Building Blocks

On the way back into town from our company golf tournament this past Thursday, I saw what is probably the coolest and largest piece of construction equipment I have ever seen. This giant contraption is currently being used to build the elevated track structure for the west LRT extension that will see our public train system make it’s way out to 69th St West.

I knew as soon as I saw this monster that I would have to come back to capture it, so on Friday night Brei and I made our way downtown to get a few brackets. Although I don’t think there’s anything outta-this-world about the shot, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Mostly I just wanted to get a shot of this thing while it was right over 9th Ave!

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 12mm, F 7.1, ISO 100, 5 Exposures

Details, Details, Details

I just finished reading Brian Matiash’s great post from this morning and I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. It turns out that both of us were working on photos from our Italy archive last night! Mine are from a trip I took with my whole family last May which was absolutely fantastic. We had a great time and I came home with a ridiculous amount of photos (and at that point I wasn’t even shooting brackets for HDR!).

Although I already processed the keepers from that trip last year, I’ve been having some fun going back through them and running a few of the single RAW files through Photomatix to see what kind of results I can get. I’m hoping that this exercise is fruitful enough for me to keep posting some of my re-processed Italy shots over the coming months. Last night I worked on a couple and I’m quite happy with the details I was able to pull out in this shot of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Canon EOS 50D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0L, 24mm, F 7.1, ISO 100, 1/640 sec

Bellagio Ceiling – Chihuly

This photo is 100% inspired by Trey Ratcliff over at Stuck in Customs. After seeing the images he was able to capture in Las Vegas, I made a point to try and find a few of the locations and see what I could come up with.

The picture below is a set of 3 handheld brackets of the amazing ceiling installation in the lobby of the Bellagio. All the glass sculpture is done by Dale Chihuly and you can find a few more of his masterpieces around Las Vegas…they really are quite stunning.

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 3.5, ISO 200, 3 Exposures

Simmons Heritage Building

Although Calgary is a relatively young city, there are a few pretty cool historic landmarks still kicking around, and any of these landmarks that are deemed worth preserving are given Heritage status and are typically restored and sometimes used as retail or office space. The old Simmons building in the East Village was constructed in 1912 for an estimated cost of $20,000 and was used by Simmons to make quality bedding products until 1966 when flooding from the Bow River necessitated a move. It is currently occupied by the Calgary Municipal and Land Corporation. They have a much more detailed history of the building on their site if you’re interested.

I took the below shot with my Sigma 10-20mm and purposely got nice and close to the building and shot at 10mm to get the interesting distorted perspective. I also don’t usually place a subject right in the middle of the frame but sometimes the symmetry of a shot can be much more powerful than a traditional “rule of thirds” composition.

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 11, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

The Crusher

I’m not sure what it is about big construction equipment and HDR, but I’ve been on the lookout for a cool piece of equipment to bracket since I started with the HDR thing. I’ve mentioned before that I live in a fairly new suburb of Calgary so there is still quite a bit of construction going on…which means plenty of large yellow equipment is lying around not being used on the weekends just begging to be photographed. So, this past weekend I did a quick lap around the neighbourhood on my way home from a downtown photowalk and came across this bruiser of a machine sitting on an empty lot between two finished houses. I like to think it’s main job is to crush whatever happens to be in it’s path with those giant teeth mounted on the front cylinder…it’s a pretty cool machine.

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 11, ISO 100, 3 Exposures