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Write Softly and Carry a Small Canon

Updated on August 10, 2014
Composite photo of a block-long strip mall
Composite photo of a block-long strip mall

I am sitting here, staring at the computer keyboard on the desk, just wondering if I can last another hour-and-a-half until the first pre-season football game shows up on my old TV. I am ready for it, but, is it ready for me?

I Owe You

In the meantime it occurred to me that I owe a “Hub debt” to my many Hubber friends – I took a long vacation from writing any new posts. I've been reading plenty of your writings, but just doing that and enjoying what I was reading was not enough. Yes. I owe you some Hubs. I do not have any really super pieces in mind, but that is because my mind is rapidly becoming the mind of a really old Redneck. Lord knows, the really old ones are the forgettingest. I began remembering my duty here again several weeks ago. I will try to do better by you.

Be Prepared (for as much fun as possible)

Tell you a secret that is probably not any kind of secret to anyone who knows me. As I have somehow managed to do throughout a long and fun-filled life, I pretty much do whatever I feel like doing as I bounce around from one thing to another. Don't get me wrong, now. I try to be prepared for stuff that may come along, but planning is not my big thing.

Photo Nuts Don't Grow on Trees

For that reason, knowing that I have fun making photographs, and knowing that I like to wander down streets and pathways new to my wandering, I hook my "antique" Canon point-and-shoot digital camera (old like me) onto my belt before going out the door. That way, when something interesting shows up, I can make photographs of it. When I finally get back home and again at my crowded desk, into the computer can go the images, there to wait for me to do something halfway useful with them.

Gotta Have Some Clouds in the Pix

The photograph at the top of this Hub is of a block-long strip mall I came across on a street that was new to me, as was the strip mall itself. There was nothing all that great about the mall building, but the clouds floating around above the place were really attractive – maybe that's a good word for happy-looking clouds.

Shooting a Mall with a Canon

So off my belt came the Canon and I began to shoot it at the strip mall and the mall's cover of clouds. Because I made the photo exposures from directly across the street, 100 feet or so from that long, long building, I aimed the camera first at one end of the scene and progressed the camera's aim to the other end, making six individual images along the way to take in all of the place.

Fitting Six Foot Photos into a Tiny Camera

Once the images were inside the computer here, they were stitched together, end to end, using one of the several (free) panorama programs I like to use. The result was the long, skinny picture up on top of this Hub. I do not intend to make a photo print of this “pano” picture, but if I did, it would be six feet long and one foot high. Because the color printer here is a wee small thing, I'd have to make the printout on individual printer papers and then carefully glue each sheet together, end to end, probably using double-sided sticky tape. Either that or off to the local image print shop to have a one-piece six-footer printout made for around 50 bucks or so. I'd go broke in a hurry doing things like that.

Where'd That Truck Come From?

Where'd that ugly truck come from? This single photo was replaced without the truck, but it shows the size and scope of the individual photos that made up the whole composite, above.
Where'd that ugly truck come from? This single photo was replaced without the truck, but it shows the size and scope of the individual photos that made up the whole composite, above.

The second photograph is one of the individual shots shot of a section of the whole scene. In this picture a big, ugly truck is rumbling down the street. I should have held off on clicking the camera shutter until after the truck was long gone, but I was not paying enough attention to what was happening on the street in front of the mall. That truck sneaked on in. So I waited until it was gone and simply shot another picture. Was I in some kind of hurry? I'd really like to see that happen. (What? Me hurry?)

TV or Not TV? That is the Question

I have not made a video of this scene, but they are not hard to produce. You simply run the individual shots through a video simulation program (also free). You can manipulate each photo in the series such that there appears to be a lot of “motion” in the scene. Pretty sneaky, right?

Move Over Teddy Roosevelt – THIS ONE is GusTheRedneck's Doctrine

There you have the Hub about my advice to write softly and carry a small Canon. You know something? If everyone did that, there would probably be far fewer wars and other untoward things going on in our crazy world. Strip malls and pretty clouds – much better than wars and crazy stuff.

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References: (photo stitching with “ICE”) and (suggested video simulation with “PhotoFilmStrip”)

"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." Theodore Roosevelt to Henry Sprague, 1900

Source of images: GusTheRedneck

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Added via a next-day re-edit

Well, I got to watch my first of the four pre-season football games. It showed up on our TV right after I posted this article on Saturday. I almost wish that I had not watched it. "My" team stunk up the stadium, losing their first game under the new coach by the score, 32 to zero. Must be that they ran timidly and did not carry a football. What do you think?



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