The Stars and Stripes on Alcatraz

The flag of the United States flies over Alcatraz Island on a windy August day.

This was originally a portrait shot but I squared it off to emphasize the vertical and horizontal leading lines. The hydrant is much more prominent in the foreground too. The red rusty texture beloved of all photographers sets off the clean lines of the red stripes in the flag.

I took a photo of an even older flag several months ago. It belongs to my uncle and has only 46 stars!

Up up and away

Yesterday the Elysian’s tower reached the 18th floor, 72m above sea level and one of the tallest buildings in the country. Apparently St Finbarre’s Cathedral is 75m to it’s central spire but there won’t be a 2400sq ft penthouse at the top of that!

While we Irish congratulate ourselves on building an 18 storey lift shaft, here’s one I made earlier in San Francisco. I tried counting the floors but lost count around 14!

Buildings in the sky

I live in a city where the tallest building is one that will be 17 floors high so when I travel to far off lands it’s always great to see tall skyscrapers looming over the streets.

This might bear a striking resemblance to a previous image but it is a different one and was one of my entries in the Patterns Around Us competition at my local camera club.

I have another 3 or 4 similar images but I’m not going to bore you to death by posting all of them unless I can come up with a nice montage effect or something. I’ll have to think about it.

First Draft: Ready to go!

John asked what did he original Ready to go! look like and I’ll oblige now. Showing what the original photo looks like is akin to showing what the first draft of a written essay or post reads like. Sometimes the image comes out perfectly in the camera but that’s rarely the case. At the very least light levels have to be balanced and if resizing for publication online then the resized image has to be sharpened.

Hover over the image below to see what the original shot looked like. Hopefully this will work for RSS readers but if it doesn’t, visit the blog and leave your mark here!

Notice how I rotated the image? I had to reconstruct the bumper on the right of the picture, as well as filling in the gaps at the other corners of the photo. Tree branches and leaves are easy enough, as is the relatively solid black texture of the tar on the road, but the bumper was difficult, and the shaded area of the building on the left presented me with a few extra minutes of clicking to get right.

Want to see more “First Draft” posts? I can’t promise to do many, but if you have a compelling reason why you’d like to see the original of a photo I’ll do my best to help!

PS. Bryan – you might recognise the CSS. I took it from the button of doom you did! Hope you don’t mind!

PPS. Treasa has posted a tutorial of how she worked on two photos with steps in Photoshop to get the desired effect. Nice!

Bike Lane

Riding a bike anywhere on today’s streets is almost a suicidal pursuit but bike lanes help. Here a bus drove past as I took this shot in an urban tunnel in downtown San Francisco.

Ready to go!

You better be good at hill starts if you live in San Francisco! I presume it’s slightly easier with an automatic transmission rather than manual?

Highly processed image via multiple tools in the GIMP until I came up with an effect I liked – multiple layers, b/w, gaussian blur, layer modes and more.
I had to rotate the image at first and reconstruct parts of the image, but I think it came out reasonably well!

Alcatraz Flowers

The entrance to Alcatraz Prison is up a series of steps near these flowers. I love how they catch the light while the background is in the shade of the prison.

After yesterday’s flood of posts it’s nice to get back to the one-a-day habit although I wonder why Technorati hasn’t picked up on my IT@Cork2006 tag yet. Grrr.

It seems that they haven’t looked at my feed or updated their records of my posts yet because if you look under Canon 20d several of the posts I made yesterday show up. Not this one just yet. I guess there are lots of blogs out there!