| 2010 August
chicago architectural photographer, photography, architecture, photographer, interior design, furniture
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August 2010

Just when I was getting really anxious for Apple to introduce new towers, what do they do? Go and introduce new towers! Sure the announcement is buried beneath iPhone 4 ads on their website but hallelujah, my prayers have been answered!

There’s an exceptional review of one of the new systems over at DigiLloyd.  Lloyd went with the fastest single cpu model, the 6 core 3.33GHz which seems to be a scorcher.  One has to wonder why you’d even bother with their premium 12 core machine, when so little software can utilize that many processors… but damn!  Mac to the power of 12 indeed!

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Earlier this year I got a call from Valspar Paint, who happen to be a sponsor of our beloved Chicago Cubs.  They were redoing their offices and they wanted to put a mural of Wrigley Field on one of their walls.  The idea was to create the feeling that you were at the game.

All right, I thought, I can do that.

The image was going to end up being 9 feet by 12 feet and they really didn’t want to print it at any less than 150 dpi.

All right… I think I can do that.

So here’s what we knew: the final image would have to be around one GB to meet our print size.  Even with my P65+,  I was going to need several images — 14 in fact!  I planned on two rows of exposures, seven shots each to stitch together.  For verticals I would just use the shift on the camera back; 35mm up and 35mm down.  That’s asking a lot of movement from most digital formula lenses. Fortunately my Rodenstock 90mm HR – W was up to the task and would be wide enough (given seven panels) to give me the composition we wanted.  There’s not a lens on the planet that would have had a big enough image circle and stayed sharp enough to do the whole thing without panning (which would have been ideal).  Going from side to side, I would simply have to rotate the camera.  Now the trick would be to attain a perfectly level pan over about 90 degrees.  Enter the Arca Swiss Cube Tripod Head!  I’d been looking for an excuse to buy this thing for months.  Sure it would cost nearly as much as I was going to clear on the assignment, but then I would have a REALLY nice tripod head.  Easy!

We wanted to catch from the left foul pole to home plate.  We had some lovely box seats that didn’t really afford the perfect view for the shot, so we traded those with some fairly buzzed college boys who were all too happy to make the exchange.  Once we got into our seats,  I set up the camera and started looking at different lenses to see which would give us the perspective we wanted in seven panels.  I started with the 55mm.  Nope.  Way too wide!  Then the 70mm…still wide.  The 90mm?  Really?  I never would of guessed we’d go that long… alrighty!  Below is the final, stitched and retouched 14 panel image.

And here is a 100% Crop from the scoreboard/bleachers…

I could NOT believe the detail we ended up getting out of this thing!  And let me tell you, if there’s one thing that will convince you to buy a new 12 Core Mac Pro, it’s trying to stitch together (14) 60 megapixel images.

All in all, this was really a lot of fun.  I love a technical challenge and this was one of the hardest I’ve faced.  Patsy and I had a great day at the ballgame and the clients were just great to work with.  Take me out to the ballgame anytime!

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This was quite a nice office we did for Gensler, Charlotte earlier this summer. Every time I work in the South I start picking the accent back up. It’s so cozy to slip back into saying “Y’all” and put my mind into the thoughtfully slow southern pace.

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This project we recently photographed for OWP/P : Cannon Design was one of the smaller ones we’ve done.  Though the footprint wasn’t huge, the designers layered the space with many detailed compositions of interesting materials and shapes.  It was the sort of project where you wanted to fuss over every element because you knew the richness was going to reward your efforts.  Every image was the result of lengthy discussions between architect, photographer and the architecture itself.

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