West Virginia: Pittsburgh PA, Lots of Waterfalls, and Terry Bradshaw (?), July and August 2012
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28 July 2012 Friday:
Lisa and I had flown in to West Virginia for our annual summer trip of visiting her family. But as usual, we always had a road trip with her friend Mary Wade. And this time accompanying her was her beau Arnold, just to kick up the fun factor even more.

This road trip was a reprise, revisiting nearby Pittsburgh PA. In the morning, we drove to the Mattress Factory Art Museum, which is "a museum of contemporary art that presents art you can get into - room-sized environments, created by in-residence artists. Located in the historic Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh's North Side since 1977, the Mattress Factory is one of few museums of its kind anywhere."

Since it's always prudent to start with a butt shot, here are statues gathering for their early morning doughnut break just outside of the Mattress Factory Art Museum.

A reflective moment inside the Mattress Factory Art Museum.

This is only three photos in, and there's already been a butt shot and now this. You weren't expecting this smut from an ordinarily G-rated website, were you? And the title says "West Virginia" and there hasn't been one shot of West Virginia yet. But you will see, my little padawan, you will see.

Another hall-of-mirrors self-portrait. You know the kind.

You'll perhaps notice that the camera is crooked but somehow, the photo is straight? That, my friend, is the magic of Photoshop.

This, however, isn't the magic of Photoshop. No, this guitar really has seven necks. The real magic comes from whoever can pick this monstrosity up and play it.

As you might guess, we had moved on from the Mattress Factory Art Museum, and were now in the nearby Carnegie Science Center, with its current exhibition of guitars. How could I not go?


Speaking of guitars, this is the largest playable guitar in the world. And while some of you might have thought the seven-necked guitar fits that bill, no, this one was so large it didn't come with a guitar strap. I love the fact that it was a Flying V.

Upstairs at the Science Center was an exhibit on robots. Some robots do repetitive tasks, such as this one here, continually shooting baskets. We did see this one miss a basket, proving that it is possible that robots - or Steve Nash - can once in a rare while miss free throws.

We had to throw on a basketball robot. When you have your photo blog using WVU alum Devin Ebanks as the navigation buttons, how can pass up a chance to feature a basketball robot?

Still no photos of West Virginia. But you no doubt feel placated because there are photos of robots. And robots are fun, yes they are. Here we have robot replicas from "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and my favorite robot as a kid, the robot from "Lost In Space". Warning, Will Robinson! Even as a small kid, I thought, "How great is it that every single planet they land on is smooth enough that the robot can roll around easily."

Tilt-shift photography is a creative and unique type of photography in which the camera is manipulated so that a life-sized location or subject looks like a miniature-scale model, utilizing a shallow depth-of-field to accentuate this.

So what would happen if we applied tilt-shift miniaturization techniques to, uh, miniature models? You asked, my friend, and we deliver!

This is what happens! They look....well, miniature. Mission accomplished. Tilt-shift works!

If I have a camera in my hand, I can be entertained for hours and hours.

Photo of fish tank through the magnifying glass. Will the photo fun never end? No, it won't. Look who was waiting for us back at our hotel?

At Morgantown, we said our goodbyes to Mary Wade and Arnold. In the morning, Lisa and I would drive to Davis and visit Blackwater Falls.

29 July 2012 Sunday:
Your first photo of West Virginia. And it starts with a church.

After all, it was Sunday, so time to go to church. This particular church boasted that it was the smallest church in 48 states. And who am I to argue? It does have some stiff competition, according to Roadside America, however. Lots of other very tiny churches.

An interior view of "Our Lady of the Pines" in Horse Shoe Run, West Virginia.

If you love waterfalls, you would love West Virginia. West Virginia is chock full of these, the result of a mountainous state with lots of water.

And if you don't love waterfalls, whatsamatter, ya got rocks in yer head? :D

Blackwater Falls is perhaps the most well-known waterfall in West Virginia, and easily one of its largest and most iconic.

Title: Blackwater Falls I
Info: Nikon D7000, Nikkor VR 18-200mm lens. F/11, 1.3 seconds, ISO 200.
Photography: Ken Lee
Location: Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia, USA.

Elakala Falls, also in Blackwater Falls State Park, was gorgeous, one of my favorite waterfalls in West Virginia. I especially like the patterns the swirls in the water create here in this photograph.

Title: Elakala Falls I
Info: Nikon D7000, Nikkor VR 18-200mm lens. F/11, 6 seconds, ISO 400.
Photography: Ken Lee
Location: Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia, USA.

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Ken's photos of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as photos of Peru, Burma, India, Morocco, China, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, and elsewhere, have appeared in many books, magazines, websites, and galleries.  Visit the Ken Lee Photography Website. Some of Ken's select photos may be purchased through his Imagekind Store.

Buy Ken's art at ImageKind.com.

West Virginia, July and August 2012
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