enjoyed the “ice cream social” with the engineers. Free ice cream is good no matter where it comes from.

Only 36 Hours Left to Vote!

The Belle of Louisville by Chris Thompson 2 Stadiums, 1 City by Chris Thompson Buckeye Falls by Chris Thompson Pumpkin Patch by Chris Thompson

There are only 36 hours left to vote for my photos in the Capture Cincinnati contest. I have a few that have a good shot at being included and maybe even winning a prize. I’d really appreciate it if you would take a look and vote for any you like. I’ve added a few over the last couple of days, so if you’ve already visited and voted it’s worth another look. Thanks to everyone who’s already voted!

My wife Amy also has some photos that are doing well in the contest. Be sure to check hers out as well!

New Photo Contest

Capture Cincinnati

The folks at CIN Weekly have launched a new online photo contest called Capture Cincinnati. The goal is to eventually turn the best images into a book. It looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. There are already a bunch of great photos in their galleries. They’re really easy to import, too,  if you’re a Flickr user because they support the Flickr API.

I’d love it if you’d check out my photos and vote for a few! Be sure to submit your own as well, because everyone who submits gets a discount on the book and they get included on the accompanying DVD.

Pandora is finally on Facebook

Pandora LogoPandora has finally made it to Facebook. Their app is well thought out. They provide a list of your stations that people can play directly from your profile page, a list of your favorite artists and your bookmarked songs.

The app seems to be fast and intuitively laid out. It allows you to invite friends, but it doesn’t force you like many apps do now. If I want to spam my friends, it won’t be for someone else’s app! With Pandora’s already established user base this one should grow very quickly.

I’ve been waiting for this to make it to Facebook because I use Pandora for about 9 hours out of every day. My Quickmix is filled with songs from my favorite artists and artists that have similar musical styles. It always seems to pick up on songs that I like with very little prodding from me. It matches songs based on musical styles through the music genome project rather than by genre or artist. I’ve found out that I like a few older Johnny Cash songs. Who knew? I never would have picked those out and said “Oh, I’d like to hear some of that,” but it matches the style of some other songs I like and fits perfectly into my station.

Train Collides with Car. Somehow CNN thinks it’s the train’s fault.

In my favorite boneheaded CNN article of the day they try to blame Amtrak for a collision that killed four people. Here’s the quote from the last paragraph of the story:

It was not immediately known how fast the train was going or what caused the accident. The authorized speed for that area is 79 mph.

I can tell you exactly what caused the accident, Captain Obvious; in fact, it’s in the third paragraph of the story:

The car drove around the crossing gate, witnesses said.

Come on. How is it Amtrak’s fault that some idiot drove around the crossing gates? Why is it that every time we see a story about a train colliding with a car, it’s the fault of the big, bad train?

It’s simple physics, folks; trains are really heavy and they move really fast. They simply can’t slam on the brakes and come to a stop before hitting some numbskull who’s decided to play a game of chicken with his entire family.

Photo by Puddles

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Found Panorama

This should be viewed large and on black. Or, even better, at original size.

This is a panorama I took several years ago when I visited the Galapagos Islands with my sister. I rediscovered the makings of the pano last night while cleaning up some files; I had completely forgotten about taking this.

At the time I think I knew I was in a place that would make a beautiful pano, but I had neither the knowledge or the software to do it properly. Today I’ve at least got the software :). I’m really pleased with the way it turned out for a handheld, point and shoot, automatic exposure panorama.

I remember making my sister get out of the way as I was taking each shot, but now that I look back on it, I wish I had included her. There are so many other people in the shot, what would one more have hurt? It would have been great to have her there, since just about all of our shipmates are captured here.

This was taken on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos, just after we met this guy:

Galapagos Land Iguana (by ChrisIrmo)

UPDATE: I think my memory from five years ago failed me. It looks like you can see my sister. She’s sitting on a yellow towel and drinking from a bottle of water almost dead center in the picture.

Cincinnati Zoo

Yesterday we took a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo. My parents are in town and we wanted them to see it since it’s so much bigger than the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. It was also Ava’s first trip to the zoo. She seemed to actually look at a few of the animals (when she wasn’t asleep in the carrier). I think she especially liked the Manatee Springs building, because the manatees and fish get pretty close to you.

I had forgotten how comfortable the zoo is, even on a 90º degree day; most of it is mercifully in the shade. And for a $7 day, there were far fewer people there than I had expected.

Photo by ChrisIrmo

Mr. Roebling’s Bridge

I took this shot Sunday just before the fireworks started. It’s made up of 42 images stitched together. This is really pretty close to how it looked when I was there. The sky was beautiful and the lighting on the bridge was – as always – wonderful.

If you’re not familiar with the bridges of Cincinnati (all 7 of them), this is the Roebling Suspension Bridge. It was designed and built by John A. Roebling and is often considered the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge. You can see that they have some similar styling cues. It’s still in use; in fact, it has recently reopened after an extensive refurbishing.

Photo by ChrisIrmo

Happy 4th of July!

I went out and shot a few more fireworks last night. I think that should be enough to hold me over for a while!

I’m looking forward to a nice, relaxing day off and spending some time with Ava. I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well.

Photo by ChrisIrmo

And the rocket’s red glare

Last night I went out and shot the fireworks for Cincinnati’s All American Birthday Party. I scouted out the location a few hours in advance and picked the perfect spot to shoot from, but it was all for naught because they shot the fireworks from a different spot than usual. I had to think on my feet and make a quick move because the fireworks ended up directly behind the bridge support.

I was surprised at how few people were there last night. I’m used to the atmosphere from the WEBN Labor Day fireworks, where there’s not a single unoccupied stretch of land or water for miles up and down the river. Last night I saw probably 15 or 20 people on the Covington side of the river, and the Sawyer Point area didn’t look too much busier. Too bad, because they missed a great show!

I also took a few shots to create a sunset panorama (or two), but it’ll take me a few days to process those shots. I’ll post them once they’re done.

Photo by ChrisIrmo