Nestled between twin non-matching concrete towers, this is the Front Desk and main lobby of the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego, California. I suppose that with a name like “Manchester” the hotel thought it would be a good idea to go with heavy dark wood paneling and 18th century English country scenes as their theme decore. Fortunately they did not continue this theme in the elevator lobbies or the hallways, but the non-descrip, institutional look of the elevator lobbies and hallways, devoid of furniture, wall art or decent lighting killed any effect the lobby might have on guests sensibilities. The rooms were clean, serviceable, had good ADA accommodations, but the single, hideous looking 18th century English country side print hanging on the wall looked like something from the bargain bin at the Five and Dime. We never did figure out how the blackout drapes worked in the room, but it was a bit of a shock, when in the middle of the night, while we were in bed, the drapes automatically opened.
Click here to purchase prints: http://goo.gl/fjZ4X
The Hyatt Manchester, San Diego twin towers standing watch over Embarcadero Marina. I applied my painterly style to this image and I think it works well, with richer color and density, expressing a feeling of calmness on a bright, Southern California day. For comparison purposes here is the straight HDR that this was derived from:
This is a wider view from the position where I was when I captured most of the Street Life images that I am displaying this week and next. The view is looking across part of the open air pedestrian mall that the city of Riverside, California created out of three blocks of Main Street. This scene is actually bisected by Mission Inn Avenue, where you can see the columnar traffic barriers in the lower left corner of this image. In the same area as the traffic barriers is the “bridal party” that I captured and displayed earlier this week in my current Street Life series. This is a great area to stake out or roam around, capturing the people passing through or hanging out and capturing some of the interesting period architecture.
In terms of capturing people, whether people connected to local business activity, tourists, young people before or after school, people attending local events, inter-generational groups, just every day street life, if you are patient and persistent, you will find it all here. The Mission Inn is the defining structure in this area with its mixture of architectural styles (as I previously noted here) and in this image I wanted to capture some of the sense of time and place that the structure expresses. Another aspect of this image that resonates with me is the shape of many of the inn’s windows, with the curve on their tops and the bell curve on top of the pediments, which is replicated in the bell shaped light standards and the bell street ornament in the right middle ground. This structure in Riverside, California stands in a semi-arid area of California that is very near to the low Sonoran desert and I tried to convey that feeling by de-saturating most of the colors in the image and using a tool to suggest a water color rendition. I finished it off with the addition of dried parchment like texture, but I am a little ambivalent about that, I worry that it is too pronounced.
I welcome any constructive critiques.
This was at the end of a recent photo walk Judy and did through Old Town, Pasadena, California. The shop is Marylinn’s Bridal Collection and it occupies the northwest corner of the Castle Green complex in Old Town. The buildings that comprise the Castle Green complex were originally constructed during the last twenty years of the 19th century, when Pasadena become known as a major winter resort location for people seeking the health benefits of the Southern California climate.
“Portal To Rejuvenation” is a side entrance/passageway at about the mid-point of the west side of the Mission Inn. The hotel spans a full city block on all sides, I did pump up the hue and saturation on this image, I wanted to amplify the feeling of going from a cold, dour environment in to the warmth and welcoming environment inside.
I just installed my Drobo FS last week. Very simple installation and a big sense of relief offloading all my photos from the laptop.
I already back up my laptop to my Apple Time Capsule, which is a combination Air Port wireless router and 1TB disk drive via Apples fully automated Time Machine application, but I ran out of space on the Macbook Pro drive (250GB). So I had to find a data storage solution quick.
The reasons I decided on the Drobo:
• Drobo automatically configures itself for data protection so you don’t have to.
• When a drive fails, your data is still safe (and all drives do eventually fail).
• Drobo senses any corrupted data and ensures that you only access non-corrupt data.
• No downtime to add capacity. Just add a drive to an empty Data Bay, or replace a smaller drive with a larger one regardless of capacity, speed, or manufacturer.
• After a drive is installed into an empty bay, the new drive capacity is immediately available and protected.
• Drobo can act as one large drive, making it easier to find whatyou’ve stored on it.
• Upgrading capacity is as simple as adding ink to a printer.
• Mix ’n match any 3.5” (SATA) hard drives; no worrying about
matching make, model or capacity of Drobo’s existing drives.
• Upgrade forever—just replace Drobo’s smallest drive with a
larger capacity drive. No data migration or reconfiguration is
Physical installation steps:
1. Install the software on a computer on your network.
2. Slide one or more drives in to a slot in the Drobo cabinet.
3. Connect the Drobo to a port on your router with the supplied Ethernet cable.
4. Connect the power cord to the back of the Drobo and to an electrical receptacle.
5. Push the “On” button on the back of the Drobo.
The Drobo box will boot up, the software will find it and prompt you through a couple of configuration steps, including setting an Administrator account up. This all took under 20 minutes.
It then took about four hours to copy over about 200GB of data from the laptop to the Drobo, which was expected. Under normal operating conditions the Drobo is very fast to serve up individual files.
Currently I have three Hitachi 2TB drives mounted in the Drobo cabinet, am using 231.94GB of that storage and have 1.56TB available. I don’t get to use the full 6TB because of the way I have the Drobo configured to run dual redundant drives, (i.e the three physical drives are configured as four virtual drives.) I’ve got two more Hitachi drives on the shelf, either as replacements if any given drive fails, or as expansion.
If you are concerned about securely storing you photographic files, you should seriously consider a Drobo.
Sharing the corner of Sixth and Main (foreground) Streets in Riverside, California are two icons of Riverside history, the Mission Inn and a navel orange tree with a bountiful crop of fruit. The Mission Inn’s origin was an adobe boarding house built by Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876, in 1903 his son, Frank Miller took control of the property and began a decades long building spree that eventually eliminated the original structure and replaced it, piece-meal with a much more ambitious structure that is commonly known as the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States.
This image only hints at the panoply of architectural components that comprise the entire site, with various components designed by architects Arthur B. Benton, Myron Hunt and G. Stanley Wilson and which reflect Spanish Gothic, Moorish Revival, Spanish Colonial, Spanish Colonial Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Mediterranean Revival Style architecture.
The orange tree is very significant to Riverside residents as the national commercial production and marketing of the navel orange began with the first two trees trees planted by Eliza Tibbets (from specimens collected in Brazil by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) in 1873. In the early 20th century Southern California became the center of the citrus fruit industry in the United States.
Using layers and masking in Photoshop I desaturated most of the image, and then brought out the color saturation in the tree. I also removed some distracting elements. I am still having focus issues and am not satisfied with the sharpness of this image.
Author’s note: Can you find my cloning error in the original image rendition?
This was apparently someone’s “Kodak Moment” when her companions were studying the vending machine. The scene was in the dark cavernous space that is the Studio Walk at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and is about as exciting as shopping at the MGM Grand gets. This is the kind of human tableau that attracts my eye, a candid glimpse of some people interacting with each other and their environment. I like how the blown out lighting of the inside of the vending machine helps define the human figures in front of it, especially how you can see some of the light reflected off of the fellow on the left.
With the high ISO the original HDR image had a lot of grainy noise in the blacks, I was able to minimize that with a combination of using a Control Point with Nik Viveza to darken the three individual figures in the center, combined with tweaking the Lightroom noise filter settings. The overall processing also softened all of the edges.
Some Housekeeping Notes: You will find some new tabs at the top of this page. One of them links to the new Wayne Frost Photography Facebook site that I launched this week, if you are a Facebooker I’d love to have you stop bye. You will find a link to my portfolio there, and you can also share your own images on the page or start or join a discussion. I have also reconfigured the waynefrost.com web site which is hosted by SmugMug and you can always go there for direct access to my portfolio.
At least it felt like trudging off to infinity to Judy as she had to walk the entire length of the hallway to get to our hotel room at the end of the north wing of the MGM Grand Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada. Did I mention that this is the second largest hotel in the world with 6,852 rooms?
This is the registration lobby of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, two days before Christmas. “Leo The Lion” normally presides without the holiday glitz. I had a tough time dealing with all the noise in the blacks, and was not able to eliminate it completely during post processing, but I liked the combination of color tones, and the overall tableau of the scene, so decided to share it. Like most everything recently this was hand held. If I had it to do over, I would use a tripod and set the ISO much lower, but then I don’t think the humans would cooperate and remain still long enough.
For all I know, it was the wettest week on record in Las Vegas this week. We had intentions of capturing some images on a visit to the Valley of Fire state park and the Nevada State Railroad Museum, but due to the weather, we were captive in the casino. The MGM West Tower is in the left foreground, the Mansion at the MGM Grand in the middle right foreground, Excaliber in the left background, New York New York in the middle background, the Monte Carlo in the right background; the south end of City Center on the right edge of the background. Las Vegas Boulevard, the “Strip” delineates the foreground from the background. The shot was taken on the 25th floor of the north end of the MGM Grand Tower.
I had a Hell of a time with reflections off the window, what appears to be streaking in the left foreground is actually a reflection of the window curtains, despite having all of the lights turned off in the room, the ambient light from outside the hotel bounced off the curtains and reflected back in the glass. I really would have liked to have a polarizing filter with me for this shot, but I do have it on good authority that a polarizer will show up in my stocking tomorrow morning. I diminished some of the reflection damage by using the Lightroom cloning tool on the sky.
I took some other shots of the skyline, both in daylight and at night, and some other interiors in the hotel, but I am not very happy with any of them. Besides being disappointed with my images, we were disappointed by the cost of everything, including all meals in the hotel, the unfathomable add on charges to the basic room rate, the extremely tight slot machines (not a factor to me, I did not gamble) and the irony of being booked in to a vaunted spa suite and finding we had no water pressure the first morning, and apparently the maids service the rooms on some undefined schedule, known only to them, and not in response to your specific phone request for service.
This is not the same Las Vegas my parents would bring me to in the 1950’s, way overpriced and over crowded. I think we are done with Vegas.
We did our third one-nighter at Fantasy Springs Hotel & Casino, Indio, California to celebrate an upcoming birthday. Fantasy Springs is an easy trip, about 90 miles from our home and we enjoyed the food, a little casino action, captured some HDR images and enjoyed the Jazz performance by our friend Rose Mallet who played some dates there this year.
We wandered around an outdoor (best at night) event venue called the Rock Yard which is adjacent to the hotel, pool, casino and special events center and managed a few shots before the heat chased us back inside. I played around with lines, perspective and texture outside and perspective inside. It was late in the afternoon and shadows outside were long (I cloned out my shadow in one image since it was so prominent, but then the cloning distotred the shape of some of the brick pavers.) I also applied perspective adjustments to some of the outdoors photos.
The colonnade linking the hotel to the casino is quite a dramatic and inviting space, one shot is looking east from the casino end, with the sun outside over my right shoulder, the other colonnade shot is looking west from the hotel to the casino, the sun outside virtually shining directly on me . I did some tweaking of shot looking out the colonnade doors to the pool so that some of the door detail could be seen against the brightness of the pool area.
I have come to the conclusion that if I want to create truly outstanding architectural images, I will need to take more time contemplating and composing, and use the tripod (all these shots were hand held, which impacted their sharpness and any flexibility with depth of field that I might have leveraged.)