an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

festival

The Magic of Bubbles

hands and bubbles
hands and bubbles

Reaching for the bubbles.

Along with everyone else I was enchanted by the huge bubbles people were making! Two long sticks with a 36″ loop of rope between were dipped into five-gallon buckets of bubble solution then held up to the breeze coming off the river. Sometimes one long bubble would form like a long tube, but if the wind moved about or the make moved the sticks it would twist and fold on itself or break into individual bubbles.

Of course, I had to get the bubbles and the fountain together in a few photos.

hands and bubbles

The best bubble of all.

This perfect bubble moved on the wind through the crowd…

soap bubble

This bubble went floating by…

…then suddenly, pop!

soap bubble

Then…pop!

The most wonderful thing was that everyone around the bubbles was smiling! The light was a little too dim to get a good photo of it, though.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


The Fountain at The Point

the fountain at the point at pittsburgh
the fountain at the point at pittsburgh

Two young girls run through the wading pool around the fountain.

I went to a concert at our annual Three Rivers Arts Festival weekend before last, and I captured so many images I was absolutely overwhelmed—as well as busy with a big project in house so I barely had a chance to review and edit photos. I realize it’s been a week since I posted anything at all! But a little distance from all those photos and getting the big project done gave me a little more perspective and choosing and editing images was actually easier.

The Point at Pittsburgh is the headwaters of the Ohio River, and the reason Pittsburgh exists where it does. The Allegheny River flows from the northeast and the Monongahela River flows from the south east and they come to a confluence in this valley and flow on to West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois until it reaches the Mississippi River in Cairo, Illinois. It’s an interesting feeling to stand above this point and see the rivers come together and flow off through this landscape that was once so scarred by industry and pollution, but which is now clean and green, the hills still tree-covered, the waters, well, I’ve had a swim in each of the rivers.

the fountain at the point at pittsburgh

People gather at the point during the festival.

The most surprising thing is the point itself. Because river travel was so important for industry, this very point was once the site of factories and warehouses, trainyards, docks and even coal tipples that loaded barges and boats to carry raw and finished materials from the hinterlands of Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia into Pittsburgh, and picking up more to travel down the Ohio. If you’ve ever seen the land left behind after a steel mill or a chemical factory or a glass plant has moved on, it’s about as dead as the earth can be. But with the beginning of Pittsburgh’s Renaissance in the 1950s, this point of land was taken for a state park, rehabilitated and made a lovely place to visit and see the city and the rivers from a unique point of view—Pittsburgh is very hilly, and there aren’t many places that are this flat.

The fountain celebrates this spot with three short fans each facing a river, and the spire in the center fed by the “fourth river”, an underground river that flows out of Coal Hill or Mt. Washington directly underneath the Point.

the fountain at the point at pittsburgh

The plate marking the Point.

The seal above is on the pavement near the edge of the wharf and has the names of each of the rivers on the side facing that river and also reads, “Point of Confluence, Point of Conflict, Point of Renewal”. A pentagonal shape marks the spot where Fort Duquesne once stood. I’ll be writing more about that with other photos coming in the next few days.

Below is a photo of the point from up on Mt. Washington from 2011 when the Point and the park were under construction so that you can get an idea where this fountain stands and see the confluence of two rivers that makes a third.

photo of pittsburgh pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Inside Out, 2009

Performers reduced to silhouettes at night through the canvas tent walls.

Performers reduced to silhouettes at night through the canvas tent walls.

It’s an abstract review of the performance, the band silhouetted against the canvas walls of the tent. It made for an interesting composition, especially with the guitar being the clearest silhouette in the image.


Balancing the Scimitar, 2010

bellydancer
bellydancer

Joanna’s Scimitar Dance

My friend Joanna performs her Scimitar Dance as part of her bellydance performance in our community festival last weekend. If it’s difficult to find the scimitar in this photo, it’s balanced on her upper lip.

In addition to her graceful posture and detailed costume, I also appreciated the ambient staging, as I always do with performance shots. In this case, the warm colored lights contrasting with the cool light of dusk each casting shadows overlapping at different angles added a beautiful dimension.

Not to mention my friend Kevin photographing from the other side of the stage. I’ll have to ask him if he has me in his photo!

This Scimitar Dance literally represents a metaphor—the risk of dancing with a potentially dangerous weapon, but with proper control the danger is eliminated. Bellydancing may seem fun or cute or sexy, but if you look closely at how the body moves, sometimes one small section at a time in a very complicated rhythm, you’ll understand what kind of control you need to develop.

Women often bellydance around a woman giving birth to help inspire her body to push the baby forth into the world, and also to welcome the new life with the joy of dance.

While the dance derives from folk traditions in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean tradition the music sounds distinctly Middle Eastern and I have often heard people associate the practice with Islam and object to it because of that, though it has no greater connection with that religion than it does with any other. This was performed on 9/11 of all days, and no one seemed to notice the association or objected to the bellydance performance.


Summer Festivals, 2009

A Date at the Fair

A Date at the Fair

Those old-fashioned street fairs are fun in the daytime, rides turning in the heat of August, too much cotton candy and pop taking their toll…but for all their fun in the day, they are magical at night, the lighted rides turning against a starry sky, the attractions an oasis of colorful neon and incandescent in the midst of an inky darkness of streets, then just as suddenly as it sprung from nothing in a parking lot, it’s gone, leaving only darkness and cool September nights.

In this photo, a couple on a date wanders toward the rides.

From back in my first year of photo blogging! This event is coming up again, and I hope they have the rides for great night photos.


The Fine Art of Making a Snowcone

two girls in pink wait for their snowcone
two girls in pink wait for their snowcone

The fine art of making a snowcone.

A few more photos from Rock the Quarry yesterday, and two young ladies in pink waiting for their rainbow snowcone.

The making of snowcones is a family affair for the woman in charge here; I didn’t realize when I ran out to the snowcone truck when it came around my neighborhood I’d meet those same people again one day as an adult.

making a snowcone

Rainbow snowcone is done.


How Did They Get It There?

American flag reflected in pond
American flag reflected in pond

American Flag Reflects

A fairly large flag hangs on the highwall of the old limestone quarry, above the quarry pond, along the Panhandle Trail in Walker’s Mill, near Pittsburgh, PA. Today the event was “Rock the Quarry XII”, an annual two-day community event that also raises funds for the trail development and maintenance. The trail runs along an abandoned railway line and through the older part of a limestone quarry (part of it is still quite active), and the festival has music and food vendors and games for visitors.

 


And Your Little Dog, Too!

tattooed woman with dog
tattooed woman with dog

And Your Little Dog, Too

I was quite amazed by the detail of this woman’s tattoos, not to mention the pink tips on her blonde dreadlocks.

She was unconcerned about the opinion of the dour woman sitting on her doorstep carefully studying the tattoos and hair as she worked on her plaster house number at the Polish Hill Art What You Got Festival in 2010.

That looks like Medea on her left leg right above her Boston terrier’s back, and on her right leg is that Alice after she’s drunk the potion that makes her larger? Not sure, but this woman seems to have myths and stories all over her skin.

The neighborhood, one of the oldest in Pittsburgh as you could guess by its name, is a big mix of old and new, traditional and avant garde, babushka and punk. Not everyone who lives there is Polish, though that’s a relatively new innovation, letting in outsiders. Many college students live there because it’s much less expensive than living near the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University, Chatham University and Carlow University, all within walking distance if you’ve got a little time.

It was a very interesting place to spend an afternoon, and I’m going to have to go back to visit the coffee houses when I’m not in a festival.


Witajmy

polish and american flags

American and Polish Flags

I also attended the annual PolishFest at All Saint’s Polish National Catholic Church on Saturday afternoon. Sometimes we never get too far from our roots.

I used to go to this event with a number of relatives during the day, but not all at the same time. Now they are all gone, my mother, her sister, my godparents and another aunt. I still go in their memory and to support this church which is so important to its little community of Irishtown in Carnegie. I know, what’s a Polish National church doing in a neighborhood called Irishtown? Because that’s the way it should be. Welcome, to everyone.

sign that says "witajmy"

Witajmy


Polish Fest

polish festival

Polish Festival

Carnegie still has about 20 different churches, the Polish National Catholic Church being one of them. The first Saturday of every October they host a festival which has mostly to do with food, lots of it, made by the good ladies of the Auxiliary from scratch, from ancient recipes, with no shortcuts.

The big social hall is filled with tables of people eating and drinking and speaking English and Polish, which I rarely hear any more and can barely speak, though I can usually understand it if it’s spoken slowly. Everything is red and white, the colors of Poland. I greeted Father Rick and his wife Karen, priest of the church, and waved at friends.

There was an older man with a really bad combover who was playing a little electronic keyboard and singing out-of-date songs, but singing them well, a little one-man band.

I met my brother there; he is mildly disabled and a little slow after a traumatic brain injury 10 years ago, but he gets along well under many watching eyes. He’d gotten there before me and highly recommended the potato pancakes. I took his suggestion.


Balancing the Scimitar

bellydancer with scimitar

Joanna's Scimitar Dance

My friend Joanna performs her Scimitar Dance as part of her bellydance performance in our community festival last weekend. If it’s difficult to find the scimitar in this photo, it’s balanced on her upper lip.

In addition to her graceful posture and detailed costume, I also appreciated the ambient staging, as I always do with performance shots. In this case, the warm colored lights contrasting with the cool light of dusk each casting shadows overlapping at different angles added a beautiful dimension.

Not to mention my friend Kevin photographing from the other side of the stage. I’ll have to ask him if he has me in his photo!

This Scimitar Dance literally represents a metaphor—the risk of dancing with a potentially dangerous weapon, but with proper control the danger is eliminated. Bellydancing may seem fun or cute or sexy, but if you look closely at how the body moves, sometimes one small section at a time in a very complicated rhythm, you’ll understand what kind of control you need to develop.

Women often bellydance around a woman giving birth to help inspire her body to push the baby forth into the world, and also to welcome the new life with the joy of dance.

While the dance derives from folk traditions in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean tradition the music sounds distinctly Middle Eastern and I have often heard people associate the practice with Islam and object to it because of that, though it has no greater connection with that religion than it does with any other. This was performed on 9/11 of all days, and no one seemed to notice the association or objected to the bellydance performance.


Festivating!

photo of festival booths

Festival Ready

All the tents were set up and quietly waiting last night, looking a little strange with no one around. Can’t wait for today! Visit www.carnegieartsandheritage.com for all the information!


And Your Little Dog, Too!

tattood woman with dog working on art project

And Your Little Dog, Too

I was quite amazed by the detail of this woman’s tattoos, not to mention the pink tips on her blonde dreadlocks.

She was unconcerned about the opinion of the dour woman sitting on her doorstep carefully studying the tattoos and hair as she worked on her plaster house number at the Polish Hill Art What You Got Festival last Sunday.

That looks like Medea on her left leg right above her Boston terrier’s back, and on her right leg is that Alice after she’s drunk the potion that makes her larger? Not sure, but this woman seems to have myths and stories all over her skin.

The neighborhood, one of the oldest in Pittsburgh as you could guess by its name, is a big mix of old and new, traditional and avant garde, babushka and punk. Not everyone who lives there is Polish, though that’s a relatively new innovation, letting in outsiders. Many college students live there because it’s much less expensive than living near the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University, Chatham University and Carlow University, all within walking distance if you’ve got a little time.

It was a very interesting place to spend an afternoon, and I’m going to have to go back to visit the coffee houses when I’m not in a festival.


Inside Out

Performers reduced to silhouettes at night through the canvas tent walls.

Performers reduced to silhouettes at night through the canvas tent walls.

It’s an abstract review of the performance, the band silhouetted against the canvas walls of the tent. It made for an interesting composition, especially with the guitar being the clearest silhouette in the image.

I am deeply involved the the Carnegie Arts & Heritage Festival as the PR director and as an exhibiting artist, and it’s a feast for the eyes to photograph. It was a month ago, and really knocked my schedule off the block, but it took nearly this long to review all the images from the event. I’ll be posting images from the festival in the next few days.