photo patterns at penn state

My self-imposed assignment: Patterns at Penn State. And I decided to make no references to former football coach, Joe PATTERN-O.  Oops!

If you're a visual geek like me, you know your hyper awareness of the world around has it's drawbacks. You get easily distracted by objects in your environment and get caught drifting away from conversations with the people you are talking to.

I blame it on attention deficit, but it's really more of a visual fascination with the elements that make up the world around us.


Penn State Student Center Ceiling PatternPenn State Student Center Ceiling Pattern

The diagonals and the contrast of the ceiling/roof caught my eye as soon as I entered this building. I included the lights in the frame to add a few points of interest to break up the patterns from all of the triangles and rectangles.


Penn State is a large campus and bikes are a popular mode to get from one place to another. My visit was between semesters and this empty bike rack provided some interesting repeating shapes and contrasted with the grooves and seams in the concrete.


Bike Rack - Penn StateBike Rack - Penn State


This photos was an attempt to capture the contrasting repetitions between the slate roof and the bricks. For me, this image came up short. I think it was one of those cases where it needed to have a center point of interest.

Slate and Brick - Patterns at Penn StateSlate Roof and Brick - Patterns at Penn State


While I was shooting patterns and textures at Penn State, I needed some food and beverage.

You've got to maintain my energy levels, right?

There are a few micro breweries around town.

The artwork on the ceiling at this establishment caught my eye.



Nothing earth shattering here, but I enjoyed the design.

State College PA Brewery Ceiling PatternState College PA Brewery Ceiling Pattern


I've been having some fun with Topaz Texture Effects software and included a few samples from my Patterns at Penn State photography excursion.


textures applied to "patterns at penn state" photos

The Old Main building has quite a history behind it on the Penn State college. I chose the Topaz Texture filter named 1950s Print and applied it to the original color photo within Photoshop. 

I purposely chose a location to emphasize the lamp which I thought had an interesting design to it.  I still get a kick out of controlling perspective to emphasize certain parts of an image.

Old Main building - Penn State- Topaz 1950s Print TextureOld Main building - Penn State- Topaz "1950s Print" Texture


The side of this building reminded me of a face of a robot. I often avoid symmetrical compositions, but in this case I thought it worked.

Initially I saw this as a monotone, but the the rust from the iron railings broke up the idea of going in that direction. I used "Detail Extractor" in  Nik Color Efex Pro to enhance the details in the stone.

Stone Facade and Railings - Penn StateStone Facade and Railings - Penn State


It was a damp weekend with a boring white sky so I kept the sky out of almost every single photo I took. Wet surfaces give you an opportunity to look for interesting reflections.

I liked the simplicity in the composition and the similarities within the color scheme.

Storm Sewer Lid and BricksStorm Sewer Lid and Bricks


No visit to Penn State is complete without a visit to the Official Nittany Lion Statue. The lighting was flat and the background was cluttered and unattractive.

I used a filter in the software called "Oily Hand" and muted the background to improve the photo a bit.  I did like the textures in the stone brought out by the software.

My journey to Penn State produced no award winning images and won't bring me any personal recognition as a talented photographer. I did it just for the fun of it.

Even as adults, it is beneficial to go just out and play.  That's the prime message. Enjoy your photography. Give yourself an assignment with a theme or a style of photography and just go explore.

Have a blast!



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