Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gatsby Meets His Match

We took the dogs and Ella to Point Isabel again. At the end of our walk Gatsby met this Mastiff. Gatsby is a big dog, 80 pounds, half Pitt Bull and half German Shepherd. As you can see, the Mastiff dwarfed him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mountains Outside Las Vegas

Mount Charleston View, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Flying in and out of Las Vegas always offers up some great views. I took this photo several days ago while climbing out of Las Vegas and flying towards the west. The highest peak in the distance is Mount Charleston.

One of the things I like about Las Vegas (perhaps the only thing) is how far out in the middle of no where the city is. When you leave Las Vegas you're in the middle of the empty desert. If you're ever in Veges I recommend renting a car for a day and driving out to Death Valley. It's only a few hours away, but it feels like you're driving across the moon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sprawling Los Angeles

Sprawling Los Angeles, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Los Angeles is massive! I'll let the photo do the talking.

Here's a 100% size view . Amazing detail!? My thanks to the Canon 5D, Canon 24-70 L, and Unsharp Mask.

For the geograhers ... this picture was taken over Inglewood looking Northwest towards Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.

Pixel peepers let me know what you think of the edit job. I'm always trying to tweak my Photoshop skills. Aerials photos taken at 180 mph, through 5 pains of heated Plexiglas are a tricky edit.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ruin Your Day -- Press Play

28 months - Daily George W Bush Photos - from Jeremy Tubbs on Vimeo.

Magic of the Canon 135 f/2 L

Point Isabel Park, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

The Canon 135 f/2 L is a legend in the photo forums. It is sharp, fast, and small. I bought one last year after a long debate in my head between the 135L vs Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L. I'm glad I picked the 135 L!

The #1 reason I picked the 135 over the 70-200 is size. The above photo was taken at Point Isabel with my Canon 5D and 135 f/2 L. I had to hold the camera with only one hand because I was squatting and had our 25 pound baby in a backpack. My other hand was on the ground for balance. I don't think I could shoot one handed with a 70-200.

This photo also has the legendary 135 L sharpness. Check out this 100% crop:

The dogs were jumping around so I had the ISO up at 320 and a shutter speed of 1/2000th. I set the aperture to f/5.6 so i would get a good amount of dog in focus.

The black dog in the photo is our mutt Jack. We took him and his dog brother Gatsby to Point Isabel for some excercise. I walked around with the baby in a backpack and carried my Canon 5D with the 135mm L f/2 attached for almost two hours. When we got home I had a ton of keeper images and I wasn't in a bad mood from carrying a bulky lens around all afternoon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tubular Belle

Tubular Belle, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

This photo was taken early in the morning at San Francisco International. I love this type of lighting -- bright sun with cloudy background. The light is like this at SFO many mornings. The sky in the east is clear and fog creeps in from the ocean.

If you look closely you can see the aircraft is named Tubular Belle. Richard Branson made his first fortune off the album "Tubular Bells". At Virgin Atlantic he has a 747 named Tubular Belle. The aircraft in this photo is an A-319. Richard Branson is a 1/4 share owned of Virgin America.

Here is the song Tubular Bells

Friday, August 22, 2008

Los Angeles Basin

Los Angeles Basin, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

When arriving in Los Angeles from the east the suburbs seem to start impossibly far away from the airport. The sprawl begins unrolling 70 miles out in the desert. The above photo was taken during a rare clear morning. We were arriving around 9:00 am from Washington Dulles.

You can see that the L.A. suburbs are in a steep valley. Afternoon heating pulls moisture in from the ocean. Most days the valley is filled with a thick haze, especially by late afternoon. The mountains surrounding L.A. also trap the exhaust from all the vehicles traveling the sprawl. This creates the famous L.A. smog. However, there was a recent study released that said Los Angeles residents create the least CO2 per person than any other region in the nation. The Southern California climate causes the least amount of home heating and cooling. The famous smog is mostly the result of geography.

I can't wait for winter to sow cap some of the higher peaks around Los Angeles. Look for some cool pictures on this blog in January!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Morning at SFO

Morning at SFO, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

This is a sunrise view of the drop off area at the international terminal at KSFO. In the background you can see the ever present San Francisco fog creeping over the ridge.

Here's an aerial view of the bay area fog bank.

I took this photo at the start of a long day of flying. I have several more shots from this day that I'll be posting throughout the week. This blog is updated during baby naps. That might explain the short posts. Well, I have to go clean sippy cups now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer Forest Path

Summer Forest Path, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Just when my blog was starting to get some traction and readers -- bam, I borrow out my laptop and can't make a post for five days. The key for a successful blog is regular posts. Luckily while my laptop was away I was able to take a lot of photos so I'll have some material ready to go all week long.

The above photo was taken in Claude Moore Park in Dulles Virginia. Our Dulles hotel is 1/2 mile from this park. I took this photo in the late afternoon, almost sunset. I was walking the trails of the park looking for a good photo when I came across this section of trail. I liked how the branch in the upper right corner was back lit causing the leaves to glow, the trail was dark, and at the bend in the trail there was light. The little bit of light at the trail bend created a "light at the end of the tunnel" look. I think this might be a good stock seller.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bath Time Photos

I've been meaning to take some bath time photos of our baby for the last few months now. Last night I finally got around to it. The setup for these shots was simple -- Canon Speedlight camera mounted and bounced off the wall. The white bathroom walls and shower door made nice reflectors.

I didn't want these photos to look too nice; no fancy bubbles. Also I wanted to capture some of the crumby tile in our bathroom. Because I just started a new job, we are renting right now. I want to be able to look back in a few years remember how our place looked. Hopefully we'll be living somewhere else. For now, our rental house makes for a nice grungy photo set.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


LAX Car, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

This is another from my project to document the area surrounding LAX airport. The hotel in the background is my home away from home. The car was the only car parked in a couple acre parking lot on the east side of the airport,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Does this Apply to Photography as Well?

Here's a great video that should stir your creativity, or at least be a manifesto to originality.

Night Over Los Angeles

Night Over Los Angeles, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

This photo was taken shortly after sunset. We were flying at 36,000 feet, and were about 20 miles off the coast southwest of Los Angeles. If you look at the left side of the frame you can see coastal fog creeping into the city.

Normally I shoot nighttime aerials at ISO 3200, f/2.8, and 1/30th sec. I also normally shoot wide angle, >35 mm, at night to reduce blur from camera shake. We were pretty far from the city when I took this picture so I had to zoom in to 70mm. I tried using a faster shutter speed to reduce camera shake blur. What do you know -- it worked! The lights came out a little darker than normal, but they were still pretty sharp, and there was actually less noise in the dark areas than I normally get with a night aerial. I was able to pull the lights up to a normal level in photoshop and I did my usually trick of sending everything dark to complete black to reduce the noise.

Let me know what you think.

LAX Country

LAX Country, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Maybe this empty parking lot is a sign of the slow economy, or maybe there is a really strong parking planning committee for LAX. The airplane flying over is a Delta Airlines 767.

To get this photo I had to loiter around waiting for an airplane to fly over. I was expecting the department of homeland security to swoop in at any second. This parking lot is probably the best secured vacant square mile of sun-baked pavement in the world. There were security cameras everywhere. Amazingly, I wasn't harassed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sunset Over San Diego

Sunset Over San Diego, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Yesterday when we landed in San Diego the sunset was amazing. This is a view of the southeastern suburbs of San Diego and the desert on the south side of the city.

West coast flying is great. I see something gorgeous everyday.

I wish there was a way to video the descent from the dry desert east of San Diego into the coastal fog at the airport. Maybe I need to rent a Cessna. Anyone have money to donate?

Monday, August 11, 2008

LAX Country

I'm in LAX country again. It seems like I overnight in LAX at least once a week. Am I stuck in LAX world for a reason?

To make things more interesting I have decided to start a photo project documenting the area around LAX airport. The landscape surrounding LAX is strange to say the least. There has to be some interesting photos hiding around here.

The above photo was taken in the parking lot of the Proud Bird Restaurant. It's a restaurant/airplane museum located on the east side of the airport -- tasty and educational. I had to take a photo of the German car and American World War II fighter.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hotel LAX

Hotel LAX, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Ever wonder what us airline crews do on overnights? This is it for me -- run the stairs at our hotels.

Staying in shape and flying are two things that don't go well together. Flying involves a lot of sitting around and eating airport food. On overnights I always try to fit in a jog to counter act the sedentary lifestyle. One of the good things about jogging is I get to see our overnights from a new perspective.

In LA we stay at the airport Westin. There aren't many places to go running except Inglewood (Inglewood Inglewood always up to no good). When I am sick of running past the characters that walk the mean streets of Inglewood I run the stairs in the hotel instead.

The above photo is taken from the outdoor portion of the Westin's stairs to the roof. If you look close you can see the LAX control tower and some airplanes taxiing out.

On the roof of the hotel is a helipad. Makes me think of a 1970's hotel fire movie.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Quick Adjustments

Ride the Tiger, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Here's an experimental shot. I set the flash to second curtain, and purposely set a slow shutter speed to blur the background while panning. I think it worked out OK. Ella's face is a little blurred, but the tiger is pretty sharp. With a faster shutter speed the merry go round doesn't look like it's moving. I like the blurred look. The photo is more exciting.

Getting a Photo vs Getting "THE" photo

Pier One in San Francisco, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

I often find that I don't pull out my camera unless the light is just right, or I have the time to engineer a shot with my strobes. I decided to break that bad habit. I'm shooting with a Canon 5D and lenses that open to f/2.8. Why not push the envelope and shoot more low light/high ISO photos?

The above photo is a picture of our baby girl taken at Pier One on the waterfront of San Francisco. I am making an effort to get lots of photos of Ella that capture the styles and signs of our times. My favorite pictures from my childhood show old cars and wacky clothes styles. In this shot I tried to capture lots of people in the background so Ella can see herself and what other people looked like in 2008.

Technically this photo isn't the greatest; Ella's face is blurred and there is some noise in the background, but who cares. Thirty years from now I am sure this photo will be 100 times more valuable to Ella than a perfectly lit portrait taken against a white backdrop.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bay Area Fog

August-2008-Bay-Fog, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

This is a common sight in the Bay Area of California. Fog blows in from the ocean and is blocked by the coastal ridges. Some days the fog makes it over one ridge and is blocked by the next. This photo was taken near Half Moon Bay.

Ella Visits the Redwoods

Ella Visits the Redwoods, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

We found a place that I must return to with more time and my tripod -- Muir Woods. Last week visited Muir woods for the first. I wasn't expecting it to be so pretty. Fog floating through redwood groves created hundreds of photo opportunities.

I can't figure out if Ella was born loving pretty outdoor areas or she just loves getting carried around. Every time we take her to the woods or the beach she seems to have a blast.

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta, originally uploaded by Gamut's Edge.

Mount Shasta is an awesome landmark. From the air it can be seen looming on the horizon from over 130 miles away. The land around mount Shasta is relatively low which makes the volcanic mountain look even larger.

This photo took a lot of color correcting to make it look presentable. I am finding out that the Airbus's windshield adds a blue/green color cast to my photos. I've been correcting the color cast in a curves layer and adjusting each color channel separately. I'm hoping I'll find a process that works for most photos and then create a PS action. For now, I am finding I have to adjust each photo individually.

Monday, August 4, 2008

From This Morning

Man I am tired. The above photo was taken this morning after our 5:00 am hotel van. Here's the caption from flickr: Aerial view of the California coast during sunrise. Photographed apx 30 miles north of Los Angeles

Time for bed