Saturday, November 19, 2011


It is now past the fall foliage season, and although we are not yet into the cold, barren months of winter the scenery has mostly lost its color and the morning air is very cold. On this morning I was on the lookout for some macro shots that required me to get "up close and personal" with the subject matter, possibly something involving frost.

After driving aimlessly for a little while I ended up at a small local pond that usually does not offer much besides the occasional heron or egret. I played around with different compositions and focus variations until I was able to create some interesting images of the wild growth along the water's edge in combination with the sun's reflection on the pond. I like the abstract feeling of these shots.

Main website: Photography by Matt Schrier

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Prallsville Mill

This is an iconic pair of buildings in Stockton NJ, right along the canal. A storm was brewing, and the lighting was perfect for just a short time. A few minutes later the dark clouds make this shot impossible.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Heron in Flight

Capturing birds in flight is a fun and exciting activity for a wildlife photographer. At a local pond I was "tracking" a blue heron near the water's edge. (Not really tracking - just sneaking up on it - but "tracking" sounds much more impressive) As I approached it, hidden by some weeds, I was ready with my 150-500mm lens. As expected my footsteps roused it and it flew away, but I was able to capture this image with water still dripping from its foot.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Photos Posted

I uploaded ten new images to my website, created over the past few months. Take a look.

(Click the image below)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Walkaround Tyler

I tried something a little different. I drug myself out of bed rather early this morning and headed towards Tyler Park, walking down a different path than I normally take. I've stopped concentrating so much on birds and wildlife and am trying to look for compositions involving other subjects.

Below are two pretty common sights at Tyler park, and I worked them a bit in post-processing to highlight the central subject.

"Weathered Birdbox"

"Forever Yours"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tyler Birds

My postings are pretty infrequent these days. That's mostly because I've been spending much of my spare time working to lose a few pounds. So far so good in that department, but unfortunately that comes at the expense of my photography.

A few weeks ago there was a nice morning light so I was off to Tyler Park to see what was happening there. The birds were very active, and they let me get fairly close - with the exception of their nests (man-made bird boxes). When I got too close to them to shoot the baby birds I was quickly attacked by the adults. I didn't press the issue, and abandoned my efforts.

Here are a few shots from that morning.

Main Site: Photography by Matt Schrier

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ireland 2

So its been a while since my original post on our trip to Ireland, and I want to follow-up with a few more photos and some thoughts on what worked well and not so well.

Ireland is a fantastic place. Outside of a few large cities this country lives up to its name - the Emerald Isle. The green fields and meadows go on for miles, usually dotted with numerous sheep or cows.

In no particular order here are things that worked out really well for us:

  • Great Weather - It barely rained on us at all. It did get a bit hazy, which put a damper on some of our sightseeing on the western coast.

  • Croagh Patrick - My wife and son climbed the same 2000 ft mountain that St. Patrick climbed. They were rewarded with fantastic panoramic vistas. I was not up for such a climb, since I was a bit hobbled with a knee injury. But I may try it if we return.

  • The car - We rented a stick-shift and of course drove on the left side of the road. This was no problem for me, even though I had some apprehension about it. We got great mileage in our diesel powered Toyota, so that took the sting off of the high European fuel prices.

  • The roundabouts - I love them. Why put a traffic light at an intersection when you can put a roundabout which leaves it up to the drivers to control the traffic flow themselves rather than forcing everyone to stop at fixed intervals.

  • Road Layout - All roads leads to town centers. This simplifies things - you usually don't have to think too hard to the main business district of a town (except for the bigger cities).

  • The seal on Achill Island - We found a lone seal at desolate Keem beach on the western end of Achill Island. He didn't care too much for us getting too close to him, but we managed to take a lot of pictures before he worked his way through the waves back into the sea.

Now for some things that could have been better:

  • Falling and Breaking a Camera - Yes, I did that. Three days into the trip I was (stupidly) climbing on a rock wall along a country road. I lost my footing and fell 2 feet onto the road surface. I had little chance to break my fall or shield my DSLR, so both my right knee and the camera hit the road hard. The lens on the camera took the full force of the impact and broke in half. The camera case cracked but survived in fairly good shape thankfully. My knee was seriously bruised, but I could walk. Fortunately there were no cars on the road at the time, or else I might not be here to tell the story.

  • The back-roads - No shoulders, lined with rock walls, curving this way and that. Driving any distance on the 3- or 4-digit numbered back-roads can be very frustrating. If you get behind a cyclist, tractor, or truck this can really slow you down for miles. Avoid these roads if at all possible

  • The Dublin Airport - Not user friendly. First of all no signage to the rental car return area. Then, we checked in on the ground floor, up two floors to the (slow) security area, then onto the US customs pre-check, which was back down to the ground floor, a long wait, then another security area. What a pain in the butt.

  • Driving expenses - Expensive gas, and the extra rental insurance (just to be safe).

  • Poor drive planning - A few days we planned for WAY too much driving. For example we attacked the Dingle peninsula AND the Ring of Kerry on same day. The Ring of Kerry is definitely a full-day trip, so we ended up back at the cottage near midnight, driving through the super-curvy roads of the national forest in the dead of night.

  • No GPS - In retrospect we should have bought the Europe maps for our Tom Tom for $70 or so. It would have been worth it.

Lodging - We stayed 6 days in a beautiful cottage west of Limerick, and cooked many of our own meals to save a good bit of money. The cottage itself was VERY affordable. But being so centrally located meant we had to drive a good distance each day, because we weren't really near anything. That reduced our sightseeing time and increased our fuel costs. But I still liked it.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Our family has just returned from a very busy 8-day tour of Ireland, which was concentrated mainly on the western side of the island. I will follow up with a list of things that went well for us, and things that didn't. But first, below are a few photos that stand out from the rest.

"Colorful Cottage"

"Taking a Stroll"

"Irish Hills"

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bing vs. Google

Based on my website statistics I am seeing a much larger amount of traffic from Bing then I ever used to. Google is still the overall winner, but Bing is now in not-too-distant second place (ahead of Yahoo). For all the missteps that Microsoft has made over the years it looks like they've got something right here.

And what is Yahoo doing wrong? I don't really use them much myself anymore - as a web portal it's a bit too cluttered for my taste.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Avalon Sunrise

It's getting harder and harder for me to drag myself out of bed at an ungodly hour to take the 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive to the NJ shore in the hopes of getting some nice sunrise shots. The rewards can be great, but the risk is getting down there and finding too many clouds in the way. I actually woke up at 4:15 AM on Saturday, checked the weather and found cloud-cover over New Jersey. So I went back to bed and I tried it again on Sunday. The downside to this adventure is that when I get home a few hours later I am really beat, and a shower and a nap are in order.

The sky was quite clear on Sunday (a little too clear - a few more fair-weather clouds could have created some nice colors). I set Avalon as my destination and I headed for this fishing pier. The sunrise ended up being quite nice, as you can see below.

After spending some time lingering along the beach I headed up to Brigantine to look for the foxes I had photographed last year. I saw a glimpse of a single fox, but no more than that. Oh well, maybe another time.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


If you want a different way to follow my photography you can "Like" me on Facebook. Click the icon below (or to the right of my blog page) to take you there.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Site-wide 20%-off Sale

I am currently running a sale on my website. All items 20 inches or longer are 20% off. This include loose, matted, framed and canvas prints. The price deduction is visible in the shopping cart.

Below is another image from a recent snowy day. The sheep at the Thomson Neely farm were forced outside of their protective barn as their food was being loaded into the feeder. Here they are forming a nice line as they head back in for dinner.

This panoramic image can be printed on traditional paper as well as canvas.

Site: Photography by Matt Schrier

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Perfect Snow Day

I love photographing snow scenes. There's something about the calming effect of a covering of that cold white stuff. But all too often the realities of a snowfall make it difficult to accomplish that photography. Extreme cold temperatures, wind, interference with mobility and parking, quickly melting snow covering, short duration weather events, and more. Too often heavy snowfalls make it nearly impossible to get out and get around. When I want to get out and shoot many parking lots have not yet been plowed, and I can forget about finding a small spot on the side of the road to pull over. Even the slightest of wind can quickly blow the snow off of buildings and trees. Anything more than a very light snowfall is difficult to shoot in since the snow melts immediately when hitting the camera and lens - it is almost like shooting in a light rain.

So yesterday's snow fall had all the elements coming together:

  • Fairly light snowfall in progress

  • No wind

  • Happening on a Saturday morning when I had no other commitments

  • Started around 7 AM, so roads and parking lots were accessible

  • Lasted most of the day

So I was out for about 2-3 hours, hitting many of the scenic Bucks County spots along the Delaware River and towards Doylestown. I did have to pack it in for some personal errands, but that is a fairly good amount of time. I did have to protect the camera and lens due to the melting snow, but that was the only thing working against me.

Below is the first of a series I will be posting from this day. I did have to park in a precarious spot along the side of the road to avoid a long walk to this field near the Thompson Neely Farm. It was snowing lightly at this point, but the distance to the horses makes it look like much heavier.

"Two Horses"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunset Grazing

I was fortunate to recently capture the following image. I was driving northwest through Bucks County towards Doylestown and I passed by a large horse farm. I often pass by this farm and see tempting shots that I cannot take because there is simply no place to park along most of the country roads in this area. But on this day I spotted the setting sun from one corner of the property behind a lone horse was grazing in the enclosed pen. I parked on a cul de sac about 1000 feet away and walked to the scene.

I took a number of photos with my handheld 150-500mm lens on my new Nikon D90, and unfortunately many were trash because I was not paying attention to the auto-focus and how it was frequently locking on to the distant fence rather than the horse. So once I realized this I locked in a good focus with the A/M switch on my camera and took a number of "good" shots. I like this composition best of all the shots I took, since the sun was not too dominant and overpowering, and the horse's outline, as well as both of its ears, is clearly in the frame.

"Sunset Grazing"