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Kauffman Center at Sunrise

Kauffman Center Construction at Sunrise

Here we have a look at the Kauffman Center construction site at sunrise on the morning of Wednesday, October 6th. I was mostly hoping for a shot like this, except when I got to the site at Summit Street in the West Side I couldn’t help but think that the billboard and Denny’s restaurant sign between my lens and the Kauffman building seriously messed things up. Whatever… I can’t chop them down.

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Crown Center and Liberty Memorial

Sunset scene from downtown Kansas City in October 2010.

While gathering yet more shots of the Kauffman Center construction, I turned my telephoto lens a bit to the southwest while standing on McGee at sunset on Wednesday October 6th. This is a shot of the Assurant Building, the Westin Crown Center Hotel, Liberty Memorial, and One Park Place back in the distance. I’ve been using five or six manually bracketed RAW files at varying light exposures and merging to HDR with Photomatix recently for these shots with extremely gradual changes in color and tone that come about so often when you’re shooting photos right after sunset.

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A new camera is a good excuse

First Day with my 5D Mark II

I ordered a new Canon 5D Mark II so I could retire my old workhorse original version 5D to a leisurely life serving as a backup or secondary camera body when I need to use a couple different types of lenses at the same time. So seeing as the new 5D II arrived Thursday I went out in the afternoon and evening roaming around downtown. This shot was on 9th Street between Grand and Walnut, I believe. My old 5D was starting to show some signs of wear, and its technology is now a bit dated compared to what the 5D Mark II provides. Funny thing though is the 5D Mark III, assuming that’s what it will be called, is expected by the photo community rumor mongers to show up in about six months to a year. I decided not to bother waiting.

Actually for this particular photo I’m posting, I like the overall composition, but there are some things about it that annoy me, although I’m posting it anyway. I didn’t keep my shutter speeds fast enough for the three handheld, bracketed exposures for HDR, and therefore when magnified on the computer monitor I can see problems. Whatever. I’m giddy to have a new 5D Mark II to work with. Coming up this weekend is a hot air balloon festival, a red light camera protest to be held by the Liberty Restoration Project, and the Waterfire event at Brush Creek on the Plaza Saturday night. I’m going to try and make good and sure the new camera doesn’t end up at the bottom of the creek, as I’ve had some bad luck before concerning equipment damage at Waterfire – nothing that couldn’t be repaired though, thankfully.

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A Feedlot in Stafford County, Kansas

Hearn Farms

Monday, Aug. 23 at nightfall on my aunt and uncle’s farm out in southern Kansas, Stafford County to be precise. This is in the feedlot area with the moon coming up on the horizon. Back in April, hours before BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig famously blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, I took this photo standing just a few dozen yards away with a view of this John Deere implement in action.

I heard later on there was a bobcat prowling the area earlier that night, which I guess would have been fun to come across while getting photos. I don’t know if bobcats would find tripods all that intimidating.

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Pastures outside of Preston, Kansas

Pastures outside Preston, Kansas

Photo taken this past Sunday evening. I see here in August the moon rises at just the right time for a certain dramatic effect. I was in Preston, Kansas, a tiny, and regrettably foundering town of which I have some ties to. I stop there every once in a while when I’m visiting my grandmother who now lives in Stafford, roughly twenty miles to the north.

This photo is different than my normal in a few ways. I deactivated the telephoto lens’s auto-focus and manually trained it on the moon, allowing everything else to blur, including the foliage. I took several varied exposures for HDR to display the very subtle differences to be seen in color and contrast across parts of the photo. Actually I do that kind of thing frequently, but manually focusing on blissful, pastoral country settings take a bit of getting accustomed to for me. Normally I leave the serene nature photography to people who have more practice at it. I imagine those photographers are of a more serene and content personal nature in general as well. It makes one wonder.

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