Friday, May 23, 2008

A Year ...

and 3600 photos ago, we went to Mostar with Elesa's parents. Doors and doorknobs are popular subjects in Bosnia, here's my version of "Door" from that day trip to Mostar :)

Door - Mostar, Herzegovina

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Wooden Church in Dobříkov

DOBŘÍKOV - Dřevěný kostelík z Podkarpatské Rusi

This small 17th century church was "rescued" from the Ukraine, and moved log by log to the little village of Dobříkov, not far from Choceň in 1930 or so. The interior is very dark, (well actually the exterior is too :) but everywhere you look is yet another iconic depiction of a saint or two. There isn't a whole lot on the internet that I could find about this village and church, beyond what is here and here. We stopped by and checked it out a little closer and one of the local women let us in and gave us a little tour. We'd originally visited back in 1995 I believe when we went through the area and my parents stayed at a small bed and breakfast a few hundred yards away. I probably have slides of it somewhere.

The Crucifixion - Dobříkov, Czech Republic

Saints - Dobříkov, Czech Republic

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dinner was Quite Tasty Tonight

look what I'm reduced'd think I was on Flickr or MySpace...

Chicken and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce at Sunset

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Messing Around With Stitching

These are notes for myself. I haven't messed with this in about 2 years and what little I learned at the time, I've obviously forgotten. Today I started relearning, because, at some point this summer I'd like to take make a large photo of Sarajevo so that I can have a large, but detailed panoramic print made.

Stitching is a method of taking multiple photographs that overlap and putting them together to get a much larger photo. For landscapes and cityscapes especially, it can make for a much larger more detailed photo in a large print. You can effectively end up with a photo that would require the equivalent of a 100 megapixel camera or more (not to mention the lens!) Stitching is commonly used for long panoramic photos.

Putting a bunch of photographs together at first glance looks pretty easy. Many digital cameras include some sort of stitching software in all that junk on the CD you probably stuffed in a drawer somewhere. I loaded mine on my computer, "Canon PhotoStitch". However, if you look close a the photos below, you can begin to see problems where the seams of the neighboring photos are.

Bosnian Countryside - Kakrinje, Bosnia

The first photo, a string of 14 photos shot left to right (16,000+ pixels wide once stitched) had two main problems, the first of which doesn't show up here. Because I was shooting "handheld" I didn't stay exactly level, I ended up having to cut parts of the bottom of the photos on the left off that I really would have liked to keep, and parts of the top off of the photos on the right. Use a tripod next time, and if necessary, do two rows. The other problem shows up especially in the roof of the house on the right. The exposure changes as I move across the scene. So next time, I'll take a shot of the brightest part of the scene and a shot of the darkest part of the scene and then in manual setting, use a constant aperture (which I already remembered to do) and a constant shutter speed (which I this time I let vary with each exposure) that will "work" with both the brightest and the darkest portions

The second photo (a vertical stitch of 3 photos) has some problems too. The varying exposure again, the distortion that comes from using a very wide angle lens, and I didn't leave enough overlap between the bottom photo and the middle photo, so I had to "help" the software a little more than should have been necessary. Next time, don't use such a wide angle, just take more photos instead, and make sure to overlap enough details for the stitching software to work with.

Big Sky - Kakrinje, Bosnia

Last, getting a good stitch is probably the easy part. Afterwards, the finishing work (which I didn't do at all on these photos) such getting the colors, sharpness, relative brightness etc all right could be tremendously time consuming and tedious across a huge 16000+ pixel photograph. And very last, at least the way I have the blog set up now, 1024 pixels is as wide as things can go, so you really don't see much once I reduce a photo to 1/16 the original size.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I was looking back through some photos from last summer. I only have room on my internal drive for about a year's worth of photographs so some will be stored off soon, I thought this photo of the Indiana Statehouse aptly fit my mood....reflecting, new and old...

Indiana Statehouse - Indianapolis

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Abandoning All Pretense of Originality

I thought this was pretty original. I mean really, how many people would think to take a photo of a sewer lid? Well apparently pretty many others have. Enough that someone actually googled the terms: prague castle sewer. On the bright side, I was the second hit in the results list :) and the googler took a look at my photo.

I can pretty much guarantee that the photo below has been taken a million times. Nine hundred and ninety nine thousand of them are for sale on the Charles Bridge. Here is my version.

Prague Astronomical Clock (Pražský Orloj) at Night - Prague

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Theme - Shades of Two Colors

Like this past entry and this one. The photo below is basically comprised of just two colors, in this case gray and green and shades thereof. Like a huge chunk of the photos on this blog, it was taken in Veliki Park next to our apartment...maybe at some point I'll tag the Veliki Park photos. The three or four acres (my wild guess only) that comprise the park sure give me a lot of photo opportunities.

Up is Green - Veliki Park, Sarajevo

Bosnian Cooking, Jeff Style

A follow-up to this past entry. Today I tried my hand at making "Jeff's Gourmet" version of pita...Bosnian pie. I didn't make my own phyllo, but I made up my own filling recipe. Shelby was quite aghast..."Burek doesn't have walnuts in IT!". But I was not to be deterred. I followed along similar to the zeljanica we did in out little class a while back. spinach. Instead I added chicken, gorgonzola cheese and walnuts to the egg/cheese filling mixture. It was quite tasty if I do say so myself. Ema, who had joined Shelby in teasing me about my recipe, did ask for a bit more :) and Carl seemed to like it.

Jeff's Gourmet Chicken Gorgonzola Pita with Walnuts
On the left, ready for the oven, on the right fresh out of the oven

Self Portrait with Shelby

A "fun" photo I probably would have never taken just a couple years ago in the days of film. When Shelby and I were out with our cameras in Prague, on our way up to the castle, I noticed our reflection in a menu written on a mirror across the street. I zoomed out to 200 with my 70-200 and focused on our reflection vice the written menu....and shazam!

Self Portrait with Shelby - Prague, Spring 2008

Prague, Three Details

Noticed On the Way Up the Hill - Castle District, Prague

The Powder Tower (Prašná Brána) - Prague

Somewhere Near Charles Bridge (Karlův Most) - Prague