Evan Gearing's Photography Exposition

stadium

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Daytime Panorama

I think this is my favorite panorama that I’ve done so far. I took this at the Tigers – Rangers baseball game on May 18th. It was a horrible game for the Tigers.  The Rangers beat them 7-2.  I was bummed.  However, my nephew Dylan, his friend Jared and Dylan’s mom, my sister-in-law, Annette were all pretty happy!  I think Eileen was bummed for me, but happy for the Rangers nonetheless.  As you have read, we all went up to enjoy the game and we all had a great time, except for the score of course.

Usually when I go to these games I only take my little point and shoot camera.  I can get some decent panoramas with that, but last time I tried it I got some really bad results.  So, I went to the Rangers website and read their camera policy.  Theirs is very similar to Sports Authority Field at Mile High in that you can bring any camera as long as it doesn’t interfere with other fans’ enjoyment of the game.  So, the big boy went with me this time with the intent on getting a nice pano!  So here it is!

This is not an HDR but it is a composite of 16 shots.  I took 15 for the panorama itself to make sure I got some great overlap for Photoshop’s photomerge process and then I took one shot of just the infield during a pitch and masked that in so as to capture the moment and make sure everyone on the field is focusing on the task at hand.  If you look at the largest version of the image on flickr, you can actually see the ball as it’s crossing from the grass to the dirt on its way to the catcher.

You see, usually when I take a pano from a sports stadium such as this, I don’t really pay much attention to what was going on down on the field because the I’m normally using my point and shoot and everything is usually moving as I take the shots. All that action gets jumbled during the photomerge process and turns out kind of messy.  Well I wanted to make the shot look normal on the field this time plus add a little interest.  I think it worked.

Oh, and one other thing that makes me happy about this pano is that when I did do the merge, the resulting image was already straight and level so I didn’t  have to do any warping!  That was awesome!  Just a little cropping and content aware fill in a couple corners!  I couldn’t believe it!  Especially from a handheld pano!  That’s rare for me because even when I use a tripod it comes out way tilted and I have to do lots of warping to correct some distortion.

Also this shot took a little work to process other than the merging and the masking of the infielders.  The sky that day was very hazy and I really had to crank out the structure slider in Nik Viveza to bring out the clouds.  I also used a little blue filter for the sky.  Then I added in some contrast, a little darken/lighten center in Nik Color Efex 4 along with a few other minor tweaks and here you go!

Lastly, I did take a night time panorama as well that I will put out some time.  I hope it turns out as nice as this one.  I have started on it a little bit and one thing that is different is that it’s not quite as wide as this.  Oh well, just something to remember for next time!

Click on the shot to see a larger version.  Or click here to see the largest on flickr.

BTW, the players on the field in the shot are as follows:

Tigers:
P – Anibal Sanchez
C – Alex Avila
1B – Prince Fielder
2B – Omar Infante
3B – Miguel Cabrera
SS – Jhonny Peralta
RF – Torii Hunter
CF – Avisail Garcia
LF – Andy Dirks

Rangers:
3rd Base – Elvis Andrus
At Bat – David Murphy
On Deck – Lance Berkman


Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Another Sunday calls for another football shot!  This is the home of the Denver Broncos taken from row 6 in one of the end zones… obviously. 😉  I took this just after the team was introduced to the crowd.  It was an awesome atmosphere! 

I must say that the camera rules for the Broncos’ stadium is pretty good.  They don’t really care what you bring in as long as is doesn’t interfere with other fans’ enjoyment of the game.  I actually emailed them about what I wanted to bring which was my Nikon D300s, my all-purpose 18-200mm and my 10.5mm fisheye lenses and they wrote back and said (I’m paraphrasing), “No worries”.  I think if you even had the equivalent of an 18-300 for DX (APS-C sensors) cameras anyway, they wouldn’t have any issues with that and you could get great shots from anywhere in the stadium.  Just don’t bring a tripod or monopod.  Again if you aren’t sure, just contact them.  They are good about getting back to you.  Also,  you can’t use the shots for any commercial purposes.  You know, you need the “expressed written consent..” and all of that other stuff…

The shot below is a one shot HDR that was processed using Nik’s HDR Efex 2. It really brought out the detail in everything.  Even the flames shooting up from above the scoreboard at the other end of the stadium came out pretty well!


UPDATED: University of Michigan Band At Jerry’s World

This Labor Day weekend was a great one!  Well, sort of…  This weekend Eileen and I, as well as our friends Valerie and Theresa were able to go to Dallas and take in the premier college football game of the week: The University of Michigan versus the University of Alabama.  The teams were ranked #8 and #2 respectively.  Plus, my excellent sister Elizabeth and her boyfriend Jack of some 12 – 13 years (at least.. sorry if I’m off a little Elizabeth ;-)) came out from their home in Florida to catch the game!  You see, they are both Michigan alums and go to as many games per year as they can. They were able to get tickets and asked if we wanted to tag along. Heck yeah! Elizabeth made all of the arrangements and everything!  She did a great job!

We all spent the whole weekend in Dallas, went to the game, visited and in general had an awesome time!  We even met some new friends!  The bad part was that Michigan got their @$$3$ handed to them in a 41-14 loss.  It was awful.  I was a little nervous for my boys in blue leading up to this game and unfortunately my fears came true.  I guess that’s part of the rebuilding process.  They are still trying to get over the terrible “Rich Rod” years; the head coach that took the “Michigan” out of Michigan football.  Now that Brady Hoke is the head coach as of last year, he’s slowly getting them back to prominence.  However, Alabama is pretty tough and it would be hard for anyone to beat them this year, as it looks.  Oh well, like I said, it was a fun weekend anyway, especially since we were able to visit with family and friends.

This it a shot I took a few minutes before gametime as the University of Michigan Marching Band was on the field.  I took this with my new fisheye lens as you can see.  It’s pretty fun to play with!  It’s nice to get a whole panorama interior shot of a sports stadium without having to take 7-8 separate shots and try to blend them together.  I did notice that there is a little bit of purple fringing around some of the lights so I guess I’ll need to be conscious of that in the future.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the shot and thanks for dropping by.

Update:  I decided to try and remove the bad purple fringing around the lights on the opposite side of the field.  I think I got most of it.  If you have the right software, it can really be easy to do.  I opened it up with Nik’s Viveza, put a control point on the offending color, desaturated it and then brushed it in.  Super easy!  I love that Viveza!  You can now see the result!  I must say, it’s not real obvious here, but if you roll your mouse over the picture, you will see the purple fringing on the lights that are across the field.  Believe me, it was originally pretty bad.  I just had to clean it up!

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

And that’s Football Season!  Yes!  It starts this weekend with the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game on Sunday! I know  it’s pre-season, but it’s still football.  It’s the Arizona Cardinals v the New Orleans Saints!  I love this time of year!  In this day and age of “nothing but crap on TV”, I’ll take a meaningless live football game over just about anything else. 

This means fall is right around the corner, cool weather is coming and we get to fulfill another check-mark on our bucket list!  You see, our bucket list consists of seeing a football game in every NFL stadium.  This year it’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver to see the Broncos.  Can’t wait!  The main reason we’re going there this year is because Peyton Manning now plays for the Broncos.  I guess he’s all grown up now.  Because that’s what colts do, right?  They grow up to be bucking broncos, yes?  I know, it’s a bad joke, but I can never come up with good ones.  Anyway, it seems he’s healthy this year and we can’t wait to see him!  Should be fun.  And speaking of bucket lists, do you have one?  If you do, what’s on it?  I’d love to hear what others would like to do during their lifetimes!

The shot below is from a pre-season football game we went to a while back where the Baltimore Ravens played the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.  It was fun even if it was pre-season.  This shot I used my Sony DSC-HX9V and took about 7 shots in the portrait orientation from one end of the stadium to the other trying to carefully overlap each one by about 20% or so.  Then I stitched them together in Photoshop CS5 and added a little more color to the sky with Nik Color Efex.  It turned out pretty cool I think.  However, if you look closely, some peoples’ heads and seats got chopped up due to the stitching process in Photoshop.  I guess it doesn’t totally work every time, but I like the overall result.

I hope you do, too and thanks for dropping by!