Posts tagged “stadium

Da Bears!

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Monday Night Football

I had no idea until now that I haven’t posted in almost two months…I have had zero time for photography and blogging…for all sorts of reasons.  I knew it had been a “long time” but not this long.  I finally log in to WordPress and find some of the formatting changed, all sorts of cool posts from others that I’ve managed to miss, and oddly enough — I’m getting more hits on the blog than when I left (not that I’m all into that, but it’s interesting nonetheless). My top posts every week are still the Domke F2 review and the Hill Country Wedding.  Interesting.

Having grown up a Chicago Bears fan I jumped on the opportunity to go to the Bears vs. Cowboys game last week Monday.  Given the insane cost I’m not likely to do that again anytime soon unless I win the lottery…and I don’t play the lottery.  It was a fun time with my son, daughter, and some friends.

The picture I’m posting today was taken with the trusty Canon S90 that I purchased from my friend Mike Connell.  Yeah, I know there’s almost nothing related to the Bears in the photo except that this is where they were playing…oh well.  I’m finding the S90 pretty handy for situations like this — where I either don’t want to lug a big camera around or they aren’t allowed yet I still want some manual control over the exposures.  Cowboys Stadium has a 3″ lens rule so I’m sure I could have brought my DSLR in with certain lenses.  However, I don’t want to risk the hassle of walking up with a DLSR and being told mine isn’t allowed — then what?  Argue with them and maybe win but if I lose I have to haul it back to the car, risk having people see me lock it up in the car, etc.  The S90 will do just fine…


Memorial Day

Many have given their lives for our freedoms…I’m grateful.  War memorial at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium at the University of Texas.


Take Me Out To The Ballgame

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Fenway Park in HDR, 17mm, f/13, 3-exp, ISO 100

Here’s another view of Fenway Park which I processed as an HDR.  I took a bunch of pictures around the place a few weeks ago and am only now getting around to looking at most of them.  The back of the scoreboard provides a nice main subject IMO.  Ideally I would have gotten the foreground people at full height (i.e. head-to-toe) in these shots but my lens wasn’t capable of that at this tripod height (and I didn’t like the perspective with the tripod all the way down near the ground). I took lots of exposures (range of 7-9 stops…can’t remember) but only used three of them for this image.  Why only three?  Because I don’t mind a few blown-out highlights where “appropriate” and I certainly don’t mind shadows without detail.  In fact, my number one criticism of HDRs is that many people process them in a way which brings out far too much detail in the shadows and eliminates too many of the blacks.

Processing…After running the three exposures through Nik HDR Efex Pro I brought the image into Photoshop with the three original exposures.  I only ended up using two exposures: One for partially blending in the sky to help keep the colors reasonable-ish and the other one was masked in for the street and people (after an exposure tweak).  As always I used several masked curves adjustment layers (in luminosity blend mode because this image had plenty of color saturation already).  The jet contrail bugs me but I’d make a mess of it if I tried to clone it out.  Since I was standing below the sign and using a wide-angle lens the perspective (tilt on the sides) was rather extreme.  A quick free transform was used to stretch out the top corners of the image somewhat.  I didn’t attempt to eliminate all the distortion of course.  After this type of stretching with a free transform, the height of things (the people in particular) gets a bit squashed so I used a reverse crop and another free transform to stretch the image vertically and bring the people back to normal.  Maybe I’ll do a poor-man’s tutorial (the only kind I have the skills for) showing those steps in an upcoming post.


iPhone 4S — An Amazing Little Camera

iPhone HDR with a few Lightroom edits

I frankly haven’t been very impressed with the  iPhone’s HDR feature until yesterday.  The image at the top was taken with my iPhone 4S with the HDR option turned on, then edited quickly with Lightroom to add some contrast and clarity mainly.  I often try the HDR feature and don’t see a ton of difference.  This time the HDR option just happened to be left on from the last time I’d tried it but as you can see, the results are impressive for a phone camera.

Here are the straight-out-of-the-iphone images:

Non-HDR

Straight-out-of-iPhone HDR


Alamodome Reflections In HDR

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Alamodome Reflections 70mm, f/2.8, ISO 250

Most people who like to do HDRs are suckers for reflections.  I’m no exception and when my children and I walked into San Antonio’s Alamodome for the NCAA volleyball championship I saw these shiny floors and decided to fire off some brackets.  I set up the camera to fire 3 brackets (the max on Canon) with the auto timer and set the camera on the floor.  It would’ve been nearly impossible to change the settings without moving the camera so I didn’t even try.  I took another set of brackets with more crowds in the picture but the motion was too great to process reasonably.

I ran this through Photomatix and then brought the tonemapped image into Photoshop along with the brightest exposure.  I used a few adjustment layers on the bright exposure to semi-match it to what I wanted to fix — the people in the hallway and a few other areas where ghosting had caused some weirdness in the tonemapped image.  After blending those areas in, I went to work on the result with a half-dozen other adjustment layers (mostly curves).  There are some missing people-parts but I don’t really mind as it gives a sense of motion and the work to clone in new pieces wouldn’t be worth it.


Sweet Home Chicago

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On approach to O'Hare Airport...en route to Paris

(Many years ago) I was born on the south side of the Windy City in the Roseland neighborhood.  My family moved to the south suburbs when I was pretty young, then out to a rural area (still close to the city) in high school.  I went to lots of Blackhawks games in Chicago Stadium, Sox (and Sting) games at Comiskey Park, and even managed one Cubs game at Wrigley.  Incidentally, I never made it to a Bears game — haven’t ever been to a pro football game to this day.

I remember watching Stan Mikita, Pit Martin, and Keith Magnuson play for the Hawks.  I loved Sox players like Chet Lemon (when I was really young), Harold Baines, and Carlton Fisk.  I had a home run ball hit by Brian Downing back in the 70’s.  I wasn’t actually at the game and honestly don’t remember if he played for the Sox or the Angels at the time.  I was at the 1983 game where the Sox *could have* clinched the division but they needed a win or loss from someone else so they didn’t clinch until the following night…something like that.  I watched every game of the Bears run up to the Super Bowl in 1985 — what a fun season.  I practically worshipped Karl-Heinz Granitza of the Chicago Sting.

I wasn’t big into autographs but I had Harold Baines, Walter Payton (got that one at the auto show in McCormick Place), and Johnny Morris (got his in the stands at Comiskey Park the same day I got Baines’).

Although I now live in Texas, the rest of my family still lives in the Chicago area and downtown Chicago is pretty much a yearly destination for our family.  We take the Metra in to the Randolph station from the south side, walk the streets, and take in whatever attractions we feel like that visit.  The kids love it.  I haven’t visited since really getting into photography but I’m really looking forward to it.  [Side note: One member of the family lives in Milwaukee but we Chicagoans simply consider that a suburb…those of you from Chicago appreciate this I’m sure]

The picture above was taken as my wife and I were landing at O’Hare en route to Paris.  I grabbed the camera a bit late and missed some better shots but I’m still pleased with this one — reminds me of home.