Tag Archives: Photography

Autumn Photography Tips

Nights are getting shorter and the pumpkin spice is brewing at your local coffee shop. That means the leaves will be turning soon and photography options will be bountiful. Here are some of my favorite spots and some tricks for your photography bag


Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

Wait for a rainy day and go out and capture a waterfall with leaves still on the trees and covering the rocks and ground. Bring a circular polarizer filter to help with reflections and to slow down your shutter speed to capture the smooth water flow. Try a one second exposure.


Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Go to the forest like the one above at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia even during a cold wet morning you can find amazing images in the forest. Look for fog or stay under the canopy looking for those bright color trees.

Go for a hike

Watkins Glen State Park, New York

Go for a hike in the woods and look down on the ground for leaves like the one in image at Watkins Glen State Park. Zoom in and shoot just the one leaf or maybe find one still hanging on a tree.

Back Light

Sunrise at Prince Gallitzin State Park

I always enjoy looking at the fall foliage with the sun behind a tree that makes the colors even more vibrant. This shot at Prince Gallitzin State Park came alive after the fog burned off the lake when the sun rose over the mountains. Go enjoy those sunrises and sunset that create these bright scenes.

Look UP

Nathan’s Divide Nature Center

Looks up and find some leaves above you in front of a blue sky. It took me a few minutes of shooting this tree to find this angle. Remember to slow down and look all around when shooting. Look up, look down, and look all around. That image might be behind what you are shooting.

Upcoming Art Festival Schedule

September 18-19    New Germany Arts Festival
September 25         Ebensburg Potato Fest
October 2-3             Bedford Fall Foliage
October 9-10           Bedford Fall Foliage

Check out more images on my website https://www.brandonhirt.com/




Pittsburgh Top 10 Photo spots

Since the Three Rivers Arts Festival is virtual this year I thought I would share my top 10 places to shoot in Pittsburgh.

During the virtual show sign up for my newsletter to get entered into winning a print of the Unbrellas from the Three Rivers Art Festival from a few years ago.

Newsletter Print Giveaway

10. Carrie Furnace

Steel Mill=Pittsburgh and this is one you can visit

9. Three Rivers Art Festival

Umbrellas from the Three Rivers Art Festival

8. Phipps Conservatory

Phipps is known for its gardens but the light show during the holidays is awesome.

7. Point Park

Sunsetpaloza of spots to hangout in the summer in Pittsburgh

6. Penn Station

One of my favorite spots in downtown.
Pittsburgh Train Station

5. Mt Washington

The famous overlook area so many opportunities for unique shots
Shop Steel City Fence

4. Under the Bridge

Multiple bridges to catch unique angles.

Buy a Bridge

3. Market Square


2. Oakland

Cathedral of Learning

1. West End Overlook

Pittsburgh Twilight

Glacier National Park quick photo guide

Glacier National Park in Montana. This is a great park to view mountain, lakes, waterfalls, and wildlife. All of my images are from September 2010. Check out my website Brandonhirt.com to see more images from this trip

Sign up for my print giveaway of Lake McDonald and get updates on future blog post

Lake McDonald Metal Print Giveaway

Lake McDonald

Look for the colorful rocks in the lake. You will be surrounded by mountains so look for some cool reflections

Trail of the Cedars

A great hike in the woods with multiple tree shots available. Plus a really cool gorge

Many Glacier

You will be on top of the world with multiple mountain tops to shoot. I would love to be here for an awesome sunrise or sunset. Get out of your car like this guy and check out the scenes


St Mary Lake

Wild Goose Island in the middle of this lake is awesome. Try a wide angle view like below or zoom in onto the island.


Two Medicine

Problem with only having one sunset is sometimes the clouds come in. Give yourself multiple days so you can chase the light.


Going to the Sun Road

This road sets the ball on the tee for you to get some amazing shots. The leaves are beside a bathroom and the fog is from one of the pull offs on the west side of the divide. So always keep your eye open for photo opportunities.

App a day keeps the bad photos away

Keys to success with photography? All that boring planning like looking at maps and watching the weather channel:) it is so much easier today to plan then before. 

Yes I still have my real maps but google maps has made my time estimates more accurate. Time management is not my strong suit. Now I am able to save locations and find travel times and directions correctly. 

My two favorite photo app is PhotoPills and the Photographer’s Ephemeris. They are awesome. If you need to find where the sun is coming up at or where the Milky Way is and what time it will appear at. 

PhotoPills is great for Milky Way information 

The Photographer’s Ephemeris is great for sunrise or sunset planning

Now that you found you locations what about the weather. I use three different apps The Weather Channel, Weather underground, and AccuWeather. Weather underground is great for viewing the hundreds of webcams so you can see the real weather. TWC and AccuWeather I use to predict weather and cloud cover. 

I hope this helps your planning. So many resources available now at the tip of our fingers. What apps do you use? I would love to hear.
 You can view my work at Www.brandonhirtphoto.com Also right now my favorite photo lab CG Pro Prints is offering a 10% coupon to you. Use code BHPRO10 for 10% off your first order. 

Brandon Hirt Opening Reception March 4 1-3 Pm

Opening Reception this Saturday!
The Community Arts Center is thrilled to announce our 2nd Gallery Exhibit of the year, Luminous Landscapes, a photography exhibition by local artist, Brandon Hirt.
An opening reception will be held this Saturday, March 4 from 1pm – 3 pm, with a Gallery Talk with the photographer at 2pm.

Luminous Landscape at Community Arts Center

Central Pa Live Interview


Brandon Hirt Photography Top 10 of 2016

10. Ohiopyle Snow

I was on my way to take photos of Cucumber Falls at Ohiopyle State Park but while I was walking around I looked up the hill side to see the fog rolling in. This made a really interesting image.


9. Glendale Night

Prince Gallitzin State Park is one of my favorite fishing destinations. Being in the middle of almost no where helps to see the stars and the Milky Way.


8 Assateague Lighthouse

Chincoteague Island on a bluebird morning during Easter weekend in Virginia we walked around Chinocteague to its famous lighthouse. The line was long to go inside so it made me look up and capture the lighthouse from the base looking up.


7 Big Ben and Friends

Baby Ben and his friends in the pasture checking out what was going on during Vale Wood Farms famous Pumpkin Patch


6. Laurel Highlands Sunrise

Hiking out to Beam Rocks on the Laurel Ridge Trail the sun poked in and out of the trees so this was a moment that the destination but the experience along the way was the photo.


5. Indian River Morning

Driving from Dewey Beach to capture the sunrise in Bethany Beach I found the moon super pleasing to the eye. I was going to stop at the Indian River Inlet to get a couple images of the bridge during dawn. When I arrived I noticed the moon would look cool with the lines of the bridge


4. Fair Night

My favorite night of the year it is the fireworks at the Cambria County Fair. So many lights and fried food smells. Deep Fried Oreos and Tripods.


3. Dewey Beach

Stars came out on this clear night with the light of Rehoboth Beach in the distance.


2. Blackwater Falls State Park

The famous waterfall that every photographer has in a 5 state radius. It does take some careful walking down to but it is rewarding. This is what happens when you visit a spot multiple time you start looking for a new perspective after capture the shot. The swirl in the same pool with a few fall leaves in it is the true story so I wanted to make it the main focal point. So I used my 70-200 instead a wide angle to capture the swirl


1.Ebensburg Night

Wheels and Wings is an exciting night to capture all the bikes and characters that show up. Usually a street that is quiet at night becomes busy. I have always stayed on the sideline to capture the car lights but I noticed a sign put up to slow traffic. No better place to put your camera and tripod. I always wanted to capture the traffic go towards you on one side and away on the other side. Using a remote shutter release. I was able to stand on the side walk and watch this truck go with in inches of knocking over the sign and my camera.


Merry Holidays

Dreaming of a White Christmas?


Not this year at the Dr. Knisely Covered Bridge in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. This was from Valentine’s day of 2010. Available for sale on my website Brandon Hirt Photo I think it looks best printed on canvas. My etsy store is having a sale till the end of the year. Save 25% with coupon code BHIRT25.

Current and Future Exhibits

Pennsylvania Modern: A Juried Photography Exhibition of Midcentury Modern Architecture
State Museum of PA till End of February in Harrisburg, PA
State Museum
Focal Point 2016
Maryland Federation of Art
Annapolis, Maryland
January 29-February 27
Focal Point 2016

Also visit these galleries that sell my images

Bottleworks in Johnstown, Pa

Founders Gallery and Gifts in Blairsville, Pa


Pennsylvania Summer Time Photo Ideas

So summer has sprung and its time to take that parka off. Since the snow melted away from the mountains of the Laurel Highlands it is time to get ready for longer days and warmer nights. It is time to stop waiting for the next “pretty snow” and look for water, flowers, and other wild things. Here are some spring time photo locations in the Keystone State. This is voted on by my cats.


 From downtowns full of trees and flowers blooming to all the different gardens of Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square to Penn State Arboretum to Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh. We are also lucky to have all the wildflowers that come alive in the next few weeks. Pennsylvania state flower is the Mountain Laurel except to see it bloom in June and July. During a windy summer evening I decided to use a longer exposure to catch the purple and green in the gardens at the Penn State Arboreteum. On the right is an image of some mountain laurel blooming on a river in July during a warm morning.pnc-2 pnc-3


Ricketts Glen State Park one of my favorite locations to shot waterfalls in Pennsylvania but we have hundreds of other choices to pick from Ohiopyle State Park to Trough Creek State Park. Visit any of our State parks and take your camera for a hike, bike, or boat ride. Ricketts Glen on the left and center image with Rainbow Falls at Trough Creek on the right.

trough creek-3ricketttsglenntrough creek-2


No better time to wake up early then on a warm summer morning and catch the sun come up. Go visit a local famous spot like this at the Altoona Cathedral Sunrise Altoona

Baseball Stadiums

We are lucky to have one of the top baseball stadiums with PNC Park in Pittsburgh Pirates and Citizen Bank Stadium in Philadelphia. Also with the Major leagues we have multiple minor league teams from the Altoona Curve  Erie Seawolves,  Scanton Railriders, and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.


Urban exploring at Night

Pick up your tripod and find a city. From Philly to Pittsburgh plenty of great warm nights to take your camera out during the city lights. Start at sunset and keep shooting until the twilight disappears. Visit your local city like Altoona or Williamsport where you can find some great old buildings like below of the Cathedral in Altoona.

 Urban night walk in Pittsburgh


Kauffman Clock

Enjoy the day!

Brandon Hirt

Brandon Hirt Photo

Brandon Hirt Photo Etsy Storebrandonhirtphoto@hotmail.com