Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This blog is moving ...

I have transitioned my blog to the WordPress platform, which will now be hosted directly on my primary hosting service.  This blog has been on Google's Blogger for the past few years, and I thought it was time to take more control over how it operates.  WordPress is one of the most widely used blogging platforms out there, and it is very stable and feature-rich.

Here is the new site:  Words and Photographs

The posts on this blog will remain indefinitely, so any old links and web searches will continue to work.

Thanks for reading.
- Matt

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Gondolas

The first word that comes to mind when you hear Venice is "gondola".  Yes, Venice is known for it's canals and certainly not to mention St. Mark's Square and Cathedral, but almost nowhere else on earth will you find gondolas.  A few hundred years back there were over 10,000 gondolas in this small city.  The aristocrats used these watercraft as their primary means of transportation.  Now there are only about 500 gondolas, and most are used for tourist "joyrides" and the remainder are used for quick rides across the Grand Canal and other purposes.

We did not get a chance to ride in a gondola during our short stay in Venice, and if we had I'm not exactly sure where we would have embarked or how much we would have paid.  Many tourists start their rides from the lagoon area near St. Mark's Square.  These gondolas begin their journey by steering into one of the canals that lead from the lagoon in towards the city, under the heavily traveled arching pedestrian bridges.

There are also a few places within the maze of streets and canals where you can begin your ride.  The photo below shows one of these crowded canal "intersections".  It was an amazing location bustling with activity, with regular tourists competing against a few hotel guests that were trying to get a short boat ride to their hotel.

As far as pricing we have read that prices can be high, but are flexible depending on your negotiating skills, also taking into account the demand level at the time (e.g. crowd size, time of year, time of day, etc.)  If you want to add a romantic singing accordion player to your trip then it will cost your dearly - up to $100 extra.

Hopefully on our next visit (if there is one) we'll be sure to make time for a gondola ride, but we'll probably skip the accordion player.

See more Venice images on my Etsy site:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ah Venice!

I am fortunate that I sometimes get to travel to (or near to) interesting destinations through my day-job as an engineer.  My most recent trip took me to Basel, Switzerland, and I was able to combine this business trip with a personal family trip to Italy.  We spent about a day in Verona, followed by a day and a half in Venice.  This is much too short a time to experience all that Venice has to offer.  I would say for a photographer you need about 2 days to see all of the attractions such as museums and churches, if you are so inclined, as well as 2-3 days of walking and photographing the city.

The weather worked in our favor.  The first evening we were there provided some very nice light as well as clouds (cloudless skies are so boring).  In contrast the second day was rainy, so I feel lucky that we had even that short amount of good weather to work with.

I will follow with more detailed posts about our experiences in Venice, and how they relate to the photographs we made. Here is a representative photo from the walkway near St. Mark's Square, looking across the lagoon towards the San Giorgio Maggiore church.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lost Hat

I was down at the NJ shore recently and I came across this hat hanging on a fence along the dunes in Sea Isle City.  I could only imagine the parents or the child getting back to their house and wondering what happened to the hat.  It would not take long to find a new one, since the NJ shore towns are packed with stores selling both day-to-day items and vacation-related items.

This is one of (8) new photos I added to my website today.  Link: Photography by Matt Schrier

I also have many images on Etsy that I don't have on my main website: Link: Etsy Store.

"Lost Hat"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Macro + Flowers

Every once in a while I get the yearning to pull out my macro lens and head to some local spots that are teeming with flowers.  On this day it had rained the night before into the morning, so I wanted to see if I could make use of the raindrops in some compelling flower photos.

After all was said and done the shots that I liked the most did not involve raindrops.  The unique state of the flowers and plants in the late-summer season are what made the more compelling compositions.

The first shot below show a flower shot from the side, in a typically soft macro-lens style.  But the carpels (I think that's what they're called) are loosening from the flower and pointing in various directions, creating a little bit of contrast to the smooth petals and background.

In the next series of shots I was shooting the large hibiscus flowers, and after getting some somewhat interesting shots of the stamens I was attracted to the buds.  These buds had all sorts of interesting lines and curves.  This series of three shots shows what drew me to these buds.

We are on the downward curve of summer heading for fall, so I'm going to try to maximize the summer shooting season as long as I can.

See more at Photography by Matt Schrier

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lititz Show 2012

I attended the Lititz Craft Fair last weekend, and good times were had by all.  The weather was great, the crowds were great, and the buying was brisk.  It was my second year at this show, and I was expecting a "sophomore slump", meaning I thought that this year many of the regular attendees at the show would have already seen my work and my sales would drop a bit because of this.

But this show is so big and pulls in people from all around the Lancaster area there were a lot of new visitors.  I also had a number of new pieces on display and this always draws people's attention.

One visitor was actually returning from last year, and she walked right up to a framed print of the image below of the purple flowers .  She had seen this print at the last show but I think she decided to wait.  So she was ready, and wanted to buy a matted version as soon as she entered my tent. So of course I obliged.

I will be sending in my renewal form for this show ASAP.

Main website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Monday, July 16, 2012

Seven Years Ago

I participated in the Tinicum Arts Festival this past weekend, which is located in upper Bucks County, Pa.  I had a really good show, met a lot of interesting people, sweated a lot, and got rained on a bit. This show is in a nice, shady location, with very good access for vehicles - a plus for any show. 

The last time I did this show was seven years ago, and you might be surprised that my sales were much, much less - in fact they were zero.  Yes, that's "0" sales for a 2-day show.  After only one year of trying to sell my fine art photography I was ready to give it all up after this show as you can probably understand.  In my 8 years of doing shows I have never had another zero-sale show - so this was really a hard thing to take.

Fortunately my next show turned out much better, and I then committed to keep it going as long as I could.  And now in 2012, although I've backed off a bit from the time-consuming shows, I feel much better about where I stand with my photography and where I'm going. 

The image below is one of my oldest images that continues to garner a lot of interest, for obvious reasons. I receive many questions like "Did you Photoshop this?", "Did you wait a long time for this?", etc.  It's a little embarrassing to explain that I was simply out driving one morning and found this scene, exactly as you see it.  This is private commercial property so I was technically trespassing, but I don't think it was a big deal.  There was a small patch of fog that didn't extend too far back, so the full sun was blasting through the mesh of leaves creating this spectacular effect. It is one type of scene that I search for regularly but will rarely (if ever) see again.

Full site:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


It's June 6 - the anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II.  I normally wouldn't think to create a post about this day, but just a few weeks ago I was fortunate to photograph one of the beaches involved in the invasion from a jet I was flying from Germany to the U.S.  It was a very clear day, and although I didn't have a camera with me I did have my Sony tablet.  The camera quality is not very good, but I did get a reasonable photo of the coastline when the pilot announced that we were flying over Normandy.

Here is my photograph:

And here is a Google Maps satellite view, with the corresponding area circled in red.

Finally, here is a diagram showing the different beaches that were invaded as part of that massive effort to attack the German forces and re-take France and eventually all of Europe.  As you can see the codename for the beach I photographed is Utah beach, which was the destination for the westernmost invasion forces during this operation. Actually Utah beach is only about a 3 mile segment of the beach that I flew over.

If you want to read more here is the link to the Wikipedia entry for Utah Beach.

See more of my photography at: Photography by Matt Schrier

Friday, June 1, 2012

Alaska Airlines

It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally I will license one of my digital images for various commercial or personal uses, such as advertising or a website. Below you can see one of my Philadelphia images showing City Hall and Logan Fountain in the spring in this month's Alaska Air magazine. 

The link to the online version is here.

Find more of my work at Photography by Matt Schrier

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

County Theater

I'm still working on my HDR skills. This is a popular local old-time theater in Doylestown, Pa. I hope you like ...

Now available on Etsy