Tag Archives: Patterns

Fun Photos from Fredericksburg

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Last Saturday morning, October 19th, the Austin Shutterbug Club had an outing to the lovely little town of Fredericksburg in central Texas, near the Hill Country.

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Only 5 people showed up. Not sure why. Don’t really care. Those of us that did make it, had a really fun time!

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All of these photos were taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, and the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 “kit lens”.  I also had 4 excellent prime lenses in my camera bag, but I never used any of them.

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I did not take any “street photography” photos of people doing interesting things in their environment.

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That morning, I was only interested in taking photos of whatever color, pattern, or object that caught my attention.

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Snapshots? Sure. Why not?

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There are only a couple of photos that the viewer would recognize as someplace in Fredericksburg. The majority of them could have been taken anywhere.

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It is late October, and Halloween is near.

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I believe that these two steeples belong to St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

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That was as far west as we walked. On the way back, I noticed that there seemed to be lots of places for people to sit along the sidewalk.

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Some seating was pretty rustic.

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And some was rather unusual.

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I wonder how comfortable that seat would have been for the framer sitting on his tractor years ago!

Here’s a photo that even says “Fredericksburg” in the photo. This is the 2nd story of the building. I even used Lightroom 5’s new healing brush feature to remove the power line that crossed in front of it.

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The 5 of us had a great German lunch at a place near the west end of town, named Friedhelm’s Bavarian Inn. I had the Jager Schntizel. It was great!

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog today.

Tour of Circuit of The Americas – Part 2

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This is the second part of my blog posts showing the photos that I took while on a tour of Circuit of The Americas (COTA) race track in Austin, Texas on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Circuit of The Americas was recently constructed just southeast of Austin specifically to be the only Formula One (F1) racetrack in the United States. In case you missed it, you can find the first part here.

Before I get started on Part 2, I need to bring to your attention an inaccuracy that I reported in Part 1. I had stated: “The building on the right is owned by the Formula One organization, and can only be used by the Formula One organization. It therefore sits idle for 51 weeks out of the year. This building is called the paddock.”

A couple of readers pointed out that those statements simply were not true. I sent an email to COTA asking for their help in correcting this information. Here is what they told me: “The paddock building is only used by F1 during that race. It is rented out for events or used as a spectator area during other events. It is not vacant 51 weeks out of the year.”

Now that this has been taken care of, it’s back to Part 2!

I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along with my wife, Barb, on this tour, which was organized by the UT SAGE group that she belongs to. I brought only my Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, with the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens.

The photo above is the same one that I showed at the end of Part 1 of my story. That is Turn 17 immediately below you in the foreground, and Turn 11 is way off in the distance, near the upper left corner of the photo.

In this blog post, I will not be showing the photos in the order that I took them. Instead, I will try to show the turns of the race track in the order that the racers encounter them.

Turn 1 is in the southeast corner of the tack, and here is what it looks like from the observation tower.

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The whitish building between the seats and Turn 1 is the parking lot that we were in when I took the photos of Turn 1 (that I showed in Part 1). That is Turn 2 as the track exits the lower left corner of the photo above.

This next photo starts with the pedestrian bridge, located between Turn 2 and Turn 3, and takes you all the way out to Turn 11 in the far back left corner.

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The red, white, and blue painted areas are considered to be “off the official track”. They are more like a “warning track”. The drivers are allowed to drive on them, without any penalty for doing so, if they ended up out there as a result of losing control in the previous turn.

This next photo is basically the same view as the previous one, but I zoom in as far as my little lens will go. It shows Turn 5 (in the foreground) to Turn 11.

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At this point, the racers really get up to some very high speeds as they travel the long straight-away between Turn 11 and Turn 12. That straight away comes into this next photo from the top right corner of the photo.

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Here you see Turns 12 through 16. For a sense of scale, that is a full size water truck on the race track to the left of the pedestrian bridge. That pedestrian bridge is right at the beginning of Turn 17.

Looking straight down from the front of the observation tower (toward the east), you see the short straight-away between Turn 17 and Turn 18.

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Turn 18 is a 90 degree turn to the right, and you can see it in the lower right corner of this photo looking due south.

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When I took the photo above, I was more interested in the multiple horizontal layers: the race track, the back side of the paddock, the grandstand just beyond that, the southern parking lot (and I can see my little CR-V!), the country side view beyond that, and also Texas Toll Road 130 crossing over the horizon.

Looking back down onto the track, here’s a much better view of Turn 18.

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And finally, this next photo completes “our journey” around the track. The stars lead into Turn 19 and the furthest turn from you in this photo is the final turn – Turn 20. Right after that last turn, the racers cross the start/finish line between the paddock and the grand stands.

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So far, I’ve shown you the view from three sides of the observation tower. The fourth side is the back side of the tower, and that is towards the west. At the base of the back side of the tower is the Austin360 Amphitheater.

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The red pipes that swoop up the back side are about 5 feet (1.5 m) from the railing surrounding the platform that we were standing on. To get the previous photo, I leaned over the rail a little bit (certainly not a lot!) and extended my camera out as far as I could while keeping the camera strap around my neck, and used the Live View on the rear LCD to compose the photo.

The schedule of what bands will be performing here is most impressive, and the schedule can be found here. The evening after we were there, The Lumineers were to perform! The next scheduled concert is Jimmy Buffet, who will be there Thursday evening. Dave Matthews Band, Mumford and Sons, and Train are a few of the bands that I personally know that I would enjoy seeing.

You can take the stairs down, and I believe that I was the only one to do so. I knew that it would take the elevator at least two trips to get everyone else in our group back down to ground level. I thought that I would be down before they all got down, but I was mistaken! When I finally got to the ground, the group was nowhere around.

I stood there and took this photo of the is 251 feet (76.5 m) tall observation tower.

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I thought that I heard the faint voice of our tour guide in the distance. He seemed to be in the backstage area of the amphitheater, so that’s where I headed. Just before I caught up with the group, they had all turned around and were heading back towards me…. I had missed the tour guide’s speech, but I swam upstream like a salmon to get only two very quick photos of the amphitheater as seen from the stage.

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Just think – The Lumineers would be on that stage in just over 24 hours, in front of a sold out audience!

I had to walk quickly out of the backstage area to catch up with our tour group. A few others with cameras were standing at the base of the tower looking up, so I figured I had at least a couple minutes to do that myself.

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The photo above is from the back side of the tower, while the next one is from the front side, right by the open door of our bus.

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That was pretty much the end of our tour. The busses took us back to our cars in the south parking lot. The bus drivers, the tour guides, and everyone that we had an encounter with were very friendly, helpful, and answered any question that anyone in our group had.

Barb waited patiently in my “racing Honda” while I got a photo of it in front of the entrance to the grand stands. ;-)

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And as we circled our way around to get out of the parking lot, I couldn’t help but stop the car, get out, and take one last parting shot of the entrance with the observation tower also in the photo.

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Well, I hope that you enjoyed seeing what we saw on our tour of Circuit of The Americas (COTA). I wouldn’t call my photos artwork, but I do hope that I did a good enough job documenting what I saw that will give you a good sense of what this new facility looks like. Maybe you will remember seeing my photos when you get out there to see it for yourself.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

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Playing Around at the Playground

This has been a difficult week for me. Yesterday our company laid-off more than 50% of the employees. My boss told me on Monday that Thursday would be “the day”, and asked me to not talk about it. Just knowing about it before hand makes it more difficult. Myself, and the two people that report to me are still there, as are only 13 others. As a result, I’m not in a particularly creative mood to put together any sort of story for a blog post.

Last Saturday morning, on December 1st, the weather in Austin was very mild, and it was overcast, so I thought I’d take my little Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera with the Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens with me on my usual normal neighborhood walk.

About 3/4 of a mile from our house, along Callanish Park Drive, is Mountain View Park, and within this park is a small playground area. Here are some photos that I took of the playground equipment.

The Tower

Curvey Stairs

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Aperture at f/6.3

Aperture at f/1.8

Aperture at f/1.8, Near Focus

Aperture at f/1.8, Far Focus

Red Tunnel

2nd Set of Equipment

Tick-Tack-Toe

Blue Spiral

Symmetry

Looking Back

Thank you for visiting my blog!

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Temporarily Off The Air

I have been too busy lately to spend any leisure time on the internet or read anyone else’s blog. Right now I am too busy to put together a new blog post of my own.  Well, OK I did find the time to create this little post. :-)

I did go out on my Saturday morning walk, and took my camera with me, but I haven’t had the time to do anything more than just get the photos onto my computer and back them up. Things should slow down to something more “normal” by this next weekend.

If you remember the Indian Head TV test pattern shown above, then you realize that this station is only temporarily off the air. Thanks for stopping by!

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Plants and Patterns

This morning, I went out for my usual Saturday morning 3 mile walk through my neighborhood, but this time I brought my camera along.

This is only the 2nd time in the 11 years that we’ve lived in this house that I’ve brought my camera with me. I wrote about my first time, in my blog post that I published on June 4th.

On that walk, I took my brand new Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera with the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens. Today, I took the same camera, but I brought the Panasonic Leica 25mm ƒ/1.4 DG Summilux lens, with a B+W circular polarizer on the front of it.

Before I left the house, I performed a Custom White Balance to the camera, set the ISO to 200, and put the camera into Aperture Priority Mode. I did not change any of these three settings for the rest of my walk.

I’m going to try something new with this post. I’m going to keep the number of words to a bare minimum, and just present you with the pictures. I’m going to do it “Robin Wong style”, where I’ll add a two or three word “title” underneath each photo, that attempts to give a little insight into either what I saw, or what I was thinking.  If you like this format, (or if you don’t), please leave a comment (or send me an email using the “Contact Gregg” button under the banner at the top of this page) to let me know that.

Enough words. Here are my photos.

Honey Bee

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Clay Pot

Playground Tunnel

Circular Jungle Gym

Stairs and Handrail

Steel Mesh Stairs

Ford Mustang

Gate Hinge

Low Cactus

View @ Halfway

Prickless Prickly Pear Cactus

Cactus Flower Buds

A Red One

Big Grass

For Libby

Red and Orange Flowers

Pink Flowers

Miniature American Flag

Rusty Fire Hydrant

Ivy Ground Cover

Limestone Wall

My Front Door

Maybe someday soon I will get up the nerve to do some real Street Photography in downtown Austin. Plants and patterns are interesting to me, but I would like to include some architecture and some candid people photos, too.

Who knows, I might even get lucky and bump into Kirk Tuck…

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Patterns Etched in Copper

Here are several photographs that I took last week of interesting patterns etched in copper on some printed circuit boards that I have designed over the years. The metal doesn’t have the appearance of the familiar color of a “copper penny” for two reasons. First, a copper oxidizes and tarnishes rather quickly, so the exposed copper on a printed circuit board is plated with some other non-oxidizing metal. Second, a copper penny is an metal alloy that doesn’t oxidize anything like pure copper does.

The photo above has a tin-lead solder finish over the exposed copper, but all of the remaining printed circuit boards in this post used a gold finish.

These photos were all taken by using a 100mm macro lens, with the image captured on the camera sensor very close to the actual size (1:1 magnification). I used two studio strobe lights, in 10″ x 36″ strip boxes brought in very close (less than a foot) on both sides, aimed at 45 degrees from the camera. I then used a piece of common notepad paper directly behind the subject (just outside of the frame) to bounce light back into the scene.

People aren’t very used to seeing bare printed circuit boards before the electronic components are solder to them.

The photo above is actually a lighter color of green than all of the other boards shown in this post. You can have your printed circuit boards (PCBs) fabricated in many different colors, including red, black, blue, etc., but green is by far the most common color.

These two rounded traces are a special RF type of signal known as a co-planar wave guide.

Here are two land patterns that are common.  The four sided one on the left is for a package type known as a Thin Quad Flat Pack (TQFP). The one on the right is for a rather large Ball Grid Array (BGA) package.

To the left of this BGA are two discrete high-speed DDR memory chips.

This footprint is for a very special type of Quad Flat Pack. The center pad is Ground, while the rectangular shapes surrounding it are for the various voltages that this chip requires. The tiny squares on the perimeter of this footprint are for attaching the actual signals of the chip to the board.

So, I’ve managed to keep my engineering role out of my web site up until this point. This post isn’t about my engineering, though; but rather the photographing of it.