Posts Tagged ‘Photo Walk


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


Ricketts Glen State Park Waterfalls

Please check out the video and consider subscribing. This is an explorational & educational hike to Pennsylvania’s Ricketts Glen State Park with a focus on the waterfalls.
Get Olympus

For better quality here is a YouTube link:



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.




December 2019 Newsletter

If you didn’t receive my newsletter for December here it is:

How Do You Spell Peace Valley

The weather has been a bit challenging here in the northeast with rain being the dominating factor.  With the holiday break (and a little time off) we decided to do a hike at Peace Valley Park where typically the bird watching is great and the views over the lake – amazing.  This year the lake had been partially drained so I opted to trek the back trails and found a break in the clouds and some amazing reflections.  This shot was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera and the M.Zuiko ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens. The settings were ISO 200, 7 mm, f/7.1, 1/1250 sec.

Happy Holidays to You

It is a tradition in our family to create the family Christmas card each year.  The dynamics have changed over the years with the grandkids and Bo.  This year, Jaxon at 2 1/2 made the photo shoot more of a challenge – while on the other hand, Bo at 10 was OK with whatever.  Here are the results.
The images were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II using the M.Zuiko 25 mm f1.2 PRO lens.  The settings for both were ISO 200, 25mm, f/1.8, 1/60 sec.

INDIA Photo Trip

India is a favorite photography location for me.  This past September I had the chance to visit a new region, Rajastan.  The trip was organized by my friend Abhishek and I went with a few of my fellow photographer friends.

I am always intrigued by the colors, culture and ever changing geography.  From street photography to shooting in small villages there is always a great image to be captured.  The people are always friendly and I have learned how best to interact to capture great faces and scenes.

The 1st image was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and the12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO lens with the settings at ISO 200, 34mm, f/4.0, 1/100 sec.

The second image was again taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.  I used the 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO with the ISO 200, 41mm,f/4.0 and 1/640 sec.

Photo Walks – University Campuses

Lately, I have had the privilege to lead photo walks on several university campuses with various camera clubs and camera stores in partnership with Get Olympus.  I am naturally drawn to architecture and the opportunity on these photo shoots is amazing.  The sites are rich with history and the campuses are so vibrant with the students.  Here are a few shots from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Lehigh University (Bethlehem) and Yale University (Connecticut).

This 1st image at the University of Michigan was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II using the M.Zuiko ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens.The settings were ISO 200, 8 mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec.

The 2nd image is Lehigh University.  This image was taken with the same camera with the following settings:  M. Zuiko ED 8mm F1.8 Fisheye PRO with the following settings: ISO 320, 8mm, f/5.6, 4.0 sec.

The 3rd image is Yale University.  This image was taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M 5 Mark II with the M.Zuiko ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens.  The settings were ISO 800, 7mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec.

It’s the Holiday Season

With the holiday season here, the opportunity for great shots increased!  I had the chance to visit the amazing Model RR at the Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum.

Everything here is so lifelike and with this lens I’m able to create beautiful feathered bokeh. This image was shot with the OM-D E-M 1 Mark II using the 17mm f1.2 PRO lens.  The settings were ISO 320, 17mm, f/1.2, 1/60 sec.

We also took a Saturday to spend in downtown Bethlehem – always a beautiful city and at Christmas time even more.  Here is one of the black and white street photos I took. I took this using the PEN-F camera and the M.Zuiko 17 mm f1.8 Premium lens with the following settings:  ISO 800, 17mm, f/9.0, 1/60 sec.

Inside The Photographer’s Mind

This is an interview of me, Frank Smith, with Adorama sharing more about me and my photography journey.  Check out this video.

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


Upcoming Events

Bethlehem House Contemporary Art Gallery
Opening October 19th- January 16th
Lehigh Valley Photography Club
February 21, 2019
Lehigh Valley Photography Club 
CNPA Annual Meeting
March 7-10, 2019
Presentation, Workshops
Nature Presentation 
DeSales University
March 25, 2019
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
Ju;y 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.


















University of Michigan Photo Walk

I had the opportunity to present an architectural presentation and lead a photo walk for The CameraMall and Olympus. The events took place at the store and the photo walk took place on the University of Michigan campus. We spent time looking at abstract architectural components. All of the images were shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II and paired with the M.Zuiko ED 7-14mm f2.8 PRO lens. We had a partially overcast day, which lend itself perfectly to the in-camera Black & White Dramatic Tone mode.










The High Line with Bergen County Camera

I had the honer and pleasure to lead a photowalk at one of my favorite places in the Big Apple, the High Line. The photowalk was arranged by Bergen County Camera and sponsored by Olympus. The day was slightly overcast which, for me, means Black & White. All of the images were shot using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 MkII. A favorite style I like to employ on an overcast day is using “Dramatic Tone”. This is a mode option built into the camera (most of these shots used this mode).



































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