Sunday, November 28, 2010

Schlitterbahn Slide

Schlitterbahn Slide

Well, I hope everyone out there had a great Thanksgiving! I must say that ours was great. Eileen's Aunt Betty and Uncle Sam came down for a visit along with their daughter Melissa and her family. It was a great visit with all of them and as it always does, time just flew by way too fast! We all had a great time! But, with the great time comes lots of food and that's something Eileen and her family can do, put out LOTS of food! We are still eating and will be for days. Nothing like Thanksgiving leftovers!

Speaking of leftovers, this shot is a leftover from last year. Our tradition is that after Thanksgiving, the holiday decorations come out. We decorated the house already. So, as a reflection of that, I thought I need to put some holiday shots on the old blog. However, I don't have any new stuff yet. Well, I thought a holiday leftover would suffice. This is a shot from a visit to the Schlitterbahn waterpark we went to last year. They decorate the whole place with lights, put out an ice skating rink and really make the place Christmassy. It's a fun place to shoot if you can get there. I have one or two more that I will put out in the coming days. In the meantime, I guess that means I need to find some new holiday content, so I will see what I can come up with.

Anyway, let me be the last to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and the first to wish you a Merry Christmas! Thanks for visiting and get your shopping done soon!

This shot was processed as usual.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom
ISO: 400
Aperture: f11
Exposure Bias: 0.00
Shutter: 1.6
Focal Length: 19mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 5 exposures with EVs ranging from -2 to +2 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rusty RV

Rusty RV

I love getting shots of old rusted out cars, trucks, gas pumps, etc... It seems the rust just pops in HDR! Of course, playing with Nik Color Efex a little helps. I'm not sure if this is a bus or an RV, but it's definitely seen the end of the road. I would love to see what it looks like on the inside, but who knows what one might find. That could be a scary thought indeed.

This will probably be my last post for the rest of week.  Thanksgiving is rolling around and we have many people to see and visit with!  It's gonna be great!  With that, you all have a great and happy Thanksgiving and thanks for reading my silly little blog!

This shot was processed as usual. In addition, I added the duplex filter from Nik Color Efex and added the darken/lighten filter twice to darken the areas around the edges of the shot to draw attention to the vehicle itself.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom
ISO: 200
Aperture: f11
Exposure Bias: -0.67
Shutter: 1/30
Focal Length: 11.5mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 5 exposures with EVs ranging from -2 to +2 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Katz's Caddy

Katz's Caddy

At 6th and Rio Grande here in Austin, is a restaurant called Katz's. It hails out of NYC I believe and are open 24 hours a day. The owner, Marc Katz recently ran for political office here, either mayor or governor, I can't remember which. It could even be both. Anyway, out in front of his deli sits this great old 1970s era Cadillac. It's in pretty decent shape, but it could use a little work. However, I thought it would be a cool subject to try and capture. I hope I was able to a little here.

Another note about this place.... When my wife and I got married, we had our reception at Scholz's Garten. The reception went into the wee hours of the morning. Once it was over, we and a few friends decided we needed more to eat, but everything around Scholz's was closed. So, we thought maybe we could get something on 6th Street. Well, everything was closed except for Katz's. It was a long hike, but we made it. Not to mention we were in no shape to drive, hence the hiking. Anyway, we got there at something like 3:00 am and we still had to wait for a table. I ended up laying down on the floor and taking a nap because I was so tired. Yes, tired. Nothing else. Tired is the word. We did finally get a table and ate, but oh what a night!

This shot was processed as usual.  However, this time I downloaded Photomatix 4 and merged the brackets there instead of using Photoshop CS4's merge to HDR engine.  I think I might start using this more because it has more built-in presets for tonemapping and fusion, and it's de-ghosting capabilities are pretty cool.  Not to mention, I don't lose the EXIF data when I merge with Photomatix! Cool!

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom
ISO: 500
Aperture: f11
Exposure Bias: 0.00
Shutter: 0.8
Focal Length: 11.5mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 7 exposures with EVs ranging from -3 to +3 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-30 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Texas Tower 100

Texas Tower 100

The University of Texas recently celebrated it School of Architecture's 100th anniversary and to mark the occasion, they lit the tower orange and the windows with "100". It was a pretty cool sight to see on my way to work. I just wish that when I had gotten there, it would've been a little darker out to emphasize the lights on the tower a little more. I didn't know about this celebration until I drove by and by then it started getting light out.  Plus, I didn't have the time to find a great composition, but I wanted to get a shot of the tower lit this way since it doesn't happen too often.

This shot was processed as usual.  However, this time I downloaded Photomatix 4 and merged the brackets there instead of using Photoshop CS4's merge to HDR engine.  I think I might start using this more because it has more built-in presets for tonemapping and fusion, and it's de-ghosting capabilities are pretty cool.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
ISO: 640
Aperture: f8
Exposure Bias: 0.00
Shutter: 1/5
Focal Length: 50mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 7 exposures with EVs ranging from -3 to +3 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-30 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Monday, November 15, 2010

Inside the Palace on Whiskey Row, Prescott, Arizona

Inside the Palace on Whiskey Row.

Prescott Arizona is home to some great Wild West history. There's a street nicknamed "Whiskey Row" which has bars and saloons on it that date back to the 1800s. Some of these places have seen their share of characters from the old west. This shot here is of the back of "The Palace".  Here's some more info from The Palace's website:

    "The Palace Bar first opened its doors in September 1877. Although Whiskey Row was known for its many saloons. The Palace was much more than a fancy "watering hole". Men came in to check for notices of work available; it served as an election central for several area political races and cattle spreads; and mineral claims were bought and sold over the bar. The Palace is still the oldest frontier saloon in Arizona and the most well-known and historic restaurant and saloon in the state.In the late 1870's, Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday were patrons of The Palace. Virgil and his wife Allie lived in Prescott where Virgil owned a saw mill at Thumb Butte and was Town Constable. Wyatt and his other brother, Morgan, visited Virgil in Prescott before they left for Tombstone. Doc was on a winning streak on Whiskey Row (possibly at The Palace) where he won $10,000 in Poker. He joined the Earp's eight months later in Tombstone.

On July 14th, 1900, The Palace was destroyed by the Whiskey Row fire. The ornately carved 1880's Brunswick Bar, which is still in use, was carried to safety across the street to the plaza by patrons.

In order to rebuild, the owner Bob Brow formed a partnership with Ben M. Belcher and Barney Smith, owners of the former Cabinet Saloon, also destroyed in the fire.

By 1901, The Palace Hotel and Bar, complete with Chinese restaurant and barber shop, was back in business. Today's Palace owners have done extensive remodeling to restore the Palace to its grandeur of 1901. Although still a frontier saloon, the addition of dining makes The Palace the gathering place it once was."

This is a non-hdr shot with a little Nik Duplex filter thrown in.

Other setting include:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
ISO: 1600
Aperture: f3.5
Exposure Bias: -0.00
Shutter: 1/20
Focal Length: 18mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: None
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: None

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Austin Sunrise

Austin Sunrise

This is the shot I was after in my last post where I discovered a half '52 Chevy Deluxe. It's another one of my Parking Garage Views of downtown Austin.  This was on Henderson by Lamar and 9th.  It's always fun to try and find some good skyline shots that haven't been already published by other photographers.  At least I don't think this view has been shot by anyone else that I know of.  Let me know what you think and thanks for dropping by.

This shot was processed as usual.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
ISO: 200
Aperture: f4.2
Exposure Bias: 0.00
Shutter: 1/13
Focal Length: 36mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 7 exposures with EVs ranging from -3 to +3 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-30 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

Half '52 Chevy Deluxe

Half Chevy

I'm not sure what the deal is here, but I saw this while adding more shots to my "Parking Garage Views" series.  One morning on my way to work I decided it was time to see if I could find more views of the Austin skyline and this time I headed west on 6th street to Lamar.  I turned right on Lamar and then another right onto 9th and then another right onto Henderson.  This garage was the first one on the left.  As I walked to the stairs to go to the top, this unusual sight befell me and I thought it very interesting.  I can't imagine why someone would do that to a car like this one.  As a matter of fact, my friend and co-worker, Darrell Jourdan has one just like this, except it is whole.  I guess this is another one of those weird things that Austin is trying to be famous for but has yet to get there.

This shot was processed as usual.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
ISO: 200
Aperture: f8
Exposure Bias: 0.00
Shutter: 0.8
Focal Length: 27mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 7 exposures with EVs ranging from -3 to +3 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-30 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kayaks at the Texas Rowing Center in Austin

Kayaks at the Texas Rowing Center on Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX

A few days ago my friend, co-worker and fellow HDR enthusiast/photographer Van Sutherland took some great shots of the Texas Rowing Center located off Lady Bird Lake here in Austin, Texas. I marveled over his shot of the boat house.  He said he wanted to go back out there again and asked me to tag along. I'm not one to turn down an invitation like that, so off we went. We went during our lunch hour on Tues this week and spent about 20 minutes or so there. This shot is probably the best of the bunch that I took. I guess that's not saying too much because I'm not sure if I like this one. I think I cut off the boat on the right a little, but it was hard to get a good angle.  Let me know what you think..

One other reason I was happy to go out with Van was because I went to the next model camera up the Nikon food chain and purchased a D300s and this gave me an opportunity to work it out.  So far I like it and I hope to not have to get another in a long while.  Some of the reasons I purchased it are (not in any particular order):

1. Up to 9 shots for auto-bracketing (excellent for HDR)
2. Magnesium body (weatherproof)
3. Save as tiff
4. 51 focus points vs 11 in the D90
5. Dual card slots, 1 CF and 1 SDHC (so I can auto backup photos as I go)
6. 7 fps native and up to 8 with the battery pack

The ergonomics on it are great and getting to shoot a set of brackets without having to change settings after three shots and then shoot again is nice!  I also got the Nikkor 18-200 lens so the options are even better!   I probably should have waited for the next version of this camera, the oft-rumored D400 or something since this model has been around for over a year, but the price from B and H Photo for the D300s is pretty good right now and it has all of the features I want and then some.  Plus, I'm sure the successor to this will cost a few hundred dollars more.

The best reason I got this camera is that part of it was a birthday gift from my wife and her parents, so it's very special in that regard!  What an awesome gift!  Thanks again guys!  Love ya!

This shot was processed as usual.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D300s
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom
ISO: 200
Aperture: f16
Exposure Bias: 0.00
Shutter: 1/160
Focal Length: 11mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 7 exposures with EVs ranging from -3 to +3 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-30 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day and the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater

Arlington Memorial Amphitheater Entrance

From the Department of Veterans Affairs:

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

The picture above is of the entrance to the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC.  I thought it an appropriate shot to post in recognition of the upcoming Veterans Day.  The amphitheater sits next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  If you see a veteran, please take a moment to thank a him or her and also, please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices our vets have made to keep us free.

Thanks for visiting.

This shot was processed as usual.

Other settings include:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom
ISO: 640
Aperture: f5.6
Exposure Bias: -0.67
Shutter: 1/2500
Focal Length: 17mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 5 exposures with EVs ranging from -2 to +2 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

Underground Rotunda and a Wild Commute

Coliseum-Like

I have two things I'd like to share with you today... The photo above is one I took back on April 1st where the photo gods played a little trick on me and made me take some shots of the Texas capitol with my camera on its basic jpg quality setting. They turned out quite well for the most part, but if only the image quality setting was the highest. Those shots are my Capitol Blunder and Capitol Blunder Companion shots.  You can read about what stupidity befell me on this particular morning in those posts.  So, this was the last in that series that I took that fateful morning.  Anyway, this shot above is what's known as the "Underground Rotunda" at the Texas State Capitol.  It's at the end of the extension that sits on the north side of the Capitol grounds and it's pretty cool to look at.  This view is pretty much street level looking down into it.  It almost looks like some sort of Roman coliseum or something.  I thought it looked pretty cool and worth a post.  I'm hoping to get out pretty soon and get some new content.  So stay tuned.

As far as the video below is concerned, I thought this might be a good time to post it.  A friend of mine sent me the link and I thought it was fascinating.  It's a Russian biker who commutes some 25 odd miles to work and he does some death-defying feats on the way there.  He weaves in and out of traffic, pulls wheelies and basically puts his life in serious risk of being snuffed with his drive to work.  Check it out.  I suppose if I had a bike and drove this fast on my way to work, I would have more time to check my camera settings and not make so many blunderous mistakes.  Of course, what I would really do is sleep in longer, then drive like a nutcase, and still screw my camera settings if I decided to stop and shoot.  What would you do?  Check it out and let me know what you think.  Also, I just want to add, this guy is an idiot, I don't condone it, and he's probably dead now.  Still it's a fun watch...


The shot above was processed as usual.

Other setting include:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom
ISO: 320
Aperture: f11
Exposure Bias: -0.00
Shutter: 11
Focal Length: 10mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 5 exposures with EVs ranging from -2 to +2 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Royal Praline Company, New Orleans, LA

Royal Praline Co.

Lately I haven't been able to get out and shoot any pictures.  More about that in another post sometime, but for right now I thought I'd put up a shot from my recent trip to New Orleans.  This is the Royal Praline Company located right in the French Quarter.  It was one of the many places we stopped while wandering around there.  Pralines are a "cookie-sized candy made of brown sugar and butter and pecans" (according to wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn) that is big in the south, if you like that sort of thing.  Myself, I'm not too particular to them.  However, I do like pecan pie.  Weird?  I think so, but that's me.  Anyway, while my wife and friends were in there checking everything out, I decided to get a shot of the place.  Here you go and thanks for visiting.

This shot was processed as usual. However, this was only a 3 shot bracket due to the fact that right after I took the first set, a bunch of people started milling around the entrance obstructing my shot.  Doggone tourists!  Wait... nevermind.

Other setting include:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom
ISO: 200
Aperture: f11
Exposure Bias: -0.00
Shutter: 1/10
Focal Length: 10mm
Mode: Aperture Priority
Bracketing: 3 exposures with EVs ranging from -2 to +2 at 1 stop intervals
White Balance: Auto
Tripod: Induro AB0
Nikon MC-DC2 Remote Release Cord

From the blog at http://egearingphoto.blogspot.com

Disqus for Evan's Expo