Saturday, February 21, 2009

UCF (University of Central Florida) Panoramas

With the wife being out of town this weekend I decided to hit the streets. I had a field day with my Kodak P850 around the UCF campus. The goal; to make a bunch of panoramas. My camera has been giving me all sorts of headaches and i'm convinced it is nearing the end of its life. I'm disappointed because the camera seemed to be good at first. I had to take it to Best Buy once during the first year because it started turning off by itself. Now a days, both the evf and lcd displays flake out randomly, and by flake out I mean go completely black or white depending on the amount of brightness in the field of view. Every few minutes I have to play with the zoom in order to get the displays to even show up. It's a pain and I haven't even had the camera more than two years. Amidst all the fighting with it, I ended up taking some reasonably good shots around campus. An added bonus was the absolutely amazing weather we have today! Oh, for the record, all the photos here were taken with the camera mounted on my tripod.

I started off entering campus and driving through the parking garage closest to the education building. I went all the way to the top and thought I would start by taking some shots around the outside edge of the parking garage. If I were to start, I would have had to go all the way around (since i'm ambitious)... but since i'm lazy I decided to just take one of the garage itself as it looks from the interior. All together there was a total of 19 shots.

This was my first experience using a tripod to create a panorama. I learned a few lessons along the way. For the other panoramas i've taken I simply held the camera in my hands and used myself as the tripod. All in all the tripod was a great idea, just a pain to carry it around everywhere, not to mention my tiny camera doesn't really Look right on such a large tripod. Seeing that it was roughly 50 degrees outside here in Florida, the next stop was appropriately Starbucks. Of course, I was too excited about taking more shots, so I didn't grab any caffein. Although, just typing about it makes me Crraavveee one. Total shots here was 13.

I then took a stroll to the UCF Student Union, looking for good spots. It looks like they are having elections coming up, so there were banners and tents all over the place outside the front. There were also quite a few people walking by. It didn't seem like a good spot, so I decided to take a stroll behind the union, where there were less people and other things. This series was made up of 14 shots.

Campus is huge and I wanted to take a shot or two near the towers, so I started walking back to my car. I made a quick stop between the administration and education buildings and centered my shot on the Teaching Academy building.

Then I hit decided to hit the car and drive to the towers side of campus. That was a pain, since I left my car on the top of the parking garage (dumb idea). So, drive I went to the other side of campus with the windows down. The towers side of campus is full of parking meters and I wasn't sure if I had to pay or not on the weekends. I asked a lady in an SUV and she said 'probably'. I decided to park in a visible spot and not pay, just in case I didn't have to :-) There's this flat median-like area in the street that is most likely meant for students to gather on when trying to make the leap of faith across the street during busy days. It was an excellent spot to set up camera and start snapping, so I did; all 14 shots worth.

All together it was a reasonably productive outing. I learned a bit more about my camera, using a tripod in different places and enjoying the great out doors. Before leaving campus, I had to make one last stop, Lake Claire. There was a family out in the picnic area on the west side of the lot, so I decided not to point my camera in that direction. They were playing some game where you throw these colored balls into the sand... it was strange, i'd never seen anyone playing it before. I should have asked what it was all about but I didn't. Instead I took 17 shots of good ole nature.


There were two other groups of images that I did not show here; one set on the first floor of the library and one of a line of vending machines near the starbucks. Both were failed attempts in stitching but were definitely good learning experiences.

If you're interested in obtaining higher resolution versions of any of these images go to my homepage joevial and click on panoramas. Blogspot has a limit on the amount of data that can be uploaded per blog, so I host them up separately.

Enjoy!

3 comments:

Skyqueen said...

These are really good. You must have been on campus pretty early to have it so quiet. I really like that there are no cars in the lots or people in the scenes. Sorry to hear about your camera though. If nothing more you got one last bang out of it.

Joseph Armbruster said...

Campus seems pretty laid back for most of the early afternoon. I wanted to take a shot from inside the union, from the center where the pegasus is looking out but there were lots of people in there... some type of conference or something was going on.

Scott Johnson said...

Wow! Awesome panoramas!
Thank you for stopping by and letting me know about them. I will check back to see the pegasus.

Scott
Orlando Daily Photo