Saturday, May 14, 2022

Walkabout Along the Gulf Coast - Day 4 - Historic Galveston

I did other things on this day but the big thing was taking pictures of the neat architecture in "Historic Galveston".

I was basically just cruising up the coast after spending the night at Galveston Island State Park. I was looking, again, to find some shipping activity and I did find where they build the drilling platforms. Then I saw the big cruise liners and thought I'd go look but you can't really drive by them so I thought I would park and walk over.

I had noticed signs for "Historic Galveston" and so I packed my architectural lens. What is that you ask???

The short answer is a "tilt-shift lens" but that will likely cause you to ask, "Perry... why are you such a dick!!!" So, to prevent that I'll explain. (Grab some coffee)

The film or the image sensor is a plane. And the lens is a plane. Almost all cameras put those two planes parallel. This causes the "point of focus" to be a plane and that plane is also parallel with the image and lens planes. Fine...

But now you need to photograph a tall building. What do you do? You point the camera up. Now the image, lens, and focus planes are not parallel with the face of the building.

That isn't really a big deal most times because the depth of field is enough to make your eyes happen. But there is another problem which is called "key stoning". The face of the building tapers off because there is now a "vanishing point" above the building. To rephrase, the sides of the building will taper towards a vanishing point.

Modern software can fix this but it is a post process munging and back in the film and print days, there was no software. What to do???

The solution is to keep the image, lens, and focus planes parallel with the sides of the building. "Detach" the film and lower it down. This requires the lens to produce a sharp image on a much wider circle including not only where the film or image sensor normally is but also where it is after it has been (here is the big word) shifted down.

The "tilt" part of "tilt-shift" lens is even more fascinating but I'll leave that for another post.

All that to say... huy guys... looks at these neat buildings!!!


Friday, May 13, 2022

Walkabout Along the Gulf Coast - Day 3

As I mentioned, I slept at a KOA and woke to find the same four (or five depending upon how you count) planets lined up. I took a picture this time and I labeled them.

What isn't shown is the International Space Station. It came trucking from the Northwest to the Southeast at 5:45 a.m. and its path crossed right through the planet's elipitcal plane that we see the planets lined up on. Why didn't I take the picture???? Well, I had changed to the 500mm lens to get a close up of the ISS but I wasn't really prepared for that either and it basically passed through without me taking a decent picture. Oil well...

So... I packed up and started driving eventually ended up at Galveston Island State Park. Here is the day's path:

Breakfast was in a little place in Palacios, TX. There was a lot of shrimp boats. Here is a small sample of those pictures:

I crossed over the Colorado River

While driving I came across a nice old church and an old windmill. I eventually ended up at Port Lavaca. I was hoping to see some shipping activity but all the cranes were silent. I walked out on a long wave break and took a few random shots.

I eventually ended at the state park. When I got here at 6 p.m., the place was empty. Since then, the place has been flooded with Boy Scouts. All the sites are reserved so I'm not sure what will happen. Its almost 10 p.m. now... I'm going to sign off and hope for the best.

Walkabout Along the Gulf Coast - Day 2

This is day 2 of my Texas Gulf Coast Walkabout. When we last left off, our adventurer was camping out on Goose Island...

I woke up around 5:30 to four "stars" lined up. I found some random star app and it gave me this image:

The image is accurate but those are not the four planets I saw. Further up the line is Saturn. I didn't get any photos on this morning but I did on the following mourning so be sure to look at that blog entry.

The journey for the day took me from Goose Island to Carancahua Bay and Port Lavaca / Matagorda Bay Koa Holiday.

I went back to the place where I saw the Crested Caracara but never managed to get a shot. There is actually a pair of them. While searching for them, I came across a grain storage facility. The area is covered in corn (I guess -- looks like corn to me). The videos are pretty rough but here are some still photos to give you an idea.

The previous day while driving around I cross a brige for a bayou. I stopped and found these really interesting flowers:

And the bayou itself:

I eventually found the KOA campsite, wrote some Ruby code for my accounting project, and took a nap. Life is hard!!!

Walkabout Along the Gulf Coast - Day 1

Wednesday I set off for another walkabout. This one is for the coast. I tried to start it on Tuesday but I discovered I didn't pack my tripod so I just came home and waited a day. The path on the first day was mostly to get to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge It is the site of the Whopping Cranes but that season has past. It was just a somewhat random target to start the journey.
Along the way, I saw a raptor on top of a telephone pole. I thought it might be a bald eagle because the head was light colored. I stopped and threw on the 500mm lens and got a pretty aweful shot. This is a huge crop but from it you can tell that it is a Crested Caracara.
The wildlife refuge wasn't much ... I got there late in the day and it isn't the season for anything. There was one very interesting flower:
And a small body of water with giant bull frogs and some pleasant water lilies.
The lady at the visitors center suggested I spend the night on Goose Island State Park. I'm camping out. The wind coming from the gulf made setting up the bivy hard. I'm still learning things. Before going to Goose Island, I needed food so I went to Bubba's Cajun Seafood in Seadrift, Texas and had the fish basket with onion rings. Total killer food. I don't claim to be a connoisseur of fish but it was really wonderful. I'm two days behind on my blog entries so I'm going to end this now. Tomorrow was wonderful so follow this blog is you can figure out how.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Pioneer Flight Museum's Wings and Wheels Fly In

My friend, Jim, told me about this fly in last Saturday (May 7th, 2022) put on by the Pioneer Flight Museum at the Old Kingsbury Aerodrome outside the town of Killbury, TX.
One unusual thing they had was some areial cameras used for reconnaissance and a gun camera from a Spitfire.
Here is a random selection of some of the car photogrphs and plane photographs I took and this link will take you to the entire set.