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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Moving Walkway

Today's photo is another shot that I took while visiting the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland, but it is of something that probably has not been photographed that often. I have thought for quite some time that a photograph from a moving walkway would be interesting, because everything, except the walkway itself, would be slightly blurred (or very blurred, depending on the exposure length) and with some good timing a pretty interesting shot could result.

I first thought of this back in November in the BWI Airport while heading to my gate to catch a flight back to San Antonio. I thought the vantage point could be interesting, but not wanting the give the TSA agents a reason to take me in for additional screening, I decided against busting out my camera and tripod in the airport. I knew that the National Aquarium had escalators, but was surprised to see a moving walkway between floors. I rode about halfway up looking for a cool scene, saw the blue neon light on the left, and then bounded back down to the beginning and waited for what I thought would be a good moment to capture the picture. I had to tweak the settings from my normal photos a bit, this was taken with the ISO of 1000, an aperture of f/4, and the exposure time of 4/10 of a second. I also took the shot handheld, to bring in the possibility of a little "extra" blurring to try to capture the shot that I wanted.

I used post processing to change one key aspect of the photo. I copied the left side of the photo and flipped it to the right side of the shot, so the blue neon light is visible on both sides of the moving walkway. I purposely set the one on the right a touch higher than the one on the left, to give the photo a more natural appearance (in fact, I bet if I didn't reveal that secret, you would have not even noticed it!). I used a variety of programs to help enhance the overall finished product, including Topaz DeNoise (noise reduction) and InFocus (to make the walkway sharper), and of course, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (a few different effects) and Viveza (to enhance the blue neon lights and also make the walkway color more "natural" and less "yellow".

While visiting the aquarium, for the first time in about 7 1/2 years, was very interesting, my favorite shots (this and the waterfall scene from yesterday) had absolutely nothing at all to do with any of the fish or other sea life on display!

Moving Walkway

Please feel free to leave comments and/or feedback below. Also remember that clicking on the photo itself lets you view the image in a variety of sizes by taking you to my online gallery hosted over at smugmug. Thanks for stopping by!

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