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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo of the Day
A few years ago we went to Vegas for a work convention. I really was less concerned about the convention, and more concerned with the surrounding area. Vegas was a great place to take pictures even if it was with my point and shoot. The Hoover Dam was amazing, and I still love many of my pictures from there even if they are not technically great. They were pretty good for me at the time. This shot of ‘the high scaler’ has always stood out to me. I guess why I like it so much is that I will never be able to duplicate it. The new suspension bridge over the river would be in the background. I liked the simplicity of the shot, and I am glad that I took the time to take it. I also think that by accident I stumbled onto a photography rule when I had the rock start on the right side of the picture. This was a step in the right direction for my photography.
As with all of these point and shoot shots I really can’t do much to them. I did try to apply one of my presets to it, and I think it kind of worked. I also then upped the contrast and shadow detail to get it to where I liked it. Not much to say here today.
I have been wanting to share a shot or two that I took in Las Vegas for a while now. For some reason though my collection from that time frame has gone missing. I thought that I would open the Vegas shots with this one of the hotel that we stayed at. This entrance looked great to me, and I tried to stay still one night long enough to get it. Looking back now I see a couple of things that could have been better, but for my early shooting this is a pretty good shot. I liked the idea of a tunnel going into the casino. I did not get rich here though as the title may imply.
I normally don’t have a technical section for the flashback pics, but that may start happening a bit more. This was shot with my Kodak point and shoot so I thought that the shot is what it is. I have been having fun using Lightroom to improve my current shots, but what use are the sliders in Lightroom on an old jpeg file? The answer to that is that they are still magic. I have always liked this shot, but I think that I improved it volumes with the aid of Lightroom. It has always looked like a point and shoot shot, but now it looks more like something that was shot with a dSLR and a tripod.
Kelby Worldwide Photowalk
Here is that part of the post where I talk about the photowalk that I am leading on campus after the Wisconsin game in October. The date is October 13th to be exact, and the walk will start at 4 o’clock est at the Neil Armstrong Statue in front of the Armstrong Hall of Engineering. Over 1,100 photowalks are planned around the world. If you are not near West Lafayette then you kind find a walk near you on the Kelby site. Sign up now to be part of this event. Over 22,000 walkers have already signed up so far. You don’t have to be a pro (I am far from it) to attend. Any kind of camera is welcome as well. Here are a few links to the various sites which promote the event. If you want to sign up you should do so on the Kelby site in order to be eligible for the prizes though.
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk ( Official Purdue Site)
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk (Purdue Facebook Page)
Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk (Purdue Google+ Page)