Pittsburgh, PA – Cathedral of Learning (HDR)

This amazing building is the Cathedral of Learning located at the University of Pittsburgh.   It should be renamed the Cathedral of HDR!   You can catch great shots on the outside and inside!  This main hall is unreal!  I was just recently in Pittsburgh and went out shooting with my buddy Dave DiCello (HDR Exposed).  We grabbed quite a few shots  all over Pittsburgh.   I had been here last year, but felt I didn’t get the shots I really wanted.  Another reason why shooting the same location a few times is good idea!    You can get a different perspective and possible new camera angles.  Push your photography limits.

Whomever designed this place…kudos!   Very church-like and beautiful!!   Gotta love those pillars and ceiling.  This shot was up on the second floor overlooking the hall.  The wide angles captures the view nicely!   This basically was the only area we shot.  I wonder if any magical rooms for HDR’ing are located above?   Maybe one day I will find out!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 19.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/16
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Color Efex Pro
  • News: Best IPhone/IPad App!! – The Photographers Ephemeris

    I recently have been using this app for my IPhone (can be used on IPad also) called The Photographers Ephemeris.  I cannot even pronounce Ephemeris…but it is awesome!   So I just call it TPE.  An ephemeris is a table of values that gives the positions of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time or times.

    If you are a nature/landscape photographer…this app is great!  The pic above is a general one, the app is just slightly different to fit on your phone.  A must have!!!  It will show you the direction of sunrise and sunset based upon your current location!  Sweet!!!   I use it to plan my shoot locations every time I head out!

    Here is info from their website:  The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) is a tool to help with the planning of all types of outdoor photography, but particularly landscape and urban scenes. It is a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land. TPE’s map-based approach means you are not limited to a predefined list of locations, which often don’t include the places many photographers go. Instead, search for any place name on the planet or position the map pin exactly where you want it. Advanced features including automatic time zone and elevation detection, correction for atmospheric refraction and height above the horizon, ensuring that you have the best possible information for planning your shoot.

    Ah technology!!!!  Enjoy!

    San Antonio, Texas – Boar-ed at the Zoo (HDR)

    Earlier this summer we hit the San Antonio Zoo.  I’ll admit that it is a challenge to take shots of zoo animals.  You hope for them to be in the right spot and angle. But sometimes you catch them in a mid afternoon snooze!  This dude was out like a light! I am sure his life is super exciting…so I understand his deep sleep.  LOL   Cute little fellow!  I see he has his mud cream on.   I still have some zoo targets to get…a Lion, Tiger, Zebra.  I am certain I can have fun with those shots in Photoshop!   Waco Zoo is my trip…sometime in the fall when it cools down in Texas.  Hope you are having a great summer!

    Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 70-200 VR f/2.8
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 180.0mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Exposure:  1/806 (Single RAW HDR)
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza
  • Big Sur, CA – Bixby Bridge (HDR)

    From a few weeks back while traveling down Pacific Coast Highway…the photo above is the Bixby Bridge.  Another west coast bridge that is photographed very often!  There is a small rest stop right before the bridge.  Here you can park and grab some shots!   Such amazing views all around…for this one I just wanted to focus on the bridge.  It is a simple and cool design.

    Info from the web:

    Bixby Creek Bridge is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California. It is located 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco and 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel in Monterey County along California Highway One.  Bixby Creek Bridge is important historically because it introduced automobile travel to Big Sur, connecting the remote coastal towns to each other.  It is 714 feet (218 m) long, 24 feet (7.3 m) wide, over 280 feet (85 m) high and has a main span of 320 feet (98 m). Its two heavy buttresses are unnecessary to support the structure, and later arch bridges such as the Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge omitted them from the design. It is “one of the most photographed features on the West Coast”because of its location along the scenic Central Coast of California, and has frequently been used in automobile commercials. The construction of the bridge began on August 24, 1931 and was completed on October 15, 1932.

    Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 42.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/25
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro
  • Pittsburgh, PA – HR in HDR!

    Had a chance this past week to catch a game in Pittsburgh.   I always try to see my poor Pittsburgh Pirates play each year.   With 17 consecutive losing seasons…being a big fan is tough.  The Bucs cannot compete with the Yankees or Red Sox.  Heck, who cares about the playoffs for us…just get a winning season and they might have a parade in the Burgh!!   I guess the good thing is that as a walk up…I paid only $35 for these seats.  I was 5 rows back from the dugout…with only an estimated 13K people at the game.  Seats are easy to get.

    PNC Park…it is one of the best stadiums in baseball!!  I will post a few stadium shots soon!  The city skyline overlooking the outfield is beautiful!   As for this shot…the rookie and hopeful saviour of the Bucs above is Pedro Alvarez.  He plays third base and was just called up a few weeks ago.  In perfect timing with my visit, the Pirates scored 11 runs this nite in a victory.  Pedro hit 2 home runs!!  This shot is his second…popping off the bat!  They say in baseball…hand speed is the key to hitting.  I’d say his speed is up to par!  Love the blur action!   Nice to hit a game and see a win!  Let’s go Pirates!!

    Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 200.0mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Exposure:  1/660 (Single RAW HDR)
  • Aperture:  f/5.6
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza
  • Austin, Texas – Capitol Building (HDR)

    Just one more shot from our Scott Kelby Photo Walk 2010 – downtown Austin walk.  This is the traditional shot everyone must take when visiting Austin.  Its quite tricky in HDR.  It all depends on the time of day and available light.  I finally got a solid one after many attempts.  Nice and bright!  I only shot 8 HDR’s on the walk…this was my favorite.  I used a fisheye to capture as much as the interior section of the dome.   Check out those stairs way up there!  I had no idea they were there!  Wish we can have photo walks all the time!  Shooting with fellow photographers is wonderful!  Enjoy!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 10.5 Fisheye f/2.8
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 10.5 mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/3.5
    • Gear:  Tripod
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

    News: 500,000 Visitors!! Thank you!!! (Win 2 free prints!!!)

    Places 2 Explore has just passed 500,000 visitors!!!!  Truly amazing to me!!!  Thank you so much for reading my blog and visiting!!  Whether you are a new, occasional, or everyday reader…thanks!!!!  Such an honor to see numbers rising every day and month!   Photography is a never ending learning process…thanks for growing along with me!!   Being voted as one of the Top Travel Photo Blogs (HDR Category) in the world recently was wonderful!   What does the future hold?  Not sure…but I am hoping tons more of my best photos being posted right here!!   Thanks so much again!!

    I’d like to thank you by giving away  2 free 11×14 prints!!!   Just post “Hello!” in the comment section below!!!!  I will pick a random winner on August 27th!!!   You can pick any photos in my collection!!!   Good luck!!!