Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ready for Spring!!

OK, I think we are all getting a little tired of this cold weather.  Granted here in Texas it's not as bad as other places north where everyone is getting hammered, but I think I can safely say they are ready for spring as well!  I know down here by now we usually have warming temps, but right now it's near freezing with ice here and there and by the  end of next week we may have more.  So, to kind of take our minds off the coldness, I thought I'd post a shot of where I'd rather be, and that's Hawaii!

I took this during our trip a year ago last Sept..  It's a view out the back of the vacation property we rented near the town of Pahoa!  It was awesome!

I took this shot from my iPhone with absolutely no edits.  None needed!

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

None - Taken from iPhone

Friday, February 27, 2015

Airplanes and Mountains

While we were waiting to head home from Utah, we saw this great view from our terminal of the mountains with the sun rising.  Utah sure is a pretty place!  Too bad there wasn't more snow!

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 55mm
Aperture - f6.4
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 1600
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mural and Marble

This is one of the shots from the inside of the Utah capitol building that I had mentioned previously.  As you can see there is a ton of marble in there that make up these great stairways and columns.  It is quite extraordinary.  Plus, they have these painted murals in there that add a nice touch.  From Wikipedia, the mural is one of two and this one "above the entrance to the Supreme Court is known as the Madonna of the Wagon." It as well as the other "are meant as a tribute to the early pioneers, and were the first commissioned works of art in the capitol, being signed by Girard Hale and Gilbert White."

Travel photography tip:  I got this from Scott Kelby, but when I shot this photo, there were many kids from various schools milling about.  I guess it was "Field Trip Day" or something in the capitol.  So, in order to get a shot without them in the shot, I framed the photo so as to capture the scene without them by raising the viewfinder of the camera just above their heads.  Sometimes this works and other times not, but where I was in relation to the stairs and the mural, this turned out rather well.  I wasn't still able to capture as much of the stairs as I liked, but I was able to get some of it as well as the columns and the mural which still gives the viewer a sense of how the place is laid out.


If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 34mm
Aperture - f3.6
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 320
Exposure bias - +0.33 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Friday, February 20, 2015

Egyptian Theater

When we were looking for a place to eat on Main St in Park City, I saw the Egyptian Theater across the way and took a quick snap.  Something about that place stood out to me for some reason.  So, I converted it to a black and white and here we go..  I imagine this must've been something special during the Sundance Film Festival which just ended as we got there.  As a matter of fact, the locals have a love-hate relationship with Sundance... They love it for the business, but they hate it for all the snooty Hollywood types and craziness that comes with them.  I can understand...

As far as the shot goes, I just converted to black and white in Lightroom with one of the built-in presets, added a bit of vignette, contrast and a tad of clarity and then sharpened a little.  Boom!

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
Focal Length - 16mm
Aperture - f4
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 5000
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Park City Refuge

Maybe this shot isn't much, but I thought it looked so inviting and warm as Eileen and I visited Park City.  It was a portion of an indoor/outdoor restaurant that we walked by while taking in the sights along Main St.  When I saw it, I just had to grab a shot! Wouldn't you just want to walk in there, sit down and have a nice hot buttered rum?

I did a little tonal contrast with Nik Color Efex 4 and also warmed it up a little more just to ehance the mood of it.  What do you think? 

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
Focal Length - 16mm
Aperture - f4
Exposure - 1/20
Exposure program - Program AE
ISO speed - 6400
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Utah State Capitol

The last place we stopped - OK, not really the last place because our guide still had to take us to our car - on our tour of Salt Lake City was the Utah State Capitol.  It is quite an extraordinary place.  From the outside, it looks pretty much like any other capitol building you might see in other states, but the inside is quite spectacular.  A lot of it is made of marble and there are these great painted murals of different moments in Utah state history.  It is really worth a visit if you get out there.

I'll have more pics of the inside later, but as you can see, this is the exterior of the building.  I think it's not as nice as say the Texas Capitol, but it's nice nonetheless.

It was a cloudy day which made for some pretty flat light, so I tried to punch it up a little.  I processed this shot mainly in Lightroom and gave it a split-toned look and the I added a little Tonal Contrast with Nik Color Efex 4 in Photoshop. 

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 18mm
Aperture - f8
Exposure - 1/420
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - +0.33 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Monday, February 16, 2015

Skiing in Park City

OK, that's the reason we went to Utah!  Skiing and to spa!  You see, Eileen doesn't ski so she "spas" while I ski!  It's great for both of us!  However, in the shot below, that's not me skiing.  No, I took this picture of a young lady practicing giant slalom on the last day of skiing.

A lot of times on the last day, I just take it easy and sometimes take along my "good camera" instead of a compact or an action-cam to see what kind of pics I can get.  Well, at one point while riding the chairlift, I went up with a young lady whom I didn't pay much attention to.  Some people like to talk and others don't and this time her and I minded our own business.  But at one point during the ride up, I noticed a slalom course and a giant slalom course.  I looked over at my fellow rider and she had on all of this gear that screamed racing, like a face-guard, hand-guards on her pole-grips, etc.  I turned and said to her, are you skiing that course?  And she said yes, but that it was only practice.  I thought, "Cool, I could get some photos!"  She said it was OK to shoot and so here's one of the shots.  I don't think this is the same woman I rode the chairlift with, but nevertheless, they were good and really fast!

As far as the pic goes, I'm not gonna lie...  I added a little motion blur via Nik's Analog Efex to give it a sense of speed.  I also sharpened the skier up quite a bit.  Otherwise,  not too many other tweaks!

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 55mm
Aperture - f4
Exposure - 1/1900
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - 0 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Mormon Temple

As we toured Salt Lake City, we saw Temple Square which is like the "Mecca" of the Mormon religion.  It's where the administrative offices of the Mormons are, the Tabernacle and this Temple.  It's quite a beautiful structure.  However, no one from the public is allowed to see the interior.  One must be a Mormon to go inside.  From what our tour guide said, there are several rooms inside and many of them are used for weddings.  Apparently in the summer, there are many brides and grooms in the square getting wedding photos taken and having their ceremonies that it looks like the inside of "Bride" magazine or something. Of course, I'm sure there are many other "goings-on" (for lack of a better term) inside the temple other than weddings, but that's what sticks out in my memory from the tour. Check out Wikipedia for more infoYou can also see a shot of what the interior is like on Wikipedia here, too.

There are two photos below.  It's two versions of a shot I took is from inside the square.  It's nothing special, but I wanted to post it to point out the power and fun of Snapseed. You see I edited this shot solely on my iPad using the Snapseed app.  It was developed by Nik which is my go to plugin of choice in Photoshop.  I really like it and I can get some excellent results.  The original shot was pretty flat and dull and even had some spots from a dirty lens on it.  So, I Tuned the photo and bumped up the saturation and sharpness of it and also added some Drama to it.  I liked the Drama part because it adds some texture to it to sort of make the picture look old and it helps hide some of the spots from the lens.  That's one thing about Snapseed... There's really no way to get rid of spots from a photo in the app that I know of.  All in all, I really love that app and it's fun to edit on the iPad sometimes when I don't feel like getting on the computer.  Now, if I could just figure out how to watermark on the iPad...

The first one here is the original jpg straight from the camera:

And this is the edited one from Snapseed on the iPad:
If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 34.3 mm
Aperture - f11
Exposure - 1/180
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 200
Exposure bias - +0.33 EV
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Organ of the Mormon Tabernacle

We had a great trip to Park City, Utah last week!  We've never been there before and we were really surprised at how beautiful it was.  The main reason for the trip was to ski but unfortunately there wasn't a lot of snow as there normally is this time of year.  It was still ski-able, but it could've been better.  As a matter of fact, we took a tour of Salt Lake City and our guide told us that normally SLC gets 50-60 inches of snow per year and when we were there they had only gotten a total of 5-6 inches.  He said usually there's 6 inches on the ground at the time we were touring, but there was no snow and the temps were in the 60s.  It was colder in Austin, TX than SLC, UT!  Amazing!

Speaking of touring SLC, we learned everything there is to know about how the Mormons settled into the area.  We even got to tour the Mormon Tabernacle where this great organ sits.  Everyday there is a recital by one of the organists.  There are 5 organists in total and we got to see the number one or "principal" organist play for about 30 minutes.  He was great!  So was the organ!  And, the Tabernacle has these great acoustics... Before he played for us, the organist showed us the "pin-drop test", basically showing that you can hear a pin drop throughout the Tabernacle without any electronic amplification via microphone and speaker.  He took out three pins and dropped them on a wooden box of some sort and then he took out a nail and dropped it on the same box.  Sure enough!  We could hear those pins and the nail clear as if we were dropping them ourselves!

Anyway, here is some more info on the organ from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's website:

  • ​The present instrument was built in 1948 by the Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston, Massachusetts, under the direction of G. Donald Harrison, president and tonal director of the firm.
  • The organ now has 11,623 pipes organized into 147 voices (tone colors) and 206 ranks (rows of pipes).
  • The pipes are made of wood, zinc, and various alloys of tin and lead.
  • The pipes are controlled from a console with five 61-note manuals (keyboards) and a 32-note pedal board.
  • Some of the famous gilded cylindrical pipes in the organ's facade are made of wood staves fashioned of native Utah pine, retained from the original pioneer organ built in the 1860s.
  • The longest pipe has a speaking length of 32 feet.
  • The shortest pipe has a speaking length of three-quarters of an inch.
  • Two technicians are employed full time to maintain this and other musical instruments on Temple Square.

If you would like to purchase a print or digital copy of this image, please contact me or visit my on-line gallery.
 
Exif data:

Camera - Fujifilm X-T1
Lens - Fujinon XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
Focal Length - 30mm
Aperture - f3.6
Exposure - 1/80
Exposure program - Aperture priority AE
ISO speed - 1250
Exposure bias - -0.67
Tripod - No
HDR - No
# of brackets - NA

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