Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Relaxing In Baltimore

We did some long days while on vacation looking for some reasonable images. On the way back to Connecticut we thought we’d relax at a couple spots we’d wanted to visit for quite a long time. One of the stops was at the Intercontinental Harbor Court on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore Maryland. Nice hotel, with a view across the harbor just about as you see it in today’s image. It was an easy day of travel from Washington DC up the road just a few miles (less than sixty) along the back roads. We arrived at the hotel fairly late in the afternoon with just about enough time to settle into the room and go out to dinner. Naturally the cameras came along with us as we walked along the harbor to a waterfront restaurant. The Inner Harbor area was one of the first sites to be repurposed into the centerpiece of a city and a cultural center. Many cities, such as San Antonio with the River Walk and New York’s South Street Seaport are examples of taking a look at the success of the Inner Harbor and saying “me too”. After dinner we walked around the plazas and shot some general interest shots. We watched the street performers and talked to people who saw our cameras and wanted to know more about what we were shooting with and what recommendation we might make for cameras. According to the write ups by Inner Harbor –, the harbor is one of the most photographed areas of the city. It had the “typical” history of use, disrepair and rebirth that’s been seen in many similar attractions across the country. Today’s image looks pretty straight, but there are a couple of wrinkles that make it worth talking about. To learn more about the tweaks on today’s image, hit the “read more”.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, for a four shot panorama it is pretty close to being straight. The sky was a wall of nothing, so once the pano was complete, any colorcast neutralized, and the colors brightened up a bit a better sky was part in. I’m getting a little more comfortable to the Quick Selection Tool (W). I did look to the channels to see if that would be the easier way to go to make a mask of the sky in preparation for replacement, but went with the QST as a first attempt. Basically, it worked great. It wouldn’t have taken long to make a Mask using Channels, but the QST made it about a forty five second task, including the little bit of cleanup needed. Because everything is straight lines and angles it was a snap plucking the blank sky out of the image.

Rather than taking a dramatic sky shot months or years before, we happened across some very subtle clouds formations I thought would compliment a large variety of images. The sky used in today’s image was taken within twenty four hours of the harbor pano.

The Inner Harbor area of Baltimore was a great respite on the way home from four days of heavy shooting. We’ll probably head back there several times again. I’m interested in seeing what it’s like after a snow storm.