Last weekend I got the chance to tag along for a short 2.5-day road trip from Kentucky to Oklahoma and back. Though I knew there wouldn’t be a wealth of time for photography, I decided to bring my entire kit with camera, lenses, chargers, and everything else I might need should something break along the way. Though it all filled up the backseats of the car, a lot of my gear saw use, so there’s something to be said for over-prepared-ness. 🙂
Photo ops only began after arriving in Oklahoma—a time crunch kept me from stopping for photographs along the way. After a nice supper at an Italian restaurant in Edmond, OK, I took a brief look around the small town to come across the Bella Forte glassware studio located in Italian Jim’s Restaurant. One of the artists was blowing glass as I passed by, and he welcomed my camera in the intensely-hot blowing furnace room:
Typical of many small-town areas, a prominent and detailed sculpture adorned a street corner outside the restaurant:
Naturally close to the historic and iconic Route 66, we detoured in the late evening to see if there were any landscapes or old buildings to catch in the fading light:
With the sunlight gone, we made a final stop at Pops, a fun restaurant and gas station featuring an enormous neon pop bottle that lights up in myriad colors after dark:
In addition to the enormous bottle out front, the restaurant stocks hundreds of sodas of all different flavors and brands. Along both the long walls are neatly-arranged samples for decoration only:
The following two days on our return trip to the Old Kentucky Home, we were significantly less rushed. As such, the first 100 miles back saw us cruising Route 66. Our stops along the way the first day—be it a lake, old gas station, or sunset—made for some spontaneous photographs as the photo ops presented themselves (as is the case with travel photography!):
The following day, we made an effort to visit the “Gateway to the West”, or the massive 630′ tall metallic arch in St. Louis. Often photographed, as most landmarks are, I brought my tripod along for the ride and attempted some multi-image mosaics using the open-source panorama tool Hugin. Unfortunately, and as mentioned earlier, my lack of a pano head for my tripod introduces parallax in some scenes. In all of my attempts using 40+ images, the software just couldn’t deal with all the parallax errors no matter how much masking I applied. Even still, it did an okay job on the one below, given the circumstances:
Once at the top of the Arch, the view of St. Louis’ skyline through the tiny porthole windows is amazing, though on this day not entirely photographic. The splash of color in the courthouse plaza served as a unique contrast to the surrounding skyscrapers.
One last panorama attempt with only four images of the lawn connecting the pathways from the South end to the Arch turned out much better with no parallax errors.
On the rest of the drive back home, few photo ops presented themselves due to harsh lighting and an overall uninteresting look while cruising through the flat plains. However, a final scene of a far-off field showed up while driving along the interstate to finish off the photos from a nice and compact road trip:
That’s all for this post, guys and gals! This new Hugin program has its quirks but I am learning more about it every time I fiddle with combining dozens of exposures. Once I get a pano head with a decent tripod, creating seamless gigapixel images will soon become a piece of cake! Remember to hit the orange subscribe button to be notified of future posts!