Archive for the 'architecture' Category

23
Jan
11

1/23/2011: vegas segment 6, light and shadow

Happy Sunday! This might be my last Vegas Segment, as I have moved on to Titusville FL and plan to be out today for pics…

This is the Winn of course, which has come to dominate the Las Vegas skyline in the short time it has stood there, and even now more-so with the Encore to echo it. I shot up through the structure of the Fashion Mart, itself an interesting piece of architecture, using the foreground shapes of girders to frame the reflection of the sun.

Canon SD 4000IS at 106mm equivalent, f5.3 @ 1/1000th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

Processed in Lightroom for clarity and intensity. Extra Fill-Light to bring up just a touch of detail in the girders.

As I said last Sunday, it is possible to find and celebrate the beauty in Vegas, for it is there…but it is always beauty that has to be seen despite itself and its intention. It is like the whole city is as artificial as the city-scapes built in miniature inside the hotels. I survived it, but I am certainly delighted to be “outside” again! I’d like to thank all of you who kept me company on this week-long excursion into territory I don’t usually explore. I look forward to seeing the creation more or less as it comes from the mind of the creator, and maybe sharing a bit of that, somewhere out on Blackpoint Wildlife Drive at Merritt Island NWR today.

22
Jan
11

1/22/2011: Vegas Segments 5, Cranes

Vegas is not only the city that never sleeps, it is also the city that is never finished. There are people on the streets and in the bars and casinos 24 hours a day, and every year when I go back I see at least one new hotel, or new hotel wing, and there is always evidence of new construction at the moment. Construction cranes over Vegas are as much a part of the skyline as the Winn or the Venetian or Cesar’s Place.

Canon SX20IS at about 75mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 80. Programmed Auto.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity. Perspective adjusted and cropped.

21
Jan
11

1/21/2011: Vegas Segment 4, Shadows

Shadows also speak of Vegas, or speak in Vegas. This is from the colonnade at the Venetian, where the stone screen casts shapes against the marble facade of the building itself. I totally confused about 50 tourists while attempting to shoot this. They could not figure out what I was doing, but they were polite enough not to walk into my camera line.

Canon SX20IS at 40mm equivalent, f4 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

19
Jan
11

1/19/2011: Vegas segment 2, reflections

Vegas is a city of illusions, and reflections are the stuff of illusions…as in smoke and mirrors…the stuff of Vegas. The architects who designed the newest hotels were obviously well aware of the power.  The color contrasts and textures are no accident.

Canon SX20IS at about 240mm, f5 @ 1/320th @ ISO 200. Programmed auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.

18
Jan
11

1/18/2011: Las Vegas in Segments (small) 1

Okay, I will admit it…I can only take Las Vegas in tiny segments…little isolated segments, taken out of context, and capturing intentional or accidental beauty (or at least some kind of striking pattern or texture or light effect). So, since I am in Vegas, over the next few days you will be seeing a collection of such small segments…of Vegas…Vegas in Segments.

This is part of the facade of the Venetian Hotel, taken from Las Vegas Blvd. I like the pattern of stone and carving…but I like the play of light across the façade even more.

Canon SX20IS at 190mm, f5 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Programmed Auto.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom, and cropped for composition.

16
Jan
11

1/16/2011: Venice?

When you read this I will staying at the Venetian Hotel, and walking by this scene every day on my way to and from the Sands Convention Hall…deep in the elaborate fantasy that is Las Vegas, Nevada. The expensive fantasy, designed specifically to separate folks from their hard earned cash, by promises of cash unearned, and pleasures without price. Not a place for Sunday thoughts, but I am always amazed that if you look kind of sideways at Vegas, determined to overlook the whole “sin city” thing, there is a considerable amount of beauty there. Take the scene above. Consider the creative energy and the love of form and color…the attention to detail and design…that went into manufacturing this little slice of Venice inside a hotel. Extravagant? Certainly. Fantastic? Absolutely. But then consider…where this stands is a short helicopter ride from the north rim of the Grand Canon. If you want to talk about extravagance and fantasy, that is.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Wonder is wonder…it all belongs to the creator, no matter how deeply the hand of man is in it…what has beauty proclaims the spirit at its root. Or that is what I think anyway. And maybe thinking that will keep me more or less sane for a week in “sin city.”

Sony H50 and Sanyo GC10. Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.

31
Dec
10

12/31/2010: Snowbound

Happy last day of 2010. I suppose this should be a day of reflection…but for me it is a day of anticipation…what will 2011 bring?

This snowbound salt farm sits at the edge of Laudholm Farms and the Wells National Estuarine Research Center in Wells ME. The Blizzard closed the road (which is, for the most part, unused as the entrance to Laudholm is beyond the farm on the other side where there is access from another road). Salt farms were a feature of the northern New England Colonial Coast, where the first and richest farms were established on the tidal marshes and estuaries, which did not have to be cleared. Salt hay was a staple for New England dairy in winter until well after independence.

You can see that the road had been plowed sometime during the storm, but drifts closed it again quickly.

And here is a detail from the left side of the image above…I zoomed in to isolate it.

Both images have been cropped for composition.

Canon SX20IS. 1) 28mm, f4 @ 1/640th @ ISO 80. 2) 190mm, f5 @ 1/500th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lighrtoom. Exposure was reduced in 1) for better tones on the snow.

20
Oct
10

10/20/2010: duck brook bridge, Acadia np

The bridges of Acadia National Park were built by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to employ master stone masons out of work due to the depression. They are, real works of art…but none are easy to photograph, and Duck Brook Bridge, which spans a deep little ravine, is particularly hard. Finding an effective vantage point is particularly difficult, especially among the trees. This shot catches some of the interesting features of the bridge, and puts it in is natural context…this is a view anyone who visits could see. The leading rail of the fence was an experiment that I think works, and between exposure and Lightroom processing I managed to preserve a relatively natural and balanced look. A slight crop from the bottom was applied to eliminate the more severely out of focus rail, and to improve composition.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. F4.0 @ 1/400th @ ISO 80. Landscape program.

Recovery for the sky in Lightroom. Some Fill Light for the foreground. Blackpoint right for intensity. Added Clarity and a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

And a second view.

27
Sep
10

9/27/2010: Quoddy Head Light

Quoddy Head Light, while not, perhaps, one of the more attractive Lighthouse in Maine, has the distinction of being the eastern-most Lighthouse in the United States, standing on the eastern-most point of land in the United States. It is so far east that my cell phone claimed it was in another time zone.

The other thing that distinguishes Quoddy Head is fog. Beside the light is the fog horn, and it goes part or all of most days. Certainly, while I had hopes according the National Weather Service, it never stopped sounding during my visit, and the fog never lifted more than a few feet off the ground. Maybe the NWS is not in charge of the weather in that time zone?

Still, you can’t visit Quoddy Head without photographing the Light, fog or no fog…so…

Though I tried this shot as an HDR, hoping for better light on the Lighthouse, I like this single shot version better, as I was able to maintain, and even emphasize, detail in the foreground grass…maybe I would have done better with the HDR with a tripod.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent, f2.8 @ 1/640th @ ISO 125. Programmed auto.

In Lightroom, recovery for the fog, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset. Then I pulled a Graduated Filter effect up from the bottom to increase brightness, contrast, and clarity on the lawn (to bring up the fine details) and one down from the top to darken just a bit, increase contrast considerably, and add a bit of saturation.  Finally, I used the vertical distortion control to straighten the house and Light.

And here it is from the other side:

28
Aug
10

8/28/2010: Good Night Wetzlar

One last shot from old town Wetzlar. The stone bridge, gables, and lighted shop windows, with the gloomy drama of the sky above. Without HDR treatment this shot would be impossible. To me it totally captures the feeling of the rainy evening as I headed back to the hotel, and says something about old town Wetzlar that I have felt, but never captured before.

Two shots with the Canon SX20IS separated by 3EV, and then tone-mapped blend in Photomatix. Final adjustments in Lightroom for Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen. Perspective and distortion correction.

From Germany and England 2010.