Monday, August 09, 2010

Water Bottle Rocket

Last week I was at Camp Ireland, a great Cub Scout day camp (meaning we didn't spend the night). It was a ton of fun, the kids really had a great time. They played games, built stuff, shot bb guns, did some archery, learned about nature, and shot off water bottle rockets! They take a 2-liter soda bottle, fill it almost all the way up with water, turn it upside down on this pvc pipe, put a pin in to hold it in place, then use a tire pump to fill it with air - they pump it to 60 psi. Once it's pumped, a scout pulls the pin out, the bottle shoots into the air leaving a trail of water and getting the scouts wet as they try to catch it, which they love. Some went higher than others and some got stuck in the trees. I'm going to suggest they let the scouts do this twice during the week next year as it's something they really enjoy. Might have to find plans to build one of these and do it at a den meeting. ;)

2010 Camp Ireland

2010 Camp Ireland

2010 Camp Ireland

2010 Camp Ireland

2010 Camp Ireland

2010 Camp Ireland

2010 Camp Ireland

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Communication Tower

Saw this while out for a walk, a lone communication tower against some cool clouds.

Communication Tower

Friday, July 30, 2010

Green at the End of the Tunnel

This is a bridge that crosses hwy 26 going to (or from) the Sunset Transit Center. I liked this perspective, played around with it in Lightroom and came up with this. Took out most of the color except for the trees, and turned the clarity all the way down.

Green at the end of the Tunnel

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Trees & Clouds

I was out for a walk yesterday when I saw these trees all in a row. I thought they looked cool with the neat clouds and blue sky in the background. Just a basic photo for today, but don't worry, I have more tilt shift and brewfest ones coming. ;)

Trees & Clouds

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brewfest Tilt Shift

As I've said, Tilt Shift photos work best when you take them from above and from a distance. In this case I held my camera up as high as I could to get the photo, then thought I'd give it a try in Photoshop to see if it would work. It did! A little different perspective on the brewfest. Now I wish I'd gotten one like this of the people pouring beer. Next year!

Oregon Brewfest Tilt Shift

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mmm... Beer...

A mug full of awesomeness from the Oregon Brewers Festival!

2010 Oregon Brewers Festival

Monday, July 26, 2010

I <3 Beer

I got this shirt from Old Chicago (they have these little beer tours and when you complete them you get a t-shirt). When I saw it I knew I had to tie-dye it and wear it to the Oregon BrewFest! Riley took this photo with my Droid Incredible. I should have stood somewhere else instead of with the bright sun behind me. Can I claim the beer as an excuse for not thinking the photo through? ;)

I <3 Beer

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Oregon Brewers Festival

Each year in July is the Oregon Brewers Festival. There are about 70 beers on tap from around the country, celebrating all kinds of wonderful microbrewed beers. It's a ton of fun! And unlike what some may think, there is rarely anyone getting too drunk, rude, being jerks or anything you'd think of when mixing thousands of people, a hot day, and beer. In fact, it's a VERY family friendly event! There are lots of people there with their kids, it's just a really fun time where people are friendly and we get to sample some amazing beers! Here's a server pouring me another great beer!

2010 Oregon Brewers Festival

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wild Island Tilt Shift #3

I know, you're probably tired of these, but I had fun with them and had to post one more. :)

Wild Island Tilt Shift

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wild Island Tilt Shift #2

Another image I played around with in Photoshop to make a fake Tilt Shift. At first I didn't like it, but coming back today, I actually DO like it! Sometimes you just need to give yourself some time away from the photo. ;)

Wild Island Tilt Shift

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wild Island Tilt Shift

I saw some really cool Tilt Shift photos today and remembered you can make fake ones with Photoshop. It works best with photos where you're looking down on a scene, so I decided to try it with some I took from Wild Island Adventure Park in Reno. It's really, REALLY easy to do. This one turned out pretty good I think, though I need to work on it a little more. I like this effect, it's fun and can transform an ordinary blah photo into something really cool!

Wild Island Tilt Shift

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunset On The Drive Home

We left Reno around Noon and by the time we got almost home, the sun was setting. It was really pretty, I liked how the sun was just below the horizon but still lighting up the sky and the clouds. Took this while driving. I never quite know how good pics like this will turn out because I'm trying to drive and not get us in a wreck more than take pictures. ;)


Friday, July 16, 2010

Dump The Water Bucket

In one of the kids areas is this giant bucket at the top. It fills with water then tips over dumping water all over the play structure, which the kids all love and wanted to get under. The whole cycle only takes about two minutes, though it seemed longer when I was sitting in the water watching the kids play. Again, this is at Wild Island Adventure Park in Reno, a great place!

Reno 2010

Reno 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nice Rest Area

Just east of Susanville on the way to Reno is this really nice rest area. It's very clean, quite big, and has some really nice trees next to it. I've been at many where you have to hold your breath while trying to go fast and forget about washing your hands because the water doesn't work. Not this place!

Reno 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

View from the Pool

The Silver Legacy pool is up about 10 floors or something from the street, outside. It's got a nice view looking at the mountains and some of the skyline. This is three photos I stitched together in Photoshop CS5.

Reno 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cool Clouds

Saw these cool clouds while driving to Reno around Mt. Shasta on I-5. When I saw them I thought they would look good after some additional processing in Lightroom. :)

Reno 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

Another Wild Island Panorama

Here's another panorama of Wild Island. I climbed to the top of one of the slides that was about in the middle of the park and took 20+ photos, then stitched them all in Photoshop CS5. This does a good job of showing almost all of the things you can do at the water park. There's the lazy river on the left, the wave pool in the middle, one of the kids area way back to the right, the slides we went on a lot next, then the other kids area way back there. There's two more rides that you can barely see on the far right, the slide I was standing on was blocking most of it. And it was nice that it wasn't too crowded, you didn't have to wait in lines for very long. We're definitely going back here next year!

Reno 2010

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Maddie Coming Down the Water Slide

Maddie just LOVED the water slides! I swear that girl has no fear! As an added bonus, when we were at the Wild Island water park in Reno, she happened to turn 5 that day. An extra special birthday!

She can't swim well enough to go underwater, so the lifeguard would get a signal from up above that they needed to catch the person coming down. They would move in front of the tube and put their floaty thingy at the end so they could catch the person. They were all very nice and cool!

Reno 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Reno At Night

My camera broke so I was using Marci's little Panasonic. Turns out it has a long exposure mode so I was playing with it to see what I could get. I would have liked it to be less bright, but I couldn't change any of the other settings. Still, I think it turned out pretty cool. This is looking out the window of our room on the 31st floor at the Silver Legacy looking SSW.

Reno 2010

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta and some very cool clouds on our way to Reno. I did some extra processing in Lightroom going for a HDR effect. I took this from inside the car while driving, which you can tell by the rear-view mirror reflection at the top. I should use Photoshop CS5's content-aware fill to remove that. ;)

Reno 2010

Monday, July 05, 2010

Wild Island Panorama

Another multi-shot photo I did of the Wild Island Adventure Park in Reno.  Stitched in Photoshop CS5, it was a great place and a wonderful day!

Reno 2010

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Photoshop CS5 Content-Aware Fill

I was really excited about Photoshop CS5 when I saw the Content-Aware Fill (CAF) feature. I played with this a lot on my Reno photos and discovered a few things.
  • It DOES work really well on some things like sky and nature areas, not so well on others like buildings.
  • You don't need to delete what you select, just select it. 
  • Sometimes when it would do a bad job, I could just re-select the area that didn't fill in right and do it again. 
  • Sometimes when choosing a large area it wouldn't do a good job, even when the large area was sky. But if I broke that up into smaller selections it worked better. This I found to be biggest help.
Here's an example. I took this looking out our hotel window. At the top you can see the building and in the middle the reflection of my camera.

Reno 2010

I selected the building, ran CAF, then selected the camera reflection and ran CAF. You can see the result in the 2nd photo. This feature ROCKS!! In just a few minutes I was able to fix my photo WAY BETTER than I could have done manually!

Reno 2010

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Silver Legacy At Night

We went for a walk one night. When we came back it was dark and the Silver Legacy was lit up all green.  I've never seen it like that before, it was very cool!  No retouching, this is how it looked.

Reno 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Wild Island Family Adventure Park Water Tubes

Back from a GREAT trip! Each year we go to Reno for about four days. I was going to post a photo each day, but by the time we got back to the room each night I was worn out!

This year we spent a day at the Wild Island Family Adventure Park. The kids just LOVED it! Maddie turned 5 that day and went on several of the tubes BY HERSELF!! That girl has no fear! Fortunately, they have lifeguards on duty all the time, tons of them, and when someone little like her goes down the tubes, they move up to the tube and catch them when they come out so we never worried about her going deep under water.  This is a photo of the tubes we/she went on a lot.  The green one is for innertubes, the other two are to go down by yourself.  Marci & Maddie, and Riley & I went down the green one. That was a blast! I have a ton of other photos from here that I'll be sharing, including a few multi-shot panorama's I took from the top of some of the tube towers.  If you're ever in Reno, this is a great place to go!

Reno 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Looking Back At The Band

I love taking photos while I'm marching in the parade.  I'm in the front row so it's fun to take photos looking back at the band.  While we're marching and playing, I hold my trumpet with one hand and hold the camera up over my head with the other.  After many years of doing this I think I've gotten pretty good at it!

2010 Rose Parade

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Stop Marching!

Once again, Jay is stopping the band.  We found out later there was this motorcycle drill team ahead of us that was doing some stuff which stopped the entire parade.  I'm sure it was cool but I hope they won't be back.  No offense to them but lots of stopping never makes for a fun parade, at least for us.

2010 Rose Parade

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Car Roses

Some lovely roses on one of the cars in the parade that someone special was sitting in.  I really liked the brightness of the roses against the dark car.

2010 Rose Parade

Friday, June 18, 2010

Turning a Corner

This was the last corner in the parade.  I thought it might look cool to take a pic as we were marching around it.  It came out a little dark so I played around with it in Lightroom.  :)

2010 Rose Parade

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rose Parade Panorama's

While we started crossing the Burnside bridge and were marching (slowly), I took several photos quickly then stitched them in Photoshop CS5. I think they came out pretty good, I especially like the first one.  :)

2010 Rose Parade

2010 Rose Parade

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rose Head

Sue had these cool flowers in her hair for the Rose Parade.  I thought they were cool, but the photo came out a little blurry.  So I tried to be a little artistic with it.

2010 Rose Parade

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bands Play Now!

In the Rose Parade are many high school marching bands, all being judged.  Close to the judges they have a big sign to let the directors know the band needs to start playing.  Mary grabbed it and started running through the band with it.  I tried to move WITH her as she was running when I took the pic.  turned out just how I expected - everything else is blurry except her!  Nice when it works right! :)

2010 Rose Parade

Monday, June 14, 2010

Made In Oregon Sign

Here's another pic of this sign I took Saturday during the parade.  I wish the For Lease sign wasn't there, oh well, still love this sign!

2010 Rose Parade

Friday, June 11, 2010

Salmon Fountain again

Here's another shot I took of this cool fountain.

Salmon Fountain

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cute Doggie

This dog was sooooo cute!  He'd run into the water, get all wet, shake off, then lay down and relax.  He was having a good time!

OMT Waterfront Concert

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Salmon Fountain

Our band played a concert in front of this cool fountain.  While waiting to get started, I walked around looking for things to photograph.  I liked this, but then took it into Lightroom trying to give it a fake HDR look.  I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.  Maybe a little over the top in color and stuff, not so real looking, but I still like it.  :)

OMT Waterfront Concert

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Microwave Tower

While waiting for the parade to start I saw this huge microwave tower on top of a building.  I liked how it looked against the clouds.  A little processing in Lightroom to bring out some of the detail.

Microwave Tower

Monday, June 07, 2010


Over the weekend I was busy playing a concert at the waterfront and marching in a parade.  It was great fun and fantastic weather!  While waiting for the concert to begin I was taking photos when I saw this drawbridge.  I thought it was cool how the two tower framed everything.  I then did some processing in Lightroom.  I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.  :)

OMT Waterfront Concert

Friday, June 04, 2010

Bird on the Feeder

We get a lot of birds at the feeder hanging in our tree.  It's really cool to watch them all and take photos of them.  Here I just put it on burst mode and fired away because they were moving around so much.  Some turned out good, like this one.  :)

Bird at the Feeder

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Morning Fog

On the way to Florence for the Rhody Parade I took this photo out the window of the bus.  I really liked the look of the fog on the hills in the morning. Those pillars are in a river that is between us and the house.  Too bad it's a little blurry. :(

Morning Fog

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

2006 Rose Parade

Another photo from the 2006 Rose Parade. Here we are crossing a bridge heading into downtown Portland. It was one of the few times we didn't get rained on for this parade. ;)


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Made In Oregon

I took the 3-day weekend off to relax, rest, try to get over this stupid cold, clean, and play with the family. It was a great weekend and now I'm back!

I took this photo in 2006 while marching in the Rose Festival Parade. A lot of people take photos of the parade from the sidelines. I like to offer a perspective from the parade. This is one of my favorite signs downtown, really cool. During Christmas they turn the reindeer's nose red. :)