Technological Armageddon

Such a Mess

I am a big fan of recycling when I can. Sometimes the powers that be, just make it TOO HARD! Other times I miss opportunities right in front of my eyes, like when I started to throw away my Starbucks cup and one of my relatives from California said, maybe you want to write your name on that cup so you know it’s yours. No, Ill just get another if I want something (into the trash). This was a recycling day in my home town a few years ago for electronic “junk”. Its sort of amazing how much waste we make. Out with the old and in with the new. The problem is, what do you do with all that we discard?

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: iPhone 4
  • Taken: 23 October, 2010
  • Focal length: 3.85mm
  • ISO: 80
  • Shutter speed: 1/180s
  • Title: Technological Armageddon

Meet Ms Scarlett My 2016 Mini Cooper S

It was her employer MS SCARLETT!

It’s a day I thought would never come…I finally purchased a NEW car! I am a frugal sort of person. All of my automobiles have been given to me in some way. A used car someone didn’t want any longer. My old 1992 Ford Ranger XLT had been through most of the members of my family when it came to live with me. Oscar is its name, but from looks, to convenience, to a dead air conditioning system on a super hot summer…I finally decided, after 40 years, it was time to actually BUY a car.

Ms Scarlett came to live with us yesterday. When I met her I literally squealed and jumped for joy. She was custom built, just how I wanted her by the awesome Mini team in Oxford, England. Already I can tell she likes to drive more than I am accustomed to. The interesting thing is she is SO FUN to drive, I am completely agreeable to this new arrangement between myself and das auto. The Mini people refer to it as “motoring” and I can tell Ms Scarlett and I have a long number of years of fun ahead of us together!

Photo Technical Info

Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse September 2015

Blood Moon

This total lunar eclipse on September 27th, 2015 took me a bit by surprise. I didn’t realize it was happening and sort of lucked out seeing post on Facebook. I quickly checked outside and I happened to get my camera setup just about midpoint of the eclipse. I am not an astral photographer (obviously), but it just goes to show you, you never know what awesome things will be happening in your own back yard!

Photo Technical Info

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 27 September, 2015
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter speed: 1.3s

American Chevy

American Muscle

There is just something about old cars. Perhaps it’s simply nostalgia in one of its most basic forms. That sentimental longing for times long past…a simpler time. It’s an illusion of course. Perhaps things were more simple in the past, there weren’t pesky things in the 50’s like airbags or even seat belts requirements. It is an illusion of memory, but one I am happy to revel in when it comes to classic automobiles. I was passing by a local pizza place one day where there were a full gaggle of 1950’s model Chevy’s. I had to stop and have a few fond remembrances of my own.

A Highway in Downtown St Louis

Barren Wastelands

On a recent trip to St Louis, MO while shooting The Gateway Arch, the new Cardinals Stadium and Downtown St Louis in general I walked several times across this highway. It was one of those submerged areas, green parks were all around, but somehow in this one spot, it seemed very desolate to me. On one of those back and forth trips there was this odd magenta hue to the sky and the entire concrete wasteland was bathed in a color that, to me made it feel even more detached. We build these things for convenience, for transportation, for speed, but how impersonal they are, how inhospitable, how so like the end of the world they feel.

Outside of Left Field

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

While in downtown St. Louis, Pamela and I made it a point to walk down by the new Cardinals Stadium in Downtown St. Louis. The new stadium is right next door to the old one, there is a big empty field now where the old stadium once stood. I didn’t get what I wanted of the front. The sun was going down behind me as I shot the front of the ball park. I think the real excitement would be a morning shot from home plate with zero people in the stadium. If anyone knows someone that can make this happen, let me know, but I did get this shot of the sunset while walking along the Left Field Wall that came out very nicely.

Photo Talk

I noticed something working today I have never before realized. Using automatic Reduce Ghosting Artifacts in Photomatix REALLY seems to increase the noise in your HDR TIFF output. I still need to do some more testing, but here is the short of it. I created my first HDR without Reduce Ghosting Artifacts. I realized I had that funny black blob effect in the cars headlights that sometimes happens. No problem. I started again with Reduce Ghosting Artifacts on Auto High. BAMMIE WHAM (shout out to FilmRiot)…NOISE out the Wazoo! I have long sense though my images were too noisy. I thought it was mostly due to how hard I push my files…perhaps with more testing I will prove myself wrong!

The Gateway Arch

Less an Abstract Arch

The first photo I published from the St Louis Arch was a bit on the abstract side. I took a number of photos really close up on the arch, they still feel like the arch to me, but they also don’t scream out ARCH! With this photo I wanted to bring a more concrete feel, but still give a different perspective then we usually see. I tried to frame the arch so it feels different with a strong and different graphic flow. I have more of this series I would like to work on…the sky that day had a wonderful cloud system overhead and a deep blue feel.

Technicals

This is a three bracket (-2, 0, 2) shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a Really Right Stuff Tripod, combined in Photomatix, processed quite a bit in Photoshop and the Nik suite, finished in Lightroom 4.

Downtown St Louis at Dusk

Pretty Light

I am a sucker for a good sunset (and a good sunrise really). We were by the St Louis Arch doing some photographing of the arch, when it turned all pink. I turned around when Pamela said…”Woah, look at that!” The sky over downtown St Louis had gone all…awesome! I and several other photographers setup shots quickly (you never know how long these things will last). I think I missed the peak color by a few minutes, but you wouldn’t know from the shot.

Technicals

This is a three shot HDR (-2, 0, +2) combined in Photomatix. It was edited in Photoshop, Nik Color EFX Pro, Sharpener Pro and Lightroom 4.

The Jeweled Ceiling of Union Station

Jewels

Ok…so maybe jeweled is a bit of a stretch, but it is really impressive looking. Perhaps not in the European Palatial sense, but I found it quite stunning. I shot from my tabletop tripod and kept expecting someone to tell me to get lost. The great thing about that little booger is that people don’t see it as a hazard like they do my larger tripod. I incur the wrath of many a security guard when trying to open my Really Right Stuff legs, but my tabletop…NOTHING! It’s like a tripod in stealth mode! I cant recommend one of these little guys enough.

Technicals

This was a 3 exposure bracket (-2, 0 +2), processed in Photomatix, exported to Photoshop to repair some burned out light bulbs, Tonal Contrast was added out the wazoo in Nik Color Efex Pro 4 as well as sharpening done in Sharpener Pro, final touch-up work was done in Lightroom 4.

The Kauffman Center By Day

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

I just can’t get over how cool looking the Kauffman Center is. It seems like a cross between the Sydney Opera House, the Guggenheim Museum and something with lots of glass. The last two times I have been in downtown Kansas City, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this place and takes its picture. This time I went more wide angle using the 16-35mm lens. Last time I used the 50 and shot at night. I would love to shoot the inside of this place as I am sure the hall is magnificent as well.

Technicals

This shot is an HDR three exposure bracket (-2, 0, +2) processed in Photomatix, exported to Photoshop and modified with the Nik Complete Collection (noise reduction, tonal contrast and sharping). Final adjustments were done in Adobe Lightroom 4.