Finding Beauty in the Old Stuff

In early 2006 I went with some of my co-workers to Las Vegas for a conference. One day I went off on my own to see the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. I took the boat ride on the lake, and up to the dam. I made many photos with my point and shoot camera on that trip. Just before leaving I bought a new piece of software called Microsoft Photo Suite. It had a built in panoramic function in it. I made many images on the trip knowing that I would stitch them together as a panoramic image. This was the trip of the panoramic image. I don’t know if I have made as many since as I did on that short trip. I kept using the Microsoft program for the sporadic panorama that I would make up until a couple of years ago. I was shooting a point and shoot in auto so the pano is not perfect, but it is a nice memory of a beautiful place. If the photograph can bring back the great memory of the trip than you don’t have to have it perfect.

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Photo of the Day

It has been a while since I have visited Las Vegas. The first and only time that I have was in 2006. I had a point and shoot camera at the time, but that didn’t stop me from trying to capture some of the great things about the city. With the point and shoot I was not able to do much after dark, but that didn’t stop me from trying. Occasionally things went in my favor, and I made a nice image. ¬†One of the places that I loved was New York, New York. I had not been to the Big Apple yet so this was my first taste of what it would be like. Of course the real buildings were much larger, but it did wet my appetite to see the real thing.

Technical Data

You could say that I have been working on this photo since 2006. Just before leaving for the trip I picked up a copy of a a photo editing program called Microsoft Photo Suite. In that program was a way to stitch several photos into one nice panorama. I spent a lot of time on that trip making photos that I could stitch into panos. This was one of those. I decided that on the left side of the frame a bunch of streetlights and power lines were worth the pano. Power lines also dominated the right side of the frame. Part of the editing here in 2013 was to get rid of some of the excess in the frame. I think that the photo is much simpler now as it should be. I did use an HDR preset in Lightroom to bring out some of the detail in the photo. Of course this was shot at high noon so I tried to get rid of some of the harsh shadows. The Photo Suite was my first real editing program. I never did dig too deep into it though. Cropping and panos were the main things that I found for it. I did find some painterly filter that I used way too much as well. It is still a good program that I used for panos up until about a year ago.

paris

Throwback Photo

This is a photo from near my hotel (Bally’s) in Las Vegas looking towards the Paris hotel next door. I loved everything about this hotel from the scaled down Eiffel Tower to the nice balloon shaped sign out front. Using a point and shoot makes a shot like this tough though. I really had to focus on staying still to get it. In the end it turned out. I have often wondered how my dSLR would do on the strip. It is not as concealed as my point and shoot was, but I think that I would have had a blast with it.

Technical Data

Here is a good luck at things that I used to do because I was limited by my equipment. My old point and shoot cameras would not capture the entire scene. I had to improvise. I would take to pictures trying to line them up as best as possible up and down. From there I would run them through my panoramic program in Microsoft Photo Suite 2006. In fact I only quit using this program last year because I liked it so much. I now know that I have better programs to use, but my limited pano work is still done with this program. Almost seven years after I initially edited the photo I ran it through Lightroom to add a few highlights to it. Even with an old jpeg Lightroom let me bring it to life a little more. You really have to be careful though not to overdue it, and break apart the picture. This one when zoomed in all the way is really not very sharp. Too much tinkering would have ruined it. I think that I walked the fine line pretty well here.

First Down

Photo of the Day

This was a shot that I was debating putting on here. When I took this picture it was really advanced for me. I guess that this section of the blog is meant to show images that I liked in the past, but it is also here to show how I have grown. Shooting with my point and shoot was a blast, but it had its limits. Even when I found one with a good burst mode the quality was still not there. It did its job though, and I have this nice image to show for it. I went to the game to shoot #40 here, and twice that day I got shots that made it worthwhile. Little did I know how far I would go after shooting this.

Technical Data

This is a shot that I found out how to make by accident. I made a panoramic out of the six pictures in the burst in Microsoft Photo Suite. That left me with a lot of ghosting especially with my target the running back. I had to go back and get the shots of him from four of the images to bring back into this shot. With the software I had at the time it was a hard process, but worth it.

lubbers snow globe

Photo of the Day

Today I thought I would post this picture that I took in 2009 in Allendale, Michigan. We were watching the NCAA Division 2 semi-final game between the Grand Valley State Lakers and Carson Newman. The weather in southwest Michigan was very wintery that day, but I loved every minute of it. We were very cold sitting in our seats, but the snow made for some great pictures. As it was getting dark I snapped this three shot panorama of the stadium in the snow. I always thought that it had a snow globe look to it. I was not sure about how a panorama would look on this site, but why not give it a try. Grand Valley won that game 41-27 to advance to Florence, Alabama to play in the Championship game. We ended up on the field that night celebrating. It was a very good time for sure. If you want to see more pictures from that day they can be found on my sports blog here.

Technical Data

This one took some work on it several years apart. After taking the photo in 2009 I ran it through Microsoft Photo Suite 2006 which is the program that I used at the time to make my panoramas. In fact when I made a couple last year I was still using the program. I am sure that I have better tools available now, but I really have not had the reason to use them yet. Here in late 2012 I decided to run this picture through Lightroom to see what I could do to it. The medium sports preset by Matt Kloskowski really seemed to make the picture, and I am really surprised at what taking a little color away from a shot can do to it.

callie snow

Throwback Photo

Today I have gone way back for this one. This shot was taken in the winter of 2005, my first and only winter using the Kodak DX7440 camera that I bought. It was a good camera, but in 2006 I knew that I had to move up to a dSLR. I have always liked this photo though so I thought that I would share it with you this morning. Anyone who ever met our old dog Callie knew that she was far from a hunter, but for some reason her pose here in the snow made her appear to be one.

Technical Data

I used a very old program here (Microsoft Photo Suite 2006) to edit this shot. They had a filter that you could use that allowed me to make the snow melt away so to speak just leaving Callie in the shot with a sort of angelic glow. Basically I used the snow like a green screen. It has been so long since I edited the shot that I can’t remember which filter it was, but it got the job done. I am not sure that too many people saw this photo until Callie died. Of course then this was the best shot at the time so I used it.

Photo of the Day

As I said yesterday I am finally attending my first pro baseball game of the season today. It is very odd that it has taken me this long to attend a game. I guess that I am making up for that fact by attending two today. I have wanted to do the Wrigley/Cell double for a while now. The dates have never really lined up, and you usually only get one chance a season to try it. This year a couple have already gone by, and of course today showed up. August 25th is a big baseball day for me anyway so why not celebrate it in style. I am sure that I will have a few pictures from the day, but just in case I can’t get around to posting them I thought that I would post this one to have something up on the blog today.

I took this last season on Opening Day in Cleveland. I have been to a few Opening Days, but never one on the road. After some brutal weather days the sun came out, and it was a great day for baseball. I had fun exploring the stadium before the game getting some shots. I liked this one from just off center behind the plate the best.

Technical Data

This is a three shot panorama that was stitched together in Microsoft Photo Suite 2006. I really needed to update my software last year as you can tell. I didn’t use the program for much, and it really did a great job making panos for me. To get this on the site I opened it up in Photoshop in order to run it through Topaz Adjust 5. I really liked how the dramatic preset made this photo pop a bit. I am a preset junkie so I kept it how it looked. It is a bit overcooked, but I like the effect. My only question in posting this shot was whether or not the scale of the picture would allow it to be viewed properly. Thankfully now I have the wide angle lens that will allow a shot like this to look a little cooler.

Other News

As I said I will be at both Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field today to catch ballgames. I would like to have a post for each game with a nice shot. I assume that I will have at least one bonus picture for today. I also plan on trying to catch the sunrise so I may have a couple bonus pictures. As I write this a few days beforehand I can only guess, but if I could see into the future I would say that I will get some good shots for sure.