Thursday, July 26, 2012

15 Things I Learned on my 2000 Mile Road Trip

Our son in the Army, Terry, is being transferred from Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington to Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma for tech school. Because it's 2000 miles (3218 KM) between the two bases I flew out to Tacoma and helped Terry make the drive. Our goal was to average 500 miles a day. Below are some random thoughts about things I learned/discovered along the way. In the image below each red pin represents a spot where at least one photo was taken. There's actually more than are shown but I couldn't zoom in any more and keep the entire route on the screen.

  1. Sitting in the middle seat of an airplane for 5 1/2 hours sucks. It does matter if you have the nicest people in the world sitting on either side of you it still sucks.
  2. A few of the states we drove through had 75 MPH (120 KPH) speed limits on the Interstate and that rules. We set the cruise control on 80 MPH (128 KPH) and just sat back and enjoyed the scenery as it whizzed by.
  3. I could not believe how wide open it is out west. There times when we'd travel for over and hour without seeing anything taller than the exit signs on the Interstate.
  4. Terry and I can go through some David brand sunflower seeds. That was our snack of choice between meal stops.
  5. It was odd seeing signs such as "Next exit 45 miles (72 KM)". Here in the South East exits are way more frequent than that.
  6. I brought my 45mm 1.8 lens and didn't use it once.
  7. I used the kit 12-50 lens and was wishing I had something even wider than 12mm. I will probably be buying either the Olympus 9-18 or Panasonic 7-14 lens at some point in the future.
  8. Tinted windows make a great polarizing filter but you have to watch out for reflections. In sever of the shots we took you can see parts of us reflected off of the window.
  9. My small Tamrac Travel pack 73 backpack continues to perform very well. It has gotten a lot of use in the short time I've owned it.
  10. This one is a biggie for me. I have been reading an eBook about shooting in the square format so I decided to shoot with my E-M5 using that aspect ratio rather than the standard 4:3 aspect ratio. I had mistakenly thought that when shooting with this aspect ratio and RAW format that the camera would record two images. The RAW one in 4:3 aspect ratio and a JPG in the 1:1 aspect ratio. WRONG! The aspect ratio is embedded in the EXIF data and programs such as Lightroom honor this data so your image that you thought would be in the 4:3 aspect ratio shows up in Lightroom as a 1:1 ratio. Which if you think about it Lightroom should honor the information in the EXIF data but it would be nice if there was an easy way to reset it.
  11. The first day Terry and I shot 130 images and all of them were recorded in the square format.
  12. Fortunately I have found a plug-in for Lightroom called DeAspect that allows you to take an image in an aspect ratio other than 4:3 and reset it to 4:3. This free plug-in has been a life saver for me!
  13. I had forgotten how hot it gets out west. I once lived in San Antonio, TX but have been out of that state since 1994. Holy cow the heat is intense. When we arrived in Oklahoma on Saturday it was 106 degrees (41C) out. When I left on Sunday it was 108 degrees (42C). It gets hot here but nothing like that!
  14. We were in Colorado on the Saturday that the shootings took place in Aurora. What a tragic event. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims involved.
  15. To sum things up as Visa may say in one of their commercials: One way ticket to Tacoma Washington - $365.00, Distance between Tacoma and Lawton - 2000 miles, 4 days on the road with your son - Priceless

I am going through the photos now and will post some soon.

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