Send In The Marines!

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

Another handheld panorama from my visit to Washington, D.C. back in October. Raw files were sent from #Lightroom to #PhotoshopCC2014 to create the panorama, then a couple of heavily masked levels layers to bring the plane out from its surroundings and even out the lighting a bit. A photo filter layer adjusted the color to match the lighting of the scene, and a bunch O' noise reduction with #TopazDenoise finished off the production.

Not too bad for a tiny sensor and shaky hands.

#Travel #WashingtonDC #Smithsonian



Crazy Horse Memorial

A Long Time In The Making

It was 1949 when construction began on this memorial to the Native American hero, Chief Crazy Horse. The work is financed entirely by private funds. No government funds will be accepted.

The work so far was begun by the late sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski who was invited by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear and other Native American Elders to carve the mountain into the memorial. Ziolkowski's family has carried on the work since his death.

It appears that our visit missed a dynamite blast by just three days. That would have been something to see.

*The Memorial is owned and operated by a non-profit foundation with the goal of not only completing the sculpting of the mountain, but the establishment of a Native American education complex and medical training center for Native Americans. More information is available here:

Our visit seems to have missed a dynamite blast by just three days.

This iPhone photo is an example of why you don't want to leave your main camera with its 36-200 zoom lens sitting on a chair in your living room when rushing out the door for a, possibly, once-in-a-lifetime visit to an historical area. Oh well. next time. Minimal processing done in #Lightroom5

#Travel #CrazyHorse #SouthDakota #MountRushmore #RapidCity



The Presidential Rock Band

George, Tom, Ted and Abe

To be remembered for a legacy- especially a positive one- is the desire of most of us, if we think about it. There have been a few who relished their evil so much as to wish a legacy of destruction, but that's mostly reserved for the movies and comic books. These four each gave us something worth preserving in their own times and ours- and for our posterity.

#Travel #MountRushmore #SouthDakota #RapidCity



Morning Illumination of Mount Rushmore

Not too early, mind you.

This is what you see when you step out of the walkway leading from the parking lot. There are many "unofficial" views of the Memorial visible from the highway and other roads winding through this area the Black Hills. As stunning as those views may be, with few exceptions, you really have to stroll up this walkway to the main viewing area where you can see- relatively speaking- up close.

This is an iPhone photo with minimal treatment in #Lightroom5.

#Travel #MountRushmore #SouthDakota #RapidCity


Walkway To The Walkway To The Presidents

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

That title is not a typo. From the tour bus parking lot to the grand walkway to the main viewing area of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial is this granite walkway that gently curves away as one enters. We were there in the morning, maybe 9:30 or so, and the sun was brightly illuminating everything facing east.

We beat the crowds by several months. "Who goes to South Dakota in December??" people said, when we announced plans a couple of weeks before. The temperature in Rapid City was about 8 degrees below zero (Farenheit) when our reservations were made. Two weeks later, it was actually quite pleasant- in the 40s and 50s in the daytime, even at higher altitudes.

This photo was processed thusly: Straightened and perspective corrected in #Lightroom5 then sent to #PhotoshopCC2014 where it was run through #NIKSharpener (output for display) and #NIKSilverEfexPro2 for the b/w treatment. Original was from my iPhone 4.

#Travel #MountRushmore #SouthDakota #RapidCity



Hand-holding At

The Smithsonian
Air and Space Museum,
Washington Dulles International Airport

I visited Washington, D.C. with some friends back in October. It was a pretty full five days or so, with private guided tours to some locations and other tours booked at the White House and the Capitol.

If you've read many of my posts in the past, it may be understood that my camera is now nearly 10 year old technology. It wouldn't be that big a deal if it was a DSLR, but I'm not into changing lenses, so it isn't.

At the time it was released, the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30 was about as good as it got for a "bridge camera" – a DSLR-like body, great lens . . . and a tiny point-and-shoot sensor that pretty much maxes out ISO 200 – and that is pretty noisy. But that's the camera I have, until I win the lotto.

One of our stops was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at Washington Dulles International Airport. It's a big place that takes all day to tour, and there are still things you might miss out on. Fortunately, there's a McDonalds inside.

This panorama was created from three handheld shots that have proved the value of #Topaz plugins for #Photoshop . I began with some Adobe Camera Raw adjustments to even out the lighting on the plane. Also used were #TopazDenoise , #TopazDetail , and some other adjustment layers, including a copy of the smooth de-noised version that was further given about a 30 px. gaussian blur, then set to hard light blend mode. To top it all off was a levels adjustment layer masked to darken the foreground and background and make the plane stand out.

So, here it is with a lot to nitpick, maybe, but between the camera and my shaky hands, this is all you get! Enjoy!

#Travel #WashingtonDC #Smithsonian