death Valley – A Sneak Preview

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Death Valley. For those of you that follow me, you know that the desert landscape is one of my favorite photography options.  Death Valley did not disappoint – we even had a few surprise rain storms that created some amazing photography opportunities. Here are a few images from the trip using the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X.  The first shot is handheld in high res mode using the M.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 PRO lens.  The settings were ISO 200, 150 mm, f/7.1, 1/400th sec. The second shot was with the same lens, ISO 200, 106 mm, f/8.0, 1/1250 sec.

Winter Wonderland

Yes it has been a little cold here in the northeast with snow and ice covered trails.  I never mind the cold temps if it means capturing nature in a semi-frozen state.  With proper attire and boot crampons, I went to Ricketts Glen and the Delaware Water Gap chasing waterfalls. Temperatures averaged about 18-20 degrees.  The first shot is from Ricketts Glen taken with the new Olympus OM-D E-M1X using the M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO lens. The shot was taken handheld for 1.6 seconds and utilizing the built in ND Filters in the camera.  The second shot is from the Delaware Water Gap.  This shot was also taken handheld at 0.8 seconds using the M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens.

Lehigh Valley Photography Club Presentation
Nordic Travels 

I really enjoy presenting my work and techniques to local photography clubs and it is always great fun to present to my local photography club.  Last week I got to share my presentation of my Nordic travels sharing with a “full house” crowd my travels to Iceland and Norway.  In my presentation I introduced some video elements helping to show the audience the environment and the various opportunities for good shots. Here are a few images from the presentation, both of which were taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M 1 Mark II using the M.Zuiko 7-14 f 2.8 PRO lens.  The settings for the first shot were ISO 200, 8 mm, f/11, 1/160 sec.  The second shot settings were ISO 640, 7 mm, f/2.28, 6.0 sec.

Photo Credit Ryan Fisher

Looking for Olympus Shooters

As an Olympus Visionary, I am encouraged to always be on the lookout for Olympus shooters. Olympus likes to feature Olympus users on their social media channels – especially Instagram.

If you are an Olympus user, especially a new user of Olympus equipment, please send me an email to that I can share with Olympus. You can also use these hashtags on your images when posting:
#getolympus or @getolympus

Coming up – Workshops and Presentations

I have several presentations and workshops coming up over the next few months that offer instructional content as well as hands on workshops.  Please check out the links below to see if you can join me. The shot was taken at Glen Onoko falls with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X handheld using the internal ND filter with the M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm F/4.0 IS PRO. The camera settings were ISO 200, 12 m, f/2.0, 1/3 sec.

March 7-10, 2019
The Hidden Gems of the Olympus System
Global Landscapes
My Backyard
DeSales University
March 25, 2019
Photography Class
York County Camera Club
March 26, 2019
Architecture Presentation
Westchester Photographic Society
March 29, 2019
Workshop & Photo Walk 
Cape May Photo Walk -Architecture & Abstracts
May 6, 2019
Photo walk in town 
NECCC Conference
July 12-14, 2019
Nature Presentation __________________________________________________________________________________________________

Interested in booking a talk or workshop?
Visit my website by clicking here.



The State Theatre In All Her Glory (Black & White) 2 of 2

A couple of weeks ago I lead the annual “Behind the Curtain” photography workshop at the State Theatre in Easton, PA. This is always such a joy for me to photography this amazing gem. When you take the time to look at all of the incredible art in this place it’s almost overwhelming. I am breaking this post into two. This second post only includes black & white images and the previous one was all color. All images were handheld (this is the first time I didn’t use a tripod) using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II paired with the either the M.Zuiko ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO, the ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO or the ED 40-150mm f2.8 PRO.

















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September 2020

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