Two fountains, lit up nicely at the Denver Botanic Gardens:
A 10-second exposure taken with an Olympus E-M1 at ISO 1600 — no noise at all in the SOOC image.
About a week ago, Instagram announced the release of their new free Hyperlapse app for iOS. So since we were headed to Ohio to visit relatives over the Labor Day weekend, the timing was perfect for me to use some flights to experiment with this new software.
Mind you, Hyperlapse does wonderful things, but it has its limits. It has essentially no settings you can change — you tap on a button to start recording, tap again to stop, then decide how much you want the video sped up before it is saved. The particularly impressive part of this story is that the app makes use of your iOS device’s built-in solid state gyro to help smooth out the device’s motion while you recorded the video.
Here’s a hyperlapse video (10x speedup) of our departure from Denver International Airport:
For the most part, it looks pretty good to me — but you can see some artifacts in the clouds from point to point. The default speedup is 6x, so on the flight home from Cleveland, I used that setting for three hyperlapse videos I made during ascent. Here’s a montage of them:
Maybe this was just a fluke, but the app seemed to do a much better job with things like clouds in the second video. A function of the speedup setting, or just dumb luck? Time (and some more experiments) will tell…
Another piece of art glass by Dale Chihuly (two pieces, actually), currently located in the Denver Botanic Gardens‘ Monet Pool:
This arrangement is one that absolutely looks better at night. In the daytime, you’re distracted by people and plants and benches behind the piece (from this vantage point). At night, the lighting on the glasswork helps isolate it from what would otherwise be clutter.
Oly 12-40mm f/2.8 lens at 21mm and f/4.5 on E-M1 camera
1/25 sec at ISO 1600
Time for some more Dale Chihuly art glass, as seen at the Denver Botanic Gardens. My wife and I both decided that some pieces looked best in daylight, while others were real stand-outs when lit up at night — so for comparison’s sake, let’s look at the installation White Tower over a few hours’ time.
White Tower is a fine piece — but in daylight, we both thought it was most interesting up close. Those magenta spots on the white branches (tentacles?) aren’t painted on — they’re clear areas in a white outer layer, which let the inner color shine through.
Unfortunately, the background is a bit too cluttered to really set the piece off, at least from this angle. Continue reading
For the next few months (through November), the Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting an exhibition (part of the Garden Cycle series) of glass art by Dale Chihuly. When you first walk into the gardens, you’re greeted by this sight:
It’s called Blue Icicle Towers, and is one of Chihuly’s new works. Like most of his art, it’s neither small nor subtle — but it’s an eye-catcher and will leave you wondering just how he and his crew make everything. More to come…
A long duration (3.2 seconds) shot along the main street (Stradun) of the old town of Dubrovnik, Croatia:
One of the reasons for our recent trip to eastern Europe was the desire to see some still less-visited places before they’re “discovered” by tourist mania. Dubrovnik was the one spot on our route that we knew in advance was definitely “discovered” already, yet it still didn’t disappoint.
OK, the prices there are accordingly a bit high. But the old town’s got scenery in spades, the people are wonderful, and there’s a wealth of history to explore (its more-recent history being more than a little sad). And as you can guess from this shot, it’s got some pretty good nightlife. The two figures in yellow over black, BTW, really were two young women — identically dressed.
This past weekend, our family was able to spend a few days (including July 4th) in Steamboat Springs — always a treat and source of plenty of photographic opportunities to boot. This is the first time, though, that I had the opportunity to photograph the town’s fireworks. So since there’s not a whole lot of information about the show online, I thought I should do a quick write-up to help future visiting photographers.
At least when we visited, the fireworks were shot off from three locations on the sides of Howelsen Hill — centered roughly on the ski jump, south and west of downtown. This means that many spots downtown will give you a partial view of the fireworks, but they seem to be fired to a low altitude — so unless you’ve got rooftop access, you’re likely to have an obstructed view. Continue reading
So I noticed this notice on a recent business trip to Florida — apparently it’s now a required feature on vending machines there, but I can’t for the life of me tell what purpose it serves:
It doesn’t have any inspection certification, or license information, or any obviously useful data like that. But somehow this thing struck me as being oddly familiar. Then in Steamboat Springs this past weekend, I noticed a sign from a distance that may have been the source of my dim recollection…
Coincidence? I think not!
We recently had the opportunity to visit the city of Mostar, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A bit out of our way (even on a trip along the Adriatic), but we primarily wanted to see one iconic structure — Stari Most (“Old Bridge”).
The original version of this structure was built on the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent between 1557 and 1566, and it stood for 427 years with no issues. But it was a casualty of the Balkan Wars back in the 1990s, and so had to be subsequently rebuilt in 2004.
Still, it’s said that the (new) Old Bridge is made largely of limestone blocks from the (old) Old Bridge, salvaged from the bottom of the Neretva river.
Denver’s in the process of reworking the core of its mass transit system, and since part of the new work had a grand opening last weekend, my daughter and I hopped on a light rail train to check things out. The core of all the work will soon be Denver’s Union Station — rebuilt in 1914, and currently in the process of renovation into a high-end hotel.
But the light rail stop that used to sit directly behind (to the Northwest of) Union Station got relocated about a quarter mile further west. So what to do with the space between?
Why, build an underground bus station, naturally. The idea was to make a bus station that looks more like an airport concourse than a stereotypical bus station — and if you ask me, they were fully successful in that. I’m not sure, but suspect that the yellow tile trimming the walls is a hat-tip to the similarly-colored tile used in the original Union Station train tunnels (check out the cover of The Fray’s self-titled second album for a historical peek at them).