On my last trip to Pensacola, my wife and I explored the historic section for the first time. As we drove to it, we passed a large church that caught my eye. My first thought was “I wonder what that would look like at night?” So I had to find out. The next evening, I headed out for some sunset images on the pier, then off to the big church.
The First Baptist Church of Pensacola rises above the neighboring buildings and trees making it easy to see. Located right on the street makes it difficult to photograph, as there is another building just across the street with very little yard. So you are relatively close, looking up at this tall structure. Pull out your widest lens for this shot.
45 courtrooms in one building seem to be a bit much, however, if you are the civil courthouse in the fourth largest city in the country, then it probably seems correct. The Harris County Civil Courthouse in Houston, TX and the other courthouses take up several blocks in downtown Houston and are all connected via underground tunnels. They may not be a place you wish to visit, but hey, they’re top-notch. Read more about the courthouse at their website.
Big warships have big guns. The battleships had the largest artillery (see Guns Over Mobile) but even an older aircraft carrier, with all it’s airplanes, still had a few access up its sleeve. On the outside chance that another enemy vessel had to be fired upon, the USS Lexington was equipped with 4, twin 5 inch (127 mm) 38 caliber guns on turrets. Most of these types of weapons are out-dated with the use of guided missles, but they sure do look great sitting idle, as if waiting for its next victim. In the top right, you see the Lexington’s bridge.
Some interesting background from wikipedia.com… The ship’s World War II-era gun battery is also being partially restored using guns salvaged from scrapped ships. Most notable among these are 5″/38 DP gun turrets saved from the scrapping of the heavy cruiser Des Moines. They have been mounted in the approximate locations where similar mounts once existed as part of the ship’s original World War II-era fit.
While this shot isn’t breathtaking, it is still a great example for using HDR to balance the dark shadows of the foreground against the bright sky and water. Tip: The use of a foreground object gives more depth an the image.
Attending the Houston Grand Prix was a fun experience. Like most events, it had a few unexpected surprises which had nothing to do with the race itself. Inside one of the display halls was a Hennessey Venom GT. What is a Hennessey you ask? Well, according to wikipedia.org…
The Hennessey Venom GT is a sports car manufactured by Hennessey Performance Engineering. …On January 21, 2013, the Venom GT set a new Guinness World Record for an average 0–300 km/h (186 miles/hour) acceleration time of 13.63 seconds, thus making it the quickest modified production car in the world. In addition, the car set an unofficial record for 0-200 mph (320 km/h) acceleration at 14.51 seconds, beating the Koenigsegg Agera R’s time of 17.68 seconds, making it the fastest accelerating car in the world. On April 3, 2013, the Hennessy Venom GT crested 427.6 km/h (265.7 mph) over the course of 2 miles during testing at the United States Naval Air Station inLemoore, California.
Pretty cool, huh?
A photo like this can actually be hard to take. No flash or tripod was used and older cameras like mine suffer in quality when you shoot over 1600 ISO. So you hold very still, turn on the image stabilization if your lens has it and pray. It pays to shoot more than one frame, in case you do get a bit of camera blur in one of the images. Yes, I would like to acquire a newer camera, if for no other reason than for better low light performance. I’m currently accepting donations for a 5D MK III 🙂
There are very few things in life more relaxing than a sunset walk on the beach on a calm evening. The soft swishing sound of a light surf, combined with the cool sand under your feet set the mood below. Though the sky above may be cloudless, the color from the sunset creates a golden glow on the horizon that seems to warm the soul.
This sunset walk was from my last visit to Florida in Pensacola.
Earlier this month, some friends and I attended the Houston Grand Prix. Originally the race ran though the streets of downtown Houston and I was fortunate to attend that first race in 1998. Even in the rain that year, it was quite a sight (and sound) to see the cars running down city streets. Now, the circuit is created on the grounds of Reliant Park, beside the Reliant Stadium and the Houston Astrodome.
Since there is no green space or windy downtown streets, it’s a much hotter experience over the huge parking lot at Reliant. This makes for a long, hot day, even in early October. But there is a lot to see in the infield, plus the races. Even those can be hard to see, unless you have a high seat in a grandstand, as the stands are right by the track. The concrete barricades and heavy wire fences also prevent a clear view almost everywhere on the track.
This view was from a corporate tent by the Astrodome’s high-speed curve. The cars reach over 150 mph as they fly past. Because of the noise and heat, it might not be a place for small children, but any auto enthusiast will have a great time.
Lifeguards are often seen as beach eye-candy. Guys and gals in great shape, standing around looking great. But the reality is these people work hard protecting the public who visit the beach each year that are often caught off-guard by currents and deep water. A lifeguard is someone you only hope to meet on dry land, but are really glad to see if it’s not.
This Pensacola Beach Lifeguard truck was posed in front of the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier. In October, the crowds are smaller, making their job a bit easier.