Change the Way You Look at Things

Milky Way Arch (a composite by Harry H. Hitzeman Jr., created from free images found on

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Michael Michalko

In my last post, I ruminated on how my history of shooting photographs in which I was limited by striving to eliminate “hand of man” may have hampered my creativity.  I was going to go back over my images and see what I could find that did have hand of man that I would be excited to show you. These images are primarily photographs of cityscapes, and can be seen in my flickr album of Chicago.  I have also enjoyed photographing architectural interiors, such as the Milwaukee Art Museum ( The Calatrava ), the Chicago Cultural Center, and a few churches, namely the Church of the Transfiguration, St.Peter and Paul Church in Naperville, IL, and St. Volodymyr and Olha Church in Chicago, IL.

Another area of creativity, involving photography and some proficiency in using editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, is the creation of composites.  I had been noticing online several photos of the Milky Way, with some artificially lit geological formations in the earth portion of the photo. I wanted to see bigger arches, more well-lit, and a centering of the Milky Way through the arch.  I realized this could be achieved by a composite of a Milky Way photo and an arch photo. The “Milky Way Arch” was born!

My thanks go to the photographers Tom Gainor and David Becker for donating their images to

And deep thanks to my imagination for helping me change the way I look at things! 🙂

Daisy Daisy

Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer Do

Daisy Daisy Give Me Your Answer Do

This image is titled after a song written in 1892, often sung to me when I was a child by my mother and grandmother:

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do.
I’m half crazy all for the love of you.
It won’t be a stylish marriage.
I can’t afford a carriage.
But you’ll look sweet upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.

For this image, I wanted to experiment with the blur effect in Photoshop.  I wanted it to look like there were streaks of energy or light shooting out radially from the prominent daisy about a third of the way in from the left.


Daisy Layers

Daisy Layers

The bottom layer is the original image.

Above that is a Blur Layer where I have applied a radial blur smart filter.  This layer has a mask that is painted black in areas where I want the shape of a daisy to not be blurred.

The top layer is a curves layer to adjust tones to make the “important” daisies look brighter than their surrounding foliage.


Light Swept

Light Swept

If you’d like to experience a Magic Kingdom, but don’t have the time, money, or patience to fly to Disney World, then this is for you — the TREE ILLUMINATION display at Morton Arboretum in Lisle IL.  See their website to order tickets online.

For sharp photos, I’d recommend using a tripod, especially since your shutter speeds will be longer than usual.

And no need for “light painting” — the arboretum supplies all the lighting and music!

Click on the thumbnails below to see full-size images from this enchanting photo shoot.


Saints Volodymyr and Olha Church

SVOC Colors & Curves

SVOC Colors & Curves

Saints Volodymyr and Olha Church is a beautiful church in Chicago’s Ukranian Village.  I was allowed to photograph from the choir loft.  I wanted to create a composition that would capture the dramatic curve of the choir loft railing and still include the beautiful view of the church windows, arches, and a huge radiant chandelier.

This image was developed using HDR software in order to balance the bright light of the stained glass windows and the darker church interior.

You can view more photos of this impressive church in my flickr album for this church.

Mesa Arch Starburst

Mesa Arch Sunburst

Sunrise on Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Mesa Arch is such a popular location in Canyonlands National Park, I had to get up very early to get a spot to photograph the arch before all the other photographers and tourists arrived.  Ahhhh — Nature!

It was a beautiful sight.  This image is actually an HDR composite of 2 images.  The trick is to take one shot exposing for the close side of the arch before the sun comes up, and another when the sun comes up with the aperture closed down to about f3o, which makes the arch look pretty black.