Monday, August 25, 2008

This Week's Alaskan Panorama is...

...The Alaska State Fair.

This panorama was stitched together from a seven shots taken in the central intersection of the Palmer Fair Grounds.

I learned something - making panorama's from pictures that have a lot of people in them is a huge, huge, pain in the ass. Hell, taking the pictures is a pain - see that old guy on the left hand side, near the light pole? That bastard deliberately stepped in front of me, and kept stepping in front of me, no matter where I pointed the lens. And he kept doing things like sticking his finger in his nose, or making dumbassed gestures. If he was eight years old, maybe I could understand it. But in this case I'm not sure what his problem was exactly, other than just being an asshole. He's lucky he didn't end up capping his fair visit off with a ride in an ambulance chopper, because he was seriously pissing me off.

Here's another pan, facing in the opposite direction:

Both pans swing through about 200 degree azimuth, and I had a hell of a time stitching them together. I removed a few jarring duplications, but eventually got bored and frustrated with the process. So, there are a number of dupes in each pan, and I didn't fix the shadow orientation. And there are a couple of obvious photoshop errors - I mention this only because I know that at least one of you is just a tad anal about such things. Heh. Overall, I think they give you the general idea of the event.

We were worried that the fair would be a bust this year, with the crappy weather and the high gas prices (And yes, the gas prices here are higher than anywhere else in the nation, including southern California, by about 70 cents. Why? Because our governor pushed to get Alaskans an energy check from the state's oil fund - which the oil companies seem to think somehow belongs to them, as if they haven't been screwing us for the last year already - as soon as the bill passed gas prices jumped up twenty cents and haven't budged since, despite declining prices everywhere else. Attention Exxon, Shell, Atlantic Richfield, and Chevron, you are nothing but utter fucking scum sucking bottom feeders, you bastards), but despite all of that the fair was seriously crowded and we had a good time anyway.

And yes, for those of you wondering how I faired in the judging, I did win a few ribbons. I entered five pieces in the wood turning category and ended up with a 1st Premium, 2nd Premium, 3rd Premium, and two honorable mentions. So, you know, I'm just a little tickled, especially since the competition was extremely well done and I would have been happy just to have been considered to be in the same class with them. Some of those guys are professionals with years of experience and their work is absolutely outstanding - and yet they were extremely gracious to a newcomer like me and complimentary of my work. Nice people, really.

So, despite the rain, the jerk that kept stepping in front of my camera, and the bastards at Exxon it was a good day.


  1. Why is it some people do that, just like when the news camera is out on the street, some idiot has to stand right behind the reporter, making faces and flashing some kind of "I'm a fucktard" sign at the camera, making noises, when people do that, it should be legal for reporters and camera operators to take a stick and beat them down (on the other hand, quite often the reporters and cameramen need a good smackdown for sticking a mic and lense is someone whos world just fell apart's face).

  2. Personally, I think it should be legal to hose those people down with a fire extinguisher on camera in the background - with the reporter acting like nothing is happening.

  3. How about some pictures of the winning pieces, you asshole?

    Christ, I have to think of everything around here!

  4. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ya big redheaded baby.

    I've got to download them from Beastly's camera. I'll get to it.

    Sooner or later.


  5. Excuses, excuses.

    And the oil companies are vindictive bastards? Quel surprise.

  6. Oh, no, Steve, you took that wrong. What I meant to say is that the Big Oil companies here in Alaska are all sweetness and light, and I'm sure that they need the money they're bleeding out of us to feed the orphan kittens and sad little puppies.

    In fact, they need it so bad, that yesterday when gas prices fell 3 cents across the nation, Shell raised their prices here by a penny. And we Alaskans are happy, just plain joyous, to carry the burden. Happy. Just fucking overjoyed, so to speak. In fact I'm happily shoving shells into the shotgun right now...

  7. Light, sweet, and crude, that's the oil companies in Alaska.

    Sad puppies. Aw. Won't anybody think of all the sad puppies?


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