Monday, December 29, 2008

What is HDR(High Dynamic Range) photography?

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Earlier I posted the above photograph that I had edited to mimic a HDR photograph.
Storming Montreal HDR: A Roiling Sky
This is a HDR photograph. HDR is the ability to capture bright highlights and dark shadows on the same photograph.Note that the dark area and the light areas are well exposed. This particular photograph has a cartoonish(which I like) quality to it, but note than not all HDR photographs have that.

HDR is the ability to capture bright highlights and dark shadows on the same photograph. This is something that the human eye does quit naturally. old industry in Leipzig in HDR
Cameras, on the other hand, have a difficult dealing with these two opposites. Back in the days of film cameras, a photographer could select a film based on its ability to capture a higher dynamic range versus another type of film.

In the world of digital cameras, this choice is no longer available. There are several methods available to the digital photographer to create HDR photographs.

If your camera captures in a RAW format you can save a jpg that shows the details in the shadows and the change your exposure in your RAW program and save a JPG that shows the details in the highlights. Then in your photo processing program you can combine these into one photograph that will show all of the details.

Another method, especially if you can't take a RAW photograph, is to take several exposeures with your camera. One light to expose the shaows, and one dark to expose the highlights, and again merge them in your photo proccessing program.

HDR can make for some very dramatic photographs. I am not an expert in HDR so your mileage may vary from this information.......

Note: All photographs here are used via the Creative Commons Licensing Agreement on Flickr. All photograph and rights belong to the respective photographer.

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More shootings

3 Las Vegas Metro SWAT officers were shot early Monday morning while serving a narcotics related search warrant in the city of Henderson. All three are expected to make a full recovery. Unfortunately the suspect lived long enough to be taken into custody.

Thus far there have been at least 6 or more LVMPD police officers shot since we have moved here in July of 2007.

One of Karen's co worker's brothers was shot and killed while stopped at a traffic light a few days before Christmas. By all accounts thus far, he was an upstanding individual. He was on his way to one of his several jobs that morning. The shooting happened near the intersection of Washington Ave and Martin Luther King Blvd. It is an intersection that, because of work, I am very familiar with. Its not a good area.
At this point police suspect that the shooting evolved from a road rage incident but the investigation continues.....

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day

While Karen was at work I went up to Mt Charleston in the Spring Mountain Range to the west of the Vegas Valley.

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Here is Karen in her Santa hat going to work.

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This is a picture of a Baptist Church up by Mt. Chalreston. I edited it using a photoshop plugin that is supposed to give High Dynamic Range(HDR) type results. I think it came out pretty nice.

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On top of a mountain looking down on the main road in.

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Me on top of the world!!!

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They were in the process of getting about 1' of snow up there. There were police check points to make sure that you had either snow chains or 4 wheel drive. If not, you couldn't go in.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Station Casinos

Station Casinos is the casino chain that bills itself as the casino for "Locals". It includes the Red Rock Casino, Station Casino, Palace Station(O.J. Fame), Aliante Station(Brand New at a cost of $662 million), Texas Stations, Sunset Station, Fiesta Station and the Wild Wild West Casino among others is widely expected to be in default on its massive debts and to file for bankruptcy protection later this month as it runs out of money. It just drew down the last of $250 million of credit that it expects would not be available after filing bankruptcy.

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This is the

way it should be.
In the small town of Ashland Ohio, when Archway Cookies went bankrupt and closed it doors, 300 people lost thier jobs just months from Christmas. David Singer, CEO of Lance, says the gift cards were a way of letting Ashland know the new owners are different. "We wouldn't do it willy-nilly," Singer says. "We do want to make money. But this is the pool of folks that we intend to hire. We just wanted to let them know who we were."
Lance Inc bought the plant in a bankruptcy auction and re opened the plant hiring more than 60 former employees at about $15/hour with plans to expand production in the near future. Not only will they get to keep thier previous wages, but they also get to maintain thier seniority from Archway.
This is a great American company that we should support with our dollars...I know I will.

"I was crying," Devan says of the gift. "I am like, 'What are these people doing? They don't know me. They don't know us. They don't know any of the Archway people. And they are giving each and every one of us $1,500.' "

But, it does not end there. Lance Inc. also decided to make an impression on the small Ohio town and the former employees and issued $1,500 Visa gift cards to each former employee for Christmas.

Lance Inc. sells the cookies to large chains like Target and Walmart. I say eat up. I will be!

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Some corrections

Apparently there are salt trucks/plows in Vegas....sort of. Clark County has 3 snow plows and during the storm we borrowed several others from other cities in southern Nevada. We had 13 salt/plow trucks in use during the recent storm.

Also it was snowing here this morning. Not enough to accumulate. Almost not enough to see, but it was there.

The airport did not technically close although all incoming and out going flights were either cancelled or delayed.

And for all the news media reporting that we had the first snow in Las Vegas in 30 years, please do a bit of fact checking first.(I'm not in the media so I don't have to fact check things like "how many salt trucks we have?" or "Did the airport actually close?")

It snowed here in 2006-trace amounts
and it snowed here in 2003 with several inches of accumulation.

The 30 year statistic the media erroneously reports as the first snow in Las Vegas in 30 years is actually this was the largest accumulation of snow in Las Vegas in the month of December in over 30 years!

In other news, our company is composed of 4 divisions. Mining, Construction, General Impliment(Farming) and Material Handling. With the recent run up of commodities, our mining division has been making money hand over foot and are basically carrying the company right now. The construction division is losing money and the material handling division treading water.

One thing our company does, which most do not, I think, is to lay every thing out. We spent like 3 hours in a teleconference with ALL employees from the CEO down to the lowest employee. In that time the CEO, CFO and each division manager went through every dollar(in aggregat) the company generated. Profits, losses, expenses, ROA(Return on Assest), and budget numbers for every branch of every division for everyone to see. Boring? Yes, quite so. But not so boring if you are one of the branches making money and you know you will get a bonus or two!

Our branch here in Las Vegas though actually made money and was above target for profits for 2008. So not only did we get some nice bonuses(that rivaled many, not all, that I received at Fords) we were also allocated funds for raises and yes I got one. It was actually twice the amount that I thought I might get, but WAS the amount I was HOPING for. They even said that they would have doubled what I did get if not for the economy. Lesson learned...hard work pays off....the next UAW contract may not!!! After the latest round of news about the big 3 and with Ford stock dropping into the $1.50 range my boss asked me if I felt like a genius for leaving Fords when I did. I smiled and said "no", but that I felt good knowing that my prospects relied on me and my abilities, not the next contract I got!

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Several

of my photos were included in this news story.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Red Rock Canyon

I went to Red Rock Canyon to see the snow there. Unfortunately, most of it was gone. There must have been quite a bit at one point, but I was too late.
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This is from the Red Rock Canyon overlook:
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Well it IS Sin City:
Sin City Snowman

I decided instead to go to Spring Mountain which has an elevation of about 5900 feet hoping to see more snow.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Roll up the carpet

McCarran Airport? Closed-No de icing equipment, snow plows, or salt trucks.

Schools? Closed

City of Henderson? Closed

Highways leading south to L.A.? Closed

Highways leading to Pahrump? Closed

U.S. Route 95? Closed.

The record for most snow ever in December in Las Vegas? Broken

Henderson(More or less where wee live) is predicted to get 7" by Thursday Morning. Then we are to switch over to freezing rain/sleet.

Mind you there are no salt trucks in Vegas although they are going to try and do something to some of the overpasses on the freeway.

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Let it snow, Let it Snow.....

Today it is snowing heavily in all of the Las Vegas valley. This may turn out to be the biggest snow storm in Vaegas in over 30 years. I took my camera hoping to get some pics of the snowy mountains and instead got to take pictures of a blizzard, well for Vegas its a blizzard! They have extended the winter storm warning for 4AM-10PM to 4AM-4AM with up to 6". It started snowing where I was at about 12 ish. It was mostly a rain/snow mix that turned to mostly rain until about 2PM. Then it became all snow as I drove home.
First off is the Spring Mountains to the west from early morning:

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They were more stunning yesterday because the sun was out but oh well.

Snowy Las Vegas Sign
Snowy Las Vegas sign.

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I-15 near the strip.

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The Luxor in a snow storm.

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He looks cold.

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Kids in front of our house playing.

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Our house!

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Plant in our front yard.

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oppsss!

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In Vegas, snow is a good thing!!!

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