Saturday, April 30, 2011

Buddha in China Shop

Epcot has all of these wonderful shops from all over the world.  If you are shopper, go to Epcot!  You'll have a great time!  The shop in the China portion of the park is no exception.  You can get all kinds of stuff there, from souvenirs to snacks.  In the middle of the shop there's this statue on display.  To be honest, it looks like a Buddha, but I'm not sure if that's exactly what it is.  There wasn't any placard or anything that I saw describing it.  Plus, I don't really know if Buddha is Chinese or not.  If anyone out there knows, please let me know.  However, I thought it was worth shooting anyway.  So that's what this is as far as I'm concerned... a Buddha in a China shop.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fez House Vertarama

Epcot at Disney World in Orlando is a pretty cool place. They have areas that represent different parts of the world. Basically they are mini mockups of typical sites and architectures that one may see when traveling to say, Italy, Germany, or Mexico. There are also lots of shops and restaurants, so you can sample typical fare if you wish.  There are a few other countries represented as well. This shot was taken in the Morocco area. This is called the "Fez House" I'm not sure exactly what a fez is other than a hat that Shriners wear. However, after a little research on the web, this is supposed to be a representation of a typical Moroccan home. My guess is that it's like a courtyard of several different apartments or something similar. If you ever get a chance to go to Epcot, I recommend it, if for nothing else, excellent photography.

Which brings me to how this shot was taken... When I got to Orlando, I had my tripod with me so I could take some excellent sunset shots and some great HDRs. Well a couple of weeks before, I took my camera out to take some non-HDR photos and I took off the plate that connects the camera to the quick release portion of the ball head on the tripod. Of coures as forgetful as I am, I forgot to put it back on the camera when I was done and subsequently left it at home. So, my tripod was no good. Lesson: if you take the quick release plate off, put it right into the holder on the tripod, so if you do take your tripod, you'll have everything you need when you are ready to use it.

That being said, I had to take everything on that trip handheld at a relatively high ISO in the middle of the day so I could get some decent brackets. I also merged them to HDR using Photoshop CS5 since it's alignment engine seems a little better than Photomatix's. Then, I subsequently tonemapped them in Photomatix.

So, that's what this shot is. It's basically a panorama from the top to bottom of the inside of the Fez House. It's comprised of a total of 30 shots... 6 sets of 5 brackets merged and tone-mapped into 6 separate HDR images and them stitched together for the panorama or vertarama (since it's vertical) with CS5. It was a fun shot to put together, but I think if the day was closer to sunset to bring out the lights in the Fez House, it would be awesome.

Anyway, I hope you like the shot and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Twisted Pics and Eagle Webcam

I've been wanting to mention a couple of things whenever I get a chance to post a picture but I always forget.  It seems at the time that I post picture, that's all I focus on, but sometimes there are some other cool things to talk about.  Here they are:

If you want to check out some mad and creative ways to make photos more interesting in a non-HDR way, check out Erik Johannson from Sweden.  He takes ordinary shots and twists them up through some cool Photoshop manipulations that may inspire one to do something a little bit different.  I don't think I have a favorite because all of his stuff is pretty cool, but Vertical Turn and Melting Point kind of stand out to me a little.

The other thing I wanted to mention was this bald eagle webcam from Decorah, IA.  There's webcam on an eagle's nest (or is it an aerie?) that runs 24 hours a day.  The eagle in it just hatched her babies and now she's caring for them.  It's very cool, if you can get past the ads..  Check it out here.

Well that's about it.  I hope to have some new content up here in a few days.  Thanks for dropping by!

Top of the Jukebox

You don't see these too much these days... jukeboxes that is.  With all of the iPods and iPads and iThises and iThats, traditional ways of listening to music is disappearing.  Jukeboxes being one of the casualties.  Even this one seems rare now although it plays music from CDs instead of old 45 vinyl records.  Ah yes, 45 records... I remember one of the first ones I owned was "Still the One" by Orleans.  Should I have even mentioned that?  I'm seriously dating myself now.  If you ever owned some vinyl, do you remember the first record you bought yourself?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Inside the Beale Street Tavern

I'm not sure why this is called "The Beale Street Tavern" since it is located on 6th Street in Austin, but I imagine it has something to do with the Elvis status you can see above the bar.  It seems like a cool place to hang out and I probably would have in my youth.  However, I don't think This was the name of the place back in the day when I frequented 6th Street.  The only place I recognize down there anymore is Maggie Mae's and that has gone through a few iterations over the years.  I guess that's what happens.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photo and thanks for dropping by!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Canal Street Trolley

Here's a shot from the archives... It's the trolley on Canal Street in New Orleans.  I took this shot last October when we went to go see a New Orleans Saints football game.  Speaking of which, my wife and I have a bucket list that states we must see an NFL football game in every stadium throughout the country.  Pretty cool list, eh?  How many guys out there have a wife that would actually WANT to do that?!  I must say, I'm pretty lucky!  But, I digress... Anyway, while we were walking around New Orleans, we had to take Canal Street to get from our hotel to the French Quarter.  It has definitely changed over the years.  When I was there about 27 years ago, Canal Street was pretty much a pit.  But now after Katrina and the clean-up, it seems that it's really become a nice part of the city along with the French Quarter.  I was impressed when I saw it.  And, to see these trolleys going up and down the street was very nice as well.  I would've of really liked to have caught it at sunrise or sunset, but things don't always work that way.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the shot and thanks for visiting!

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