Orlando, FL – Epcot (HDR)

Epcot HDR 06SW_Talke
From the lovely Epcot in Orlando, Florida…here is Spaceship Earth in HDR. If you ever wanted to learn more about this structure…here are some details from the web…

Geometrically, Spaceship Earth is a derivative of a pentakis dodecahedron. It is a Class 2 Frequency 16 Icosahedron, with each of the 60 isosceles triangle faces divided into 16 smaller triangles (with a bit of fudging to make it rounder). Each of those 960 flat panels is sub-divided into four triangles, each of which is divided into three isosceles triangles to form each point. In theory, there are 11,520 total isosceles triangles forming 3840 points. In reality, some of those triangles are partially or fully nonexistent due to supports and doors; there are actually only 11,324 silvered facets, with 954 partial or full flat triangular panels.

The appearance of being a monolithic sphere is an architectural goal that was achieved through a structural trick. Spaceship Earth is in fact two structural domes. Six legs are supported on pile groups that are driven up to 160 feet into Central Florida’s soft earth. Those legs support a steel box-shaped ring at the sphere’s perimeter, at about 30 degrees south latitude in earth-terms. The upper structural dome sits on this ring. A grid of trusses inside the ring supports two helical structures of the ride and show system. Below the ring, a second dome is hung from the bottom, completing the spherical shape. The ring and trusses form a table-like structure which separates the upper dome from the lower. Supported by and about three feet off of the structural domes is a cladding sphere to which the shiny Alucobond panels and drainage system are mounted.

The cladding was designed so that when it rains, no water pours off the sides onto the ground. All water is collected through one-inch gaps in the facets into a gutter system, and finally channeled into the World Showcase Lagoon.

Colorado Springs, CO – Garden of the Gods (HDR)


From the beautiful Colorado Springs, CO…recently all our prayers go out to the families for the recent fires in this amazing location. In the heart of CO Springs you can find the Garden of the Gods. One super cool spot. Here you can park and walk the trails around these magnificent wonders of nature.

Some info fro the web…It was August of 1859 when two surveyors started out from Denver City to begin a townsite, soon to be called Colorado City. While exploring nearby locations, they came upon a beautiful area of sandstone formations. M. S. Beach, who related this incident, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden” when the country grew up. His companion, Rufus Cable, a “young and poetic man”, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.” It has been so called ever since.

Orlando, Florida – Cypress Gardens (Infrared)


From the quiet Cypress Gardens located in Orlando a shot from one of the botanical gardens. I have not been in FLA for a bit and have heard that Legoland has taken over the property of Cypress Gardens and has kept some of the gardens in place? When I went a few years back there was only a few people visiting the park and it was nice to have had a chance to see it!

Here is some history from the web: Cypress Gardens was one of Central Florida’s original tourist attractions, opening in 1936. This makes it a contemporary of Gatorland, another popular attraction that predates the arrival of the Disney Empire, having opened in 1949.

The original attraction at Cypress Gardens was the namesake botanical gardens, including a sprawling banyan tree. Over time, other attractions were added, like strolling Southern Belles in period costumes and a water ski show on adjacent Lake Eloise. Water skiing often overshadowed the gardens as a point of interest, and many world records in the sport were broken at Cypress Gardens over the years.

Cypress Gardens became a popular spot for filming movies and television specials in the 1950s and 1960s, with Esther Williams starting in several of them. Johnny Carson also appeared in a special at the park, and it was visiting by such celebrities as Elvis Presley.

The arrival of the Disney theme parks hurt Cypress Gardens, which is located about an hour away from Downtown Orlando, in a more far-flung spot called Winter Haven. It changed hands several times, starting in the 1980s, and attempted to reinvent itself as more of a traditional theme park, with roller coasters and other rides, eventually adding a small water park as well.

Competition increase as other Orlando theme parks like SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure kept people from leaving the immediate Orlando area. The struggling theme park, now rechristened as Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, suffered a further blow when three hurricanes struck the region in 2004.

There were sporadic park closures over the year, culminating in a final closure in September, 2009.

Pittsburgh, PA – PNC Park (HDR)


Baseball season is almost upon us! As a Pirate fan, this may be the first year I have a bit of hope since 1992! We have a great young lineup and may have a chance to break the 18 consecutive losing seasons. I am a true fan and will cheer on my Bucs no matter what! Our hopes are no the World Series or the playoffs…we can dream..but just to be a winning team! I wish them luck this year!! Go Bucs!!

Orlando, FL – Lake Eola (Infrared)


From the lovely Lake Eola right near downtown Orlando, this was taken at sunset. Orlando is known for its amusement parks and I must admit I lived about 30 minutes north of Orlando for a few years…trying to find shots other than Disney,etc…is kinda tough! At least now you know to visit this wonderful view next time you are out!

I processed this one in B&W with the new onOne Perfect Effects 3….this new software rocks. Uh oh…looks like my usage of NIK’s Software had faded a bit. Will give my full review next week!

Talke Photography Settings:

Camera: Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
Infrared Conversion: D70S modified by LifePixel
Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 31.0mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: 0.5 sec
Aperture: f/13
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, onOne Software Perfect Effects 3, Nik Color Efex pro

Trumansburg, NY – Taughannock Falls (HDR)


Deep into upstate New York you can find the small town of Trumansburg. Nestled in the countryside is Taughannock State Park.

Some info from the web: Taughannock Falls State Park’s namesake waterfall is one of the outstanding natural attractions of the Northeast. Taughannock Falls plunges 215 feet past rocky cliffs that tower nearly 400 feet above the gorge. Gorge and rim trails offer spectacular views from above the falls and from below at the end of the gorge trail. Campsites and cabins overlook Cayuga Lake, with marina, boat launch and beach nearby. A multi-use trail–hiking, cross-country skiing–winds past sledding slopes and natural skating ponds. Boat Launch Site not suitable for any type of sailboat. The park also offers organized activities including tours through the Taughannock Gorge and summer concerts along the lakefront.

ADVMX – Finish Line Ahead


Just one more shot from the MX action on Sunday. I was contacted by one of the racers #512 Tye W yesterday. As it is difficult to go thru 2600 pictures so quickly, if you are anyone you know was at the race…contact me and I will gladly search my pics and make a personal gallery like I did today for Tye! As you all know I like to have fun with my pics…HDR, selective color and of course textures…and MX action is true photographic art. The colors of the gear and the action can’t be beat! So why not make it even more artistic! This shot was done with three textures and some masking. Very cool! Hope you enjoyed the race Tye!

Yosemite National Park (HDR)

Winter is almost over….at least for some of us!  I saw snow fell in may places in the US this past week.  Sorry to those who had to deal with it.  In Texas its nearly 80-85 degrees everyday now…so a snowfall photo from the amazing Yosemite National Park can be our send off to old man winter!!   Bring it spring!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0 mm
  • ISO: 800
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22.0
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6

 

Orlando, FL – A morning stroll at Lake Eola Park (HDR)

When I was in Orlando recently I wanted to get some sunset and sunrise shots at the lovely Lake Eola Park.   The sky was not perfect, but I grabbed some HDR and IR photos.  I parked on the street  this early morning and was about to head out and looked back at the park.  I am a big fan of any photos with palm trees…so I decided to snap this shot before I left.  It was a nice quiet warm morning this day.  I will be back.  It was my first visit ever here and enjoyed it very much.  Not a ton to shoot, but some good angles of the lake and the city.  Will post those soon!  Have fun!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 22.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 7 Exposures (+3 to -3)
  • Aperture:  f/13
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6, Texture

Austin, Texas – Peacock (HDR)

In Austin we have a cute little park called Mayfield Park.  It is about 10 minutes from downtown.  At this park..I’d guess there are anywhere from 10-20 peacocks living here.  At various times of the year going to visit is wonderful!   From Feb-April it is mating season for the peacocks and this is when you get the best shots.  The peacocks are eager to impress the peafowls (ladies) and spread their feathers out ready to show what they got!    Or sometimes I have noticed they spread their feathers out to other males for a territorial display.

So this past week I stopped by at lunch and the ladies were out and I saw about 7 males bopping around making their loud calls.  Only one dude was spreading  his feathers.  Im guessing with no women around he was a teenager and had no idea what he was doing!  During my one hour visit…he had opened up about 3 times.  Just perfect for me to grab a few shots!  This is one in HDR!  I’ll head back again soon when I have more time.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 f/2.8
  • Setting: Manual  Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  Single Exposure HDR (1/1250 second)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6