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Old Apr 17, 2011, 1:12 AM   #1
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Recently I've been tied up migrating information and programs from one computer to another. I was amazed at how many programs and plug-ins I have downloaded over the past few years. Also, it used to pretty easy to switch computers - just grab your disks and reinstall. It doesn't work that way any more. Each software package seems to have different rules - one you have to de-authorize before re-installing, another you have uninstall before reinstalling. Garmin doesn't restrict the computers, just the GPS devices (had to ask that one). My monitor calibrator's software wouldn't install from the disk (I also changed from Leopard to SnowLeopard) so I emailed the company who gave me a link to updated drivers. Then I had to go through all my saved messages to find the license codes for the various Lightroom and Photoshop plug-ins I own. I thought I was finished and then remembered that while I don't use it much, I really like the geotagging program I have. So I haven't had much time to take any of the architectural pictures I was planning on.

I did manage to get up to one of my favorite areas recently, and managed a few shots. Rather than approaching my limited time with an open mind, I went up with the goal of taking detail shots, so I chose the DA*200 to start with (it turned out to be too long for many shots that I wanted to take).

First, a shot of a symbol that's on a building called Humanities (does anyone else find this somewhat amusing?). The building was not originally built for this purpose.



On to another building, this one Powell Library. I've taken similar pictures to this in the past, but think this is the best one so far - I thought the dof was about as good as you could ask for (taken with the DA*50-135)



There's a second floor reading room in this library that has a wonderful ceiling. It's all hand-painted terra cotta tile, originally done in the late 1920's, then restored during a seismic renovation project in the 1990's.



A detail:



I'm not entirely sure I have these looking right - I've been struggling a bit with monitors. Brightness levels seem to look differently than they did or something.

What do you think of this picture? It's not how I took it and I wonder (since I know what it's supposed to look like) whether it looks funny the way I processed this one. Let me know what you think of this:



It's on the floor of the library, just as you enter. Given that bit of information, it becomes obvious that the light source is wrong for a seal that's to be read as one enters such a wonderful place of knowledge. I was actually standing on the stairs looking toward the entrance doors with the light shining brightly through them. Here's the original perspective:



But how many people can read who's seal this is from this picture?

This last one is getting posted only because I wanted to show off the dynamic range and shadow recovery that the K5 is capable of. It's otherwise a rather boring picture of the front of Royce Hall, taken from the steps in front of Powell. It was taken at noon on a very bright sunny day, and the area under the arches was very dark. Also, the shot was one of an autoexposure series and underexposed (Ev -1.3). Looking at it uploaded, I think I got a bit too carried away with lightening it. I didn't do any noise reduction - it's amazing how much shadow detail you can recover from the K5's pictures.



I really would like to know what others think of the two seal pictures - whether the reversed/inverted one looks strange or not. Also, since I'm not entirely sure about the settings on my new computer/monitor combination, I'd also be interested in anyone's comments about the processing, etc. or ideas on how to improve on them: i.e., is the Royce Hall picture too light, especially in the mid-tones? Not sure I was straight-on when I shot the symbol on Humanities - is the perspective distracting? Or is the detail of Powell's roof too balanced (I tend to think like an engineer, not an artist)? Or anything else that bothers you? All thoughts are very appreciated.
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Old Apr 17, 2011, 7:40 AM   #2
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Question on the seal photos: What does it look like if you stand right on top, say at about six o'clock? Does it look better there? This is a hard one to shoot.

The rest are gorgeous.
The one above the seals looks washed out...but it does go along with the rest of the colors so maybe not.
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Old Apr 17, 2011, 8:43 AM   #3
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The problem with trying to shoot directly down on it is that you don't get the light from the windows showing it like shooting at the extreme angle, and the library entrance isn't very bright, so (since it's all one color) it's not as obvious. Plus it's a hard spot to shoot at lunch-time, there's a constant stream of people walking by (the walk-way between the library and Royce gives you an idea of the traffic).

I'll re-process the ceiling detail - looking at it here does look too washed out. There's a lot one can do for that type of thing, and this did give me a good starting point. Anyone else?
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Old Apr 17, 2011, 11:03 AM   #4
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Being somewhat of a pixel peeper, I love shots of architecutral detail since one gets to look at all the finer detail which are not obvious when looked at from afar. I especailly like #2 and #3. I also like the symmetry that goes along with architectural images--both the views from a distance as well as close up.

Colors do apear a bit flat, but it is hard to tell without seeing the original object.

You may want to consider some PP incorrecting the perspective (#7) and slight visible bowing (distortion) in #4.

Now that the weather is warming up in these parts, I need to get out and photograph more landscapes and building...i trip into down town Cincinnati may be in order!

Jehan
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Old Apr 18, 2011, 4:18 PM   #5
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Fascinating series, and some very interesting perspectives. Especially like #2 for a unique view and great lines!

PS - Since you use a garmin, you might be interested in this source of free garmin-compatible maps:
http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/
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Old Apr 18, 2011, 8:34 PM   #6
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I love the photos, especially the ceiling details.

I confess, I have no idea what the symbol on the humanities building signifies. Can you enlighten us (or at least me)?
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Old Apr 18, 2011, 9:28 PM   #7
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I'm not entirely sure, but to me it looks like either a radio tower with radio waves radiating out of it. Or else it's something else that's sending out ions/electrons etc. from a central point. In any case, it's something scientific/engineering not something associated with literature, drama, etc. The building housed the Physics department until a couple of years ago.

I really need to go back to the originals and re-process these, I must have had the monitor set too bright.
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Old Apr 18, 2011, 9:37 PM   #8
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P.S. Thanks for the link, Mole - a very interesting website. I own Garmin's Topo from 2008 and also City Navigator, there's lots of interesting sounding add-ons. Another site that's going to need some time to read through.

I downloaded Base Camp - I hadn't seen it before. Not sure I've figured out how it all works, but the first thing I found out is that the geotagging part of the program doesn't like .dng files. The other program I have (PhotoLinker) does, so I'll stay with it. It will be very nice to have the option to print maps though, I'll work at figuring it out, too.
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Old Apr 19, 2011, 2:09 PM   #9
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I have never been into architectural pictures living in the burbs, BUT you did get me interested. I shot quite a few while in Europe with a P&S but I have not had any real opportunities with a DSLR. After seeing your shots I am planning some trips back into town. Detroit has lots to shoot but might be better shot from across the river in Canada. Very nice series I like #2 best.

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