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Thread: Photo Assignment 01/26/08

  1. #46
    Registered User burnszilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post
    Boney's back with more fine images this week.

    ...The mission is really nice with the (bell?) in the foreground not interfering with the mission itself.
    Tom, next time your on hwy 101 look for the bells every few miles...


    The El Camino Real and Its Historic Bells

    In 1769, The El Camino Real, or Kings Highway, was just a footpath begun by the Franciscans and led by Father Junipero Serra who was a deciding influence in establishing the California Missions north from San Diego to Sonoma. Each Mission was situated in areas where large populations of Indians lived and where the soil was fertile enough to sustain a settlement. As time progressed and more Missions were built, the footpath became a roadway wide enough to accommodate horses and wagons. It was not, however, until the last Mission in Sonoma was completed in 1823, that this little pathway became a real route.

    El Camino Real is the Spanish name for the historic road that joined the twenty one Franciscan Missions, the Pueblos and Presidios in the early days of California. Many of the Missions have been restored and the Kings Highway now is a magnificent modern road leading from San Diego, via Rose Canon, to Oceanside, then inland to Mission San Luis Rey and Pall from Oceanside to Mission San Juan P\Capistrano, Myford-Irving, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, Fullerton, LA Habra, Whittier, Mission San Gabriel to El Monte, Puente, Pomona, Claremont, San Bernardino, Redlands, Colton and Riverside.

    From Los Angeles El Camino Real leads to Hollywood, through Cahuenga Pass to Sherman Way thence to Mission San Freehand from Sherman Way to Calabasas, Camarillo, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Gaviota, Mission Santa Ines, Mission La Purisima, Los Olivos, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, San Miguel, Jolon, Mission San Antonio, Soledad, Salinas to Monterey and Mission Carmel, or from Salinas to Mission San Juan Bautista, San Jose, Mission San Jose, Hayward, San Leandro, to Oakland from San Jose to Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Mateo, Colombo, Ocean View, to Mission de los Dolores and San Francisco (Market and Third Streets). Across the bay, El Camino Real leads from San Rafael to Mission San Francisco Solano in Sonoma.

    The greater portion of El Camino Real is Highway 101, a part of the splendid system of California highways. It is a continuous road over seven hundred miles in length and is marked by the unique and picturesque Mission Bell guideposts which originally gave distances between the principal towns and directions to the Missions. The bells are placed along the road not merely as landmarks and guides to travelers but as testimonials to the work of the Franciscan padres who were the pioneers that settled California in 1769.
    The miniature bells sold in mission gift shops since 1914, are replicas of the hundreds of Mission Bell Guideposts marking the El Camino Real. Some of the old inventory made from 1914 to 1955 is still available from California Bell.

    The idea of placing a marker along the highway and in front of each Mission did not come about until 1906 when a cast iron 85 pound bell and piping designed by Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes was placed into the ground in concrete at the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora Reina de Los Angeles, also know as the Plaza Church near Union Depot in Los Angeles.

    The bells were inscribed, "El Camino Real 1769-1906." The dates reflect the founding of the first Mission and the dedication of the first bell in Los Angeles on August 15, 1906.

    The plan had been to place one bell along each mile of the El Camino Real Highway, in front of each Mission, and also selected historical landmarks. By 1913, a goal of 425 bells was reached. One bell was placed in front of each Mission and the balances were placed along the El Camino Real Highway. Since then many bells were lost to road reconstruction and theft.

    After feeble attempts over the past 50 years, John Kolstad, owner of Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes' original California Bell Company, and Keith Robinson, Principal Landscape Architect of Caltrans, have teamed together and installed 555 original El Camino Real Bells along Highway 101. These bells have been installed on Caltrans property from Los Angeles to San Francisco. California Bell is now working with cities to reinstall the original bells in the remaining areas of the original route. From Sonoma to San Francisco, and Los Angeles to San Diego, new bells will be appearing along El Camino Real. Call your local City Manager for information on their installation progress. Click Here For Great Historical Photos
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  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by Burnszilla View Post
    Tom, next time your on hwy 101 look for the bells every few miles...


    The El Camino Real and Its Historic Bells
    I see them all the time, but I never paused to ponder their significance. Thanks for the education!

  3. #48
    Burnszilla, thanks for the info.

    I grew up in L.A. and they're posted all over the place down there. I've been thinking about putting together a ride that visits them all.

    There's some other California history in Sonoma that I couldn't capture. It's the part where us rebellious folk put General Vallejo in the stockade and raised the Bear Flag.

  4. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by SNC1923 View Post
    Per his request (much appreciated) I'll comment on these three. No. 1 is fabulous. It's a great capture of a beautiful bird in flight. This isn't easy and he got a good one. The composition of troubling, with the birds cut off at the bottom and the mountains bisecting the image, but one just can't attend to these things when tracking such a fast moving image. In spite of these minor flaws, this is a great shot. No. 2 I like quite a lot. He posted another that he liked better in the commentary thread, but I prefer this one. It's close up, composed well, and interesting image with the signs tiled beneath one another. It really tells a story of rampant development. No. 3 is simply remarkable for its intense natural beauty. The sheer volume of birds is remarkable and that they fill the frame adds to the intensity and drama. Even more interesting is how they seem to conform to the natural lines of the mountainous background. That Lamble was not shat upon during these photos is amazing (and I'm making a big assumption here).
    It wouldn't have been the first time, nor the last, but this time I escaped poop-free.
    To be honest, the geese are so spectacular, it would have been hard to not get a good shot or two, especially out of 300 shots.
    On the signs...if as much design thought went into defining the look of the houses they were building as goes into differentiating their signage, it would go someway, even if only a partial distance, to alleviating the tedium of bland house, after house, after house.
    It took more thought than the geese, so glad you liked it...still prefer the other one though.

    On the pic not assessed, the panorama geese, is the fisheye thing to do with the lens? I think you mentioned, or I've read that there's an effect at the edges that rounds the corners off. Is that what's happened there?
    (Bracketing was mentioned re your pics-what is it?)
    Last edited by lamble; 01-26-2008 at 04:39 PM.

  5. #50
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Thanks once more for the feedback, Tom.

    It's amazing how much you see in photos that isn't obvious to most all of us. I'm continually blown away by your insightfulness.

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  6. #51


    Last edited by SNC1923; 01-26-2008 at 09:46 PM. Reason: add title

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by lamble View Post
    On the pic not assessed, the panorama geese, is the fisheye thing to do with the lens? I think you mentioned, or I've read that there's an effect at the edges that rounds the corners off. Is that what's happened there?
    (Bracketing was mentioned re your pics-what is it?)
    You should get a sign, like they post in factories: Poop Free for 27 days.

    I'm guessing this is the picture? Please correct if wrong:

    The fisheye effect that you are referring to is called "barrel distortion." The opposite phenomenon, where the picture pulls in at the corners, is called "pincushion distortion." This is caused by you not spending $3,000 on your camera or $2,000 on a lens. Pretty much all wide-angle lenses have it and some are better than others. It's only noticeable at wide angle and then only in certain lighting or with certain subject. Unfortunately, geese are right out. A great way to fix barrel distortion is to buy a prime (non-zoom) moderate wideangle lens for major big bucks. My 10-22 zoom, considered by many to be a very high quality, moderately priced zoom has significant barrel distortion issues.

    Bracketing? That refers to taking several shots at slightly different exposures. If using the EV compensation, you might take one at the recommended exposure, one at +1/3 and one at -1/3. Or if setting your camera manually, taking a shot at 1/60th sec. at f/5.6. Maybe take two others at the same shutter speed, one at f/4.0 and one at f/8.0. That way you are sure to get one that appears most "correct." Many newer cameras have automatic bracketing as a built-in function. Tell the camera what range (1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV, etc.) and take three pictures. I will shoot one at a minus setting, one a normal, and one at a plus setting.

    By the way, EV means "exposure value."

    Clear as mud?

    Click on this link and click on the +/- in the lower righthand corner, beneath "exposure compensation." It will give you a live view demonstration of what I'm talking about. The only problem is that it won't work on snow geese, only bulldogs.

  8. #53
    Thanks for that, I think.

    Guess I'll live with the odd warped pic, as I'm not disposed to spending mega dollars on something I only play at.
    I'm having to move to video for a while too, so there's the budget blown.
    Any thoughts on a video forum or sub set of this one?

  9. #54

    Nice to see SheRidesABeemer back, this week with a tour of Nashua.

    I chose this theme at this time as I thought the winter conditions in much of the country might lend itself to beautiful scenics, as is the case here. In No. 1, I love the contrast between the black chainlink and the smooth powdery snow. The perspective chosen, inside the tunnel, the shadows on the snow, and the three trees peeking in from the outside all combine to make this a visually interesting image. I like the second one, too. It's also visually interesting, and a really perfect composition. Notice that it's over-exposed, which renders the snow white rather than gray. Nice going. It might be a bit hot, but not much, maybe 1/3 or a 1/2 stop too much. Anything less, though, and you'd lose detail in the building and cannon. It's a really good exposure. No. 3 is quite pretty, especially with the rising moon. It's quite symmetrical and pretty. You might have brought out more of the orange in the sky by underexposing, but you'd have lost the lake. It's always a judgement call. Three very pretty images that make me sense what Nashua in the winter is like.

    Nice to see OUTBACKUFO again, this time with a tour of Leadville. I had to google this sign to learn what EPAville was all about. You might want to check it out.

    These are three images that to well together, leaving one with the feeling that all is not right here. I particularly like the shot of the abandoned structure. Many of us would shoot that straight on, but the shot from beneath on the side is an unusual and interesting perspective of a familiar subject. I might like to have seen the school house from a different perspective, but it is a nice shot. I've got to ask: what's with the tiny photos? Give us some size to see your excellent images.

    Grant's here this week with a tour of Canadauiga.

    I must say, IMHO, these are three especially nice photos. We've seen No. 1--a view of main street--in several posts this week, but look at how the colors pop in this photo. Beautiful saturation. I checked your EXIF and see that your shooting a Kodak digital camera. I don't know if it's just the camera or if you've boosted the saturation, but it renders a beautiful image. No. 2 is an equally nice, though moody, winter scene. It's a good composition and good exposure, but watch your horizon. No. 3 might be this week's standout: Great composition, exposure, everything. It looks a bit like a postcard, and by that I mean professional. It's a really nice capture. The way the houses jut into the image is just right: not too much, not too little. They're apparent, but they don't dominate. It's clear that they're the subject, but there's plenty of landscape to balance. Nice, nice, nice.

    And now, your friend and mine, Rocketman with his tour of DC:

    This is also a really nice series. One thing that strikes me is that three seem to encompass not only different scenes, but seemingly different times of the day/night. The first one if quite nice. It's an unusual perspective of a familiar scene. I like pictures that put the viewer in the action. This one is almost voyeuristic, though not salacious. I like the little story being enacted with the tourists. It's a neat shot. No. 2, the concrete garden, is nice. I really like the subdued light in this shot. The pagoda peeking in from the left is a mystery though. I find myself wanting to see that. Would have made for an interesting subject/foreground. Not what you were shooting for though. No. 3 is a wonder. I really like this shot. It's an excellent exposure. You'll note the hanging light is completely blown out, but the visible detail in the hallway is perfect. I also like the reflectance in the parking striped outside the door. It's a perfectly symmetrical composition and I like your decision not to get too close, almost as though wrapping this image in a large, plain frame. Wonderful.

    Even if Rocketman doesn't remember him (), I'm glad to see JohnF back this week with his great images always characterized by a sense of humor.

    This very appealing doesn't just show me Cincinnati, it tells me a lot about this city, or at least JohnF's interpretation of it. No. 1 is a fairly appealing cityscape, especially with the large Cincinnati sign in evidence. It is, however, super low-contrast. You'd want to boost the saturation either in camera or post processing. If you were shooting a DSLR, a circular polarizing filter would really add some pop to this image. No. 2 is fabulous. I don't go in much for sculpture photography, but this is irresistible. I'd love to know the story behind this. No. 2 is my second favorite shot this week. This tells me a lot about either Cincinnati, JohnF, or both. It's beautifully composed, very well lit, an absurdly, stylistically simple background. . . . Just lots of fun. I very much enjoyed this tour of the Queen City.

    Oldpaul is on board this week with another telling city tour, this one of Dallas.

    No grassy knolls here. Instead, we've got three unique slices of life in Dallas. No. 1 is a nice landmark shot, well composed and visually interesting. Lots going on in this photo. No. 2 is shot in B&W or I'll eat my hat. (Note to self: you see these people at rallies. If you're wrong, someone WILL actually make you eat your hat). No. 2 is a stark, midwestern landscape. This is a harsh, brutal shot. The cardinal rule against bisecting your image horizontally does not apply here; it adds to the bleakness of this image. I like No. 3, too, but it is a rather plain composition. Perhaps if you'd taken the same shot from the sidewalk or lane 1 (don't get run over). It shows your community's hispanic culture nonetheless. I really like the blue sky and colors in this shot, especially following No. 2. It's almost a relief. Nice series. Same comment as I gave UFO: Give us some bigger images. Your photography deserves it.

  10. #55

    2008 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

    Living in the Daytona Beach area allows for many iconic images of this popular tourist destination. However, the areas most recognizable attraction has to be the Daytona International Speedway. This weekend it is home to the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. This race is literally happening in my back yard. As I upload these pictures, I can hear the cars circling the track. The following pictures were uploaded while the race was in its 6th hour.

  11. #56
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  12. #57
    Grant Grant63rt's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Bellevue, NE

    Thanks Tom!

    Thanks for the feedback! This assignment was a great idea.

    Thanks also to those who posted pictures. I, for one, enjoyed them all. It was fun seeing the way folks all around the country view their home town.

  13. #58

    Feedback IV

    Welcome to Kartcon. Speaking of getting beat up at rallies, if he keeps posting winter time photos like this, he'd better watch his back. Some of the midwestern riders may have a hazing in mind. . . .

    This is a nice series, an unusual wintertime view (for those of us non-Floridians). No. 1 is a straightforward street scene, and unremarkable, except for the wonder palms. The choice to shoot this on telephoto really compresses the trees, especially in their full tops, and exaggerates their presence. No. 2 is also a standard shot, but the open garage door adds genuine visual interest. That they are redoing their red tile roof is interesting, but seems not to be a part of this photo. A pink firehouse is probably unique to Florida, or at least a beach community. . . . I love the shadow of the palm on the tower; I hate the power line (though there's not much you can do about that.) What if you had taken the shot from up close, at the open door, looking up at the tower? No. 3, with its title, is quite funny. You can just hear dad saying, "Well, there goes three grand down the drain." I like that all four have hoods and are faceless, and I love how the skyscrapers recede into the haze. Were dad not holding a video camera, this would be a different photo, one without a story. Nice capture.

    MLS2GO is back, and he does not disappoint.

    I really like this series, again because it helps me feel as though I've been to Lloyd, MO. I also like it because these are all incredibly vivid photos--really sharp, clear, and saturated exposures. No. 1 is your basic building shot. A free-standing brick structure, it probably merits such a composition, though I might have liked to have seen a close up on part of the building (the sign and the door, looking up at the sign on the side) but I'm only second-guessing here. This is a good--and successful--shot. No. 2 is great. This is so successful precisely because it is a part of the whole. It's interesting, vivid, compelling, and a fitting tribute to an important historical milestone. A proud part of your area's history, no doubt. Strong composition and rich exposure. I like No. 3 because it asks more questions than it answers. The sky is a vivid blue (please tell me you used a polarizer--no hat eating promises attached). I like the off-kilter composition, and it is subtle. I wish the street lamp weren't peeking in from the right. Easy enough to PS out. A particularly nice series, Bob.

    Good to see RandallIsland again this week with a tour, of all places, Vassar.

    Of the three, I really like shot No. 1 the best. Seeing the ceiling lights through the windows in this "castle" is a jarring juxtaposition between the traditional architecture and the modern interior. Also the difference in color balance. The exterior is daylight and the interior fluorescent, resulting in the dramatic yellow cast of the interior. Really interesting. The extreme noise in this photo points to one of the key differences between a compact camera and a DSLR; however, noisy photos aren't all bad, sometimes the noise adds a sense of ambience or mood. Nos. 2 and 3 give me trouble because they are so similar. They are entirely different subjects, but they are dominated by identical, monochromatic colors. Having said that, both are nice compositions. No. 2 because it highlights an element, the arches encasing the second-floor walkway and No. 3 because of its interesting multi-layered composition. The columns converge because of the upward perspective, but short of a cherry-picker (or tilt-$hift lens), that's the way it is. How might these have looked if the camera's color-balance had been set to indoor? This is an interesting interpretation of our theme, a much more specific and directed look than many of the others and view of a place I've never even thought about before. Thanks.

    Bradford Benn is back this week, fresh off the road.

    This is an interesting series, and a very humorous one as well. Having not been home, Brad couldn't share his home, so he has shared his road travels, his home for the past X weeks. No. 1 is hilarious, highlighting as it does the ugly side of living on the road and jumping from airport to airport. Now, before the replies start flying, I didn't say Brad was ugly, but this picture says a lot about the "joys" of business travel that those of us who have done it know all too well. The headphones, the 36-hour beard, and the dead-center composition all combine to make this a photo worthy of a hearty chuckle. No. 2 sort of says it all. It's a very good exposure, given the circumstances. How would you like to face these crowds day-in and day-out? Yikes. No. 3 is nearly as humorous as No. 1. Finally arriving home only to find everything frozen over. I never thought of it before, but a mailbox can be a symbol of hope, a receptacle of good news. Brad arrives home only to find his frozen over in the dark. Sigh. I would have liked to have seen this composed as a mailbox with an icicle hanging off rather than of the icicle. Do you see what I mean? More mailbox.

    JDMetzger snuck in under the wire with a series I'll call "Wholly Toledo."

    First of all, as you have already acknowledged, you were battling some tough weather. Still, it is an ambience, if an unpleasant one. I like the shot of Packo's. What about a vertical shot of just the sign/window/fire hydrant? Even a tighter crop might have helped what is a perfectly good photo. The patches of snow work well with the large foreground of a dreary, slushy street. That you picked up some takeout following the shot speaks volumes of both you and Packo's. I'll bet it was delicious. Easy to say now. . . . No. 2 is really ugly--due to the weather. It even looks cold. A shot from within the city may have been more interesting, but would have certainly involved more travel. Maybe including the trees but excluding the power lines? I'm second guessing here from the comfort of my home. No. 3: Now you're talking! Close up, colorful, and interesting. I like how you've composed this shot to include just a slice of the stadium between the iron bars. Shooting this on wide angle adds an exaggerated perspective that's funny, or perhaps whimsical. Like so many of the other series this week, I feel a sense of Toledo that I didn't have before. Nice series, Josh. Thanks for hanging in there and getting out to take photos even when you didn't feel 100%.

    Thanks everyone who posted. I really enjoyed this assignment. It went on a bit long, almost three weeks. But as others have pointed out, the results were worth it. I'll post a new assignment shortly. Watch for it.
    Last edited by SNC1923; 01-28-2008 at 02:50 AM.

  14. #59
    Hope I'm not too late! I've been out of town, then sick... so I just got my photos, today. This "no editing" photos is killing me. There are a number I could have made a bit nicer; taking the pictures today, I was suffering from a weather-related lack of contrast. There was snow on the ground, and the sky is a lovely gray. I'd love to hear of any suggestions that would fix this, aside from post-processing, or taking the photos on a sunny day. All the "vivid" in the world can't brighten up gray. Ah well, here we are, my three of Toledo:

    Tony Packo's - what says "Toledo" more than this place? I grabbed some takeout after the photo.

    Downtown Toledo from the east side of the Maumee River. Yes, it looked that dull in person, too. Lovely weather.

    The only really colorful shot in the group (I took 44, this morning). My favorite of the group. Mud Hens Stadium; waiting for opening day...

  15. #60
    Thanks Tom!
    The "Castle" is the library.
    I was shooting in low light and my JVC GRDZ7U (digital camcorder with still capability) is not the best under those conditions. But it's what I have. Actually the lighting in both #2 & #3 is true to the conditions.
    Ideally I would have also had a tripod.

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