Terminal Art Market

Strip District Terminal I am very excited to let you all know that I'm participating in the Terminal Art Market this Sunday, Sept 19th at the Terminal in the Strip District. Come see me and 19 other artists and artisans along with the great full time venders at the Terminal including one of my favorite plant & garden stores in Pittsburgh City Grows!

I'm very excited to be joining an amazing group of creators including Women of the Cloud Forest, Threadbare Cider, Anizia Karmazyn, Lilac Honey, and more.

Fine Art Prints

Green Heron by WDO Photography I'll be selling a selection of Fine Art Prints of my nature photography work. These are beautiful prints, many large matted and framed pictures that will look incredible in your home or place of business. Subjects range from birds and butterflies to flowers and mushrooms. Sizes range from intimate sized 5x7 inch prints to massive 16x24 inch prints in frames.

I've printed some of my favorite work for the Terminal Art Market and I know you will love it. Come see me and these prints in person from 9 am until 1 pm on Sunday Sept 19th. along with all of the other incredible artists and artisans who are also participating.

Strip District Terminal

If you've not made it to the Strip District Terminal since it's opened to the public this is the perfect opportunity to visit. There's nothing quite like the Strip District on a Sunday. It's more calm than the average bustling Saturday, brunch is a bit easier to get, and the more laid back, relaxing pace makes for a great shopping experience. I'm a huge fan of what they've done with the Terminal and with Smallman being much safer and easier to navigate it's really easy to pop back and forth between the Terminal and Penn Ave or to snake your way through the side-streets and hit the great shops at places like the Pennsylvania Building on 19th.

See You Sunday!

I can't wait to see you Sunday for the Terminal Art Market! If you've found out about the event from reading the blog please be sure to mention it. This is the first show that I've done since the pandemic began and I'm really happy to be showing off these prints in person to the public. There's nothing like seeing them in person to really get a feel for how they'll look in your home. Thanks for reading, I'll see you Sunday!

Digital Photography at Phipps

I'm once again teaching introduction to digital photography at Phipps Conservatory. This is an in-person class and I'm so happy to get back into the classroom with students at Phipps! You'll need to register on Phipps website here.

Learn How to Use Your Digital Camera

Nature Photography Students Learn how to use your digital camera to create exciting photos that you’ll love to show off. Camera settings including modes, exposure, and focus will all be explained. You’ll learn how to frame, compose, and process your photos. Enjoy fun and engaging assignments that you can complete during class under the guidance of your teacher throughout the beautiful gardens and halls of Phipps Conservatory. Students with all types of digital cameras, skill levels, and interest in photography are welcome.

Class Info

Wednesdays: Sept. 15, 22, 29 and Oct. 6 | 6:30 – 9 p.m.

$120 members | $140 nonmembers

In-person program at Botany Hall Lecture

Level: Beginner to intermediate

COVID Prevention 

Class sizes will be limited to allow for adequate social distancing for covid prevention during class. Currently masks are required for any unvaccinated guests, and strongly encouraged for vaccinated guests. Phipps closely monitors changing guidelines and may need to make adjustments to this class or our requirements to ensure a safe student experience. I will be wearing a mask at the start of class (despite being fully vaccinated) and whenever we are working in close proximity. I hope you'll do the same.

What Will You Learn?

What will you learn in this class? You'll learn the basics of photography in this class. What does that mean? It means you'll be able to figure out how to make your digital camera do what you want it to do. Learning these technical skills including exposure, focus, focal length, depth of field, and more will make sure you understand how to create the exact photo you're looking to make. In addition you'll learn how to compose and design photos that are more interesting and compelling to look at. At the end of class you'll have the technical and aesthetic skills that will allow you to solve any photographic problem that you might run into and can then continue to grow and build your knowledge as a photographer.

Register Here

Fall Phone Photography at Phipps

I'm happy to announce that I'm teaching two phone photography classes at Phipps Conservatory this fall. Both classes are an introduction to phone photography and both will be taught virtually.

What will you learn?

nature phone photography What will you learn from these phone photography classes at Phipps? I'll be teaching the you how to use your phone to take better photos. If you've ever been frustrated by your phone's camera or wanted to understand how to take photos like some you've seen online this class will help you understand everything you need to know in order to make better photos. You'll learn technical skills that will help you change your exposure and to understand when to do so and why. I'll teach you how to use focus, add-on lenses, and other tools you can use to take your photography to the next level. We'll also discuss composition and design to help you make your photos look more interesting.

Understanding both the aesthetic and technical aspects of phone photography will give you the tools to solve problems that prevent you from taking the photos you want.

Wednesday September 8

6:30 PM  –  8:30 PM

You must register for this class on Phipps website here.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Virtual classes are recorded and made available to all registered participants for one month after the program.

Learn how to make better photos with your phone. Discover how to get the most out of your smartphone’s camera and learn what to do with your photos once you’ve taken them. Learn about exposure, composition, your phone's limitations and advantages, and more. All are welcome.

Register Here

Wednesday December 1

6:30 PM  –  8:30 PM

You must register for this class on Phipps website here.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Virtual classes are recorded and made available to all registered participants for one month after the program.

Learn how to make better photos with your phone. Discover how to get the most out of your smartphone’s camera and learn what to do with your photos once you’ve taken them. Learn about exposure, composition, your phone's limitations and advantages, and more. All are welcome.

Register Here

Dream Land Gallery

I'm really happy to share the Dream Land Gallery with you all. This is a collection of photos produced with a vintage Soviet made lens, the Helios 44-2. Check out the full Dream Land gallery on Zenfolio here.

These photos evoke a sense of dreaming. They're great to see via the web but they really shine when printed out very large. The swirly bokeh of the vintage lens, the colors it renders, the subjects, all of these things come together to make you think about dreaming these scenes. I really hope you all enjoy them. Please contact me to let me know your thoughts and of course please order prints of these. My suggestion would be to order Dream Land prints of at least 16x20 inches to really get the full effect and to see the incredible shapes and dreamy swirls herein.

Here are some samples. Enjoy!

 
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Vintage Lens

The Helios 44-2 Vintage Lens is a very important part of what makes these photos special. It does that partly by having a very fast aperture resulting in a shallow depth of field which means when things fall out of focus they do so quickly. There is a real 3D pop to the photos and seriously small DOF which allows some things to appear like they're coming out of nowhere. The Bokeh is so unique and cool as well.

The swirly nature of the bokeh balls as they reach edge and are squished into almond shapes is a quality that a lot of vintage lenses have. In fact it was something that many manufacturers tried really hard to get rid of. You can understand why and if they didn't this look would be very common. Thankfully they did get rid of it making these lenses really unique and cool. Unlike some of the other lenses that have swirly bokeh my copy of the Helios 44-2 also has some other unique qualities like these small diamond shapes that appear on nearly in-focus spectral highlights when fully open.

Needless to say I LOVE this lens! I hope you'll love the results too. If you'd like to see any of these images larger please let me know. I'm happy to meet you and show you a larger format print so you can fall in love with them like I am. All of my fine art prints are orderable with a frame as well. I have several to choose from so if you're interested let me know that as well.

Bird Photography Gallery

I'm really happy to announce that I've just published my Bird Photography galleries on my print ordering website at Zenfolio. Check it out here!

A lot of you have asked about buying prints of my nature photos, especially my bird photos. I've posted examples from the gallery below but be sure to see the full gallery by visiting my nature collection on Zenfolio. All prints are professionally printed on archival paper and they're shipped in protected envelopes so you don't have to worry about damage. In over 15 years ordering prints through my printer I have never had a single client have any issues with their prints but of course, if you do, let me know and I will make it right.

What are in the galleries?

Do you want to know what are in these galleries? Here is a list of all the cool stuff you'll find. Please visit the gallery and see them all right now or check out the preview of it below. I've broken the bird photography galleries down into different sections so if you're looking for particular types of bird photography you can get their faster. Here are the galleries and what is in them:

  • Herons & Egrets
    • Snowy Egrets
    • Great White Egrets
    • Great Blue Herons
    • Green Herons
    • Tri-Color Herons
  • Raptors
    • Osprey
    • Redtail Hawks
  • Woodpeckers
    • Pileated Woodpeckers
    • Downey Woodpeckers
    • Flickers
    • Redheaded Woodpeckers
    • Red-bellies Woodpeckers
    • Yellow-belly Sapsuckers
  • Ducks & Geese
    • Mallards
    • Canada Geese
  • Songbirds and Birds Common to Western PA
    • Robins
    • Cardinals
    • Sparrows
    • Finches
    • Cedar Waxwing
    • Grackles
    • Tufted Titmouse
    • Blue Jays
    • A whole lot more
  • More to come!

I'm going to keep updating the galleries as I get take new photos that I want to share and make available for purchase. If you'd like to see pictures of any particular species I'm always glad to upload a special gallery full of pictures I have of specific birds. Just shoot me a message through the contact page and I'll get that set up for you. If you'd like to get alerts when the galleries are updated please sign up for my mailing list here.

Sample Images

Below are the sample images from the Bird galleries over at Zenfolio. Let me know what you think and if you really love any of these order a print for yourself!

Bees, Butterflies, and More

I'm really happy to announce that I've published my Bees, Butterflies, and more gallery over on my print ordering website hosted by Zenfolio. Check it out here!

Below are some examples from the gallery. Visit my Bees, Butterflies, and more gallery on Zenfolio to see the full gallery. If you enjoy photos of bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and other insects be sure to check back often as I will be regularly updating it with new nature photos that you can purchase right from the gallery.

All of the prints are professionally printed on archival paper and they're shipped in protected envelopes so you don't have to worry about damage. In over 15 years ordering prints through my printer I have never had a single client have any issues with their prints but of course, if you do, let me know and I will make it right.

What's in the gallery?

Do you want to know what's in the gallery? Here is a list of all the cool stuff you'll find in this gallery. Of course you can visit the gallery and see them all right now or check out the preview of it below.

  • Honey, bumble, and sweat bees
  • Butterflies including Monarchs, Swallowtails, Skippers, and more
  • Clear-winged Hummingbird Moths
  • Dragonflies and Damselflies
  • Milkweed Beetles
  • A whole lot more with more to come as well!

I'm going to keep updating the gallery. If you'd like to see pictures of any particular species I'm always glad to upload a special gallery full of pictures I have of specific bees, butterflies, and more. Just shoot me a message through the contact page and I'll get that set up for you. If you'd like to get alerts when the galleries are updated please sign up for my mailing list here.

Sample Images

Below are the sample images from the Bees, Butterflies, and more gallery over at Zenfolio. Let me know what you think and if you really love any of these order a print for yourself!

Waterproof Phone Case

waterproof phone case

Here is a small sample video shot with my Galaxy S20 in one of these waterproof phone cases.

Before my wife and I set out to visit the incredible city of Savannah GA for a late summer vacation I bought this two pack of waterproof phone case for $10 on Amazon. Before we go any further I want to make it clear that I'm not being paid to write this. These very inexpensive cases worked amazingly! I've posted a video below of myself playing in the Atlantic Ocean waves on Tybee Island.

The most important thing is obviously that they don't leak. They passed that test with flying colors which is great because so much of what we do these days is phone dependent and while I could have found my way back to the apartment we are renting it would have been really upsetting if I needed to get a new phone and to have had to explain it to the sales person why.

One other measure that I think is important if you're looking for a waterproof phone case is it's ability to function. While I did have some issues double-clicking my power button (how I typically turn on my camera app) the screen worked very well. In fact it worked a bit too well as the salt water in the ocean managed to close a the camera once.

The downside to these bags was that holding the phone in a way that allowed me to shoot video or take photos in the water or even underwater meant that my finger was very close to the camera lens and several times ended up in the shot. Holding the bag is otherwise easy and despite some really sizable waves smacking right into the phone I managed to hold onto it. But they also provide some straps which I didn't bother using so I can't say how effective they are.

The final note I'll leave about these is that they managed to capture sound really well too so when you're shooting video on your phone you'll hear everything which is really great. I have a large waterproof case for my professional cameras that muffles the sound but since I don't shoot a lot of video underwater with them it's not that big of a deal.

I hope you find this review of these inexpensive waterproof phone cases helpful. If you'd like other fun little tips like this consider signing up for my mailing list and get regular updates about cool products like these and tips to improve your photography.

The Geometry of Photography

Level Your Camera

geometry of photography - camera level

A built-in level on the Nikon D850 shows you if you're level from side to side as well as if you're tilting the camera forward or backwards. In this examples you can see the camera is tilted forward and the right side is much higher than the left.

If your photos are not level it will throw your viewers off and make your photos look less professional. What do I mean when I say to level your camera? Perspective in our images can often be distorted by the angle we’re aiming at our subject from. For example if our subject is sitting on a wall and we’re not facing the wall straight on it will naturally slope down as it gets farther from the camera and the ground will seemingly to rise to meet it.

That sort of perspective doesn’t tend to disturb our viewer but if we are facing the wall straight on and the line at the top of the wall slopes from one side of our frame to the other viewers will be bothered by that lack of balance. You can use that to your advantage but if you’re not intending to do it then it’s most likely going to just look sloppy.

Built-in Levels

Many advanced cameras and even some third-party-app for our phones offer built-in levels. These built-in levels help us to ensure that our camera is level.

Depending on your camera and how the level works you might be able to see it with your image or just independently. On more advanced DSLRs you can see it on the screen but not during live-view. This makes it great for setting your camera up on stable support, like a tripod, but is fairly useless for handholding your camera.

If your camera has a built-in level that allows you to see your framing and the level all at once you can use it when hand-holding your camera which is a huge advantage.

Some built-in levels only help you level your camera from side to side where others allow you to see if you're tilting the camera forward or back like in the photo above.

Spirit Levels

Spirit levels are tools used by those in trades going back millennia. Modern spirit levels have some liquid in them and an air bubble that you can line up between a set of lines or in a circle. Many tripods come with built-in spirit levels but you can also buy levels that attach to your camera.

Seeing Shapes and Lines

Seeing shapes and lines in your composition helps you to break down your composition and to understand the light. Sometimes squinting can help you see shapes and lines especially if they're implied and not explicit (like lines on a road).

Why is seeing shapes and lines important? Shapes and lines help viewers move in and around or through a photo. Lines and shapes that take viewers eyes out of the photo mean they're going to spend less time looking at the image. We don't want that.

Certain shapes keep viewers more engaged than others. Lines that disappear around a corner make a viewer want to know what is going on around that corner. Circles, keep viewers eyes moving around because they lack any corners. Triangles can help a viewer to bounce between three different areas of our composition.

Shapes and lines do not need to be explicit. We can imply them by using different methods such as contrast or focus. We can also use both positive or negative space to suggest shapes.

Learn to see shapes in your compositions and your to level your shots and the look of your photos will improve. For more tips about improving your photos check out my upcoming classes and sign up for my mailing list where I send out lots of great information like this on a (somewhat) regular basis.

 

WDO Photography

Hours & Info

412-403-0810
Open by appointment

Instagram

I'm so excited for the #TerminalArtMarket this Sunday at the @sdterminal check my profile to see some samples of the work I'm seeing from 9 until 1 this Sunday in the #StripDistrict!
I'm so excited for the #TerminalArtMarket this Sunday at the @sdterminal check my profile to see some samples of the work I'm seeing from 9 until 1 this Sunday in the #StripDistrict!
I'm so excited for the #TerminalArtMarket this Sunday at the @sdterminal check my profile to see some samples of the work I'm seeing from 9 until 1 this Sunday in the #StripDistrict!
I'm selling some beautiful fine art nature prints at the #TerminalArtMarket on Sept 19th including this awesome #dreamy #butterfly! Come buy a print of it in a 15"x5" format and have something new that is wonderful and unique to hang on your wall.
I'm selling some beautiful fine art nature prints at the #TerminalArtMarket on Sept 19th including this awesome #Mushroom! Come buy a print of it in a 15"x5" format and have something new that is wonderful and unique to hang on your wall.
I'm selling some beautiful fine art nature prints at the #TerminalArtMarket on Sept 19th. There will be 19 other artists there plus all the amazing stuff you'll normally find in the #StripDistrict on a Sunday.
Mr Snail's Wild Ride!
Found this #LeafFootedBug on my windowsill.
#mold on #RyeBread always makes me wonder if it's #ergot and gets me thinking about flying witches.
A #dragonfly at the #WestinghouseMemorial in #SchenleyPark resting on a broken flower stem. Dragonflies are incredible creatures who, I recently learned are possibly the most successful predators on the planet in terms of their success rate when hunting prey. That's pretty wild right!
Some #JoePyeWeed at the #WestinghouseMemorial in #SchenleyPark photographed with the #Helios44_2
I wish someone would have wrapped the real #ChristopherColumbus up in plastic and tied him up like this. The man was a complete monster who also thought the world was shaped like a #boob all because he refused to believe that after 3 trips to what would become the Americas that maybe, just maybe he wasn't in the West Indies - what a thickheaded murderous wacko. Anyhow, I'm glad that he's wrapped in plastic now, I hope they toss his rape committing genocidal ass into a crucible and make something worthwhile out of him. If you're somehow a fan of his I encourage you to look up what he actually did - read his letters, it's all there, and also read the words of the priest that was with them. He doesn't mince words about the terrible stuff that Columbus did.
From my #WeeklyNaturePhotography walks in #FrickPark on Saturday:
From my #WeeklyNaturePhotography walks in #FrickPark on Saturday:
From my #WeeklyNaturePhotography walks in #FrickPark on Saturday:

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Teen Photography Class

teen photography class Does your teen have an interest in photography? Do they want to know how to take better photos and to understand the art and science of photography?

I'm professional photographer Don Orkoskey, and I'm teaching an in-person teen photography class called the: Future Photographer's Bootcamp at the amazingly beautiful Pittsburgh Botanic Garden on Tuesday Aug. 17th from 9:30 to 12:30 am.

Event Details

Don Orkoskey Photography Teacher

If your teen is interested in photography and wants to understand how to take better photos, sign up for this one-day workshop lead by professional photographer and teacher, Don Orkoskey. Students will receive a thorough description of how to create incredible photos of any subject through examining exposure, framing and composition, all the rules and when to break them, and much more. This is a practical class where we’ll explore the grounds of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden and apply what we’ve learned with Don’s guidance. Your teen will need a small, pocket-sized notebook, pens, and their own camera. Smartphone cameras will work fine and there will be a few DSLR and mirrorless cameras for students to try out during class.

Equipment

Participants in this Teen photography class are encouraged to bring their own cameras, if possible. Nearly any cameras, ranging from smartphone cameras or compact point-and-shoot to mirrorless or DSLR, will work for this program. Don will also have a few DSLR and one mirrorless camera that your teen will have the chance to use on a tripod, allowing them access and experience with these more advanced cameras. Students will receive a certificate for completing this course.

Program Fee

$45 Member | $60 Nonmember

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Members: To receive your discount, make sure that you have registered for our website. Then Sign In (located in the upper right-hand corner) so that you receive your Membership discount when you check out.

For your safety and the safety of our instructors, class sizes are limited and physical distancing and other precautions will be taken during all education programs.

PA Clearances

As this is a class for teens I have renewed my PA clearances to work with children and teens as of July 10th 2021. A copy of these will be provided by request to any parent wishing to verify them before signing their children up. It's of the upmost importance for me and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden that you and your children feel and are safe. Both of my clear child abuse history and criminal background check clearances are available for your review.

Register Nowat the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Website

About Don Orkoskey

Don-Orkoskey-Photographer Thank you for visiting, I hope you will sign up and take my class. You can read more about the classes I offer on the Classes page.

I'm a full time professional photographer. I've owned my own business for nearly 15 years and have worked as a professional photographer for more than 20. I have taught photography for nearly 15 years and teach classes in partnership with a number of amazing organizations including Phipps Conservatory and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. I teach classes for both adults and children and lead a free nature photography walk each week.

When I'm not working I spend a lot of time with my wonderful and amazing wife Zhanna and our adventurous shelter cat Glasha who loves to travel with us and watches birds from our windows when we're not traveling.

I'm also an advocate for a number of causes that are near and dear to me. To learn more about my advocacy and the things I care about visit the About page.

I can't wait to meet you and share my knowledge about photography with you!

Children’s Photo Class

Kid's Photo Class Do your kids love to take photos? I'm professional photographer Don Orkoskey, and I'm teaching an in-person children's photo class: Photo Explorer's Club at the amazingly beautiful Pittsburgh Botanic Garden on Tuesday Aug. 10th from 9:30 to 12:30 am.

Event Details

Don Orkoskey Photography Teacher Encourage your child’s love of exploring nature and taking photos! This one-day workshop with professional photographer and teacher, Don Orkoskey, will examine how to use everything from a cell phone camera to a mirrorless and DSLR camera in order to document the world around them. Don will cover how to solve problems with exposure, blur & focus, and competition while exploring parts of the Pittsburg Botanic Garden to look for and photograph everything from bugs and flowers to landscapes and scenery. All you need is a sense of adventure, a love for exploring and learning, a pocket-sized notebook and pens, and a digital camera.

Equipment

Participants in this Children's photo class are encouraged to bring their own cameras, if possible. Nearly any cameras, ranging from smartphone cameras or compact point-and-shoot to mirrorless or DSLR, will work for this program. Don will also have a few DSLR and one mirrorless camera that your child will have the chance to use on a tripod, allowing them access and experience with these fun, advanced cameras. Students will receive a certificate for completing this course.

Program Fee

$45 Member | $60 Nonmember

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Members: To receive your discount, make sure that you have registered for our website. Then Sign In (located in the upper right-hand corner) so that you receive your Membership discount when you check out.

For your safety and the safety of our instructors, class sizes are limited and physical distancing and other precautions will be taken during all education programs.

PA Clearances

As this is a class for kids ages 7 to 12 I have renewed my PA clearances to work with children as of July 10th 2021. A copy of these will be provided per the request of any parent wishing to verify them before signing their kids up. It's of the upmost importance for me and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden that you and your children feel and are safe. Both of my clear child abuse history and criminal background check clearances are available for your review.

Register Nowat the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Website

About Don Orkoskey

Don-Orkoskey-Photographer Thank you for visiting, I hope you will sign up and take my class. You can read more about the classes I offer on the Classes page.

I'm a full time professional photographer. I've owned my own business for nearly 15 years and have worked as a professional photographer for more than 20. I have taught photography for nearly 15 years and teach classes in partnership with a number of amazing organizations including Phipps Conservatory and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. I teach classes for both adults and children and lead a free nature photography walk each week.

When I'm not working I spend a lot of time with my wonderful and amazing wife Zhanna and our adventurous shelter cat Glasha who loves to travel with us and watches birds from our windows when we're not traveling.

I'm also an advocate for a number of causes that are near and dear to me. To learn more about my advocacy and the things I care about visit the About page.

I can't wait to meet you and share my knowledge about photography with you!