Monday, August 27, 2018

Vacation Shoot - Mindee

On Friday, August 24, Mindee and I took a plane from Baltimore to Indianapolis where we set off on a three day long vacation. That vacation saw us hit up three different amusement parks and a cavern, before flying home from Louisville, Ky. It was an amazing time, with an amazing friend, and oh yeah... I brought my camera along!

Now before everyone thinks that Mindee and I came away with a dozen or more sets since we had three days, I need to calm everyone down. The focus on this trip was the amusement park and the 16 roller coasters we'd get to experience. Yes, I'm a complete coaster junkie and have been itching to get out to the parks in this region for years. While we were out that way, if we had time, we'd try to squeeze in some quick photos. If not, the camera would stay in my luggage.

After arriving in Indianapolis, we picked up our rental car and made our way downtown for a bit. Our amusement park for the first day was the smallest of the three. I knew we could afford to shoot some photos on this day, if any. 

In the days leading up to the trip I had spotted the Indianapolis Canal Walk on Google Earth and thought that it might supply us with a few spots to shoot. It did.

We parked right next to the canal and made our way down to the first spot. There was no one around, but Mindee brought up a good point. In about half an hour, people would be going to lunch and would surely be out and about. With that suggestion, we got underway.

Our first of two sets along the Indianapolis Canal Walk.

The first spot used was in front of a canal lock. The area was huge and there were benches, platforms, staircases, and a bridge that we could use. Slipping on her blue "Keep it Sassy" shirt (as Mindee does so well) and a matching pair of flip flops, we started shooting. We pretty much moved from spot to spot, shooting after people passed us by. At this time, that wasn't as often as our next set would be. Mindee turned out to be right with the lunchtime call.

We started this set on the right side of the canal and eventually ended up on the left side by the end. As we were concluding this set, the public was certainly out walking. Due to that reason, we skipped out on doing a clip.

Although you can't see many people in the background, lots of people walked past us here.

Bringing a change of clothes down with her, Mindee swapped out shirts and slipped on some flats. Mindee is infamous for her smelly flats from a set we did many years ago, so it was nice to see her in another pair here. We had our work cut out for us with the smaller shooting area and the amount of people walking by, but we made it work.

Starting off in the flats, Mindee posed on a bench just under a metal walk bridge. We wanted to shoot up on bridge itself, but it was closed for some repairs. Oh well, it made for a great background nonetheless. Just like our first set, we skipped out on the clip. After having the cops called on Esmerelda and I earlier this month (see blog: "Monday's Shoot - Esmerelda"), I just didn't want to draw major attention to ourselves, especially while out of state again.

With two sets in the books, it was time to eat. I made a little rule that we couldn't eat at any corporate-style places that you find in every town for the duration of our trip. Checking out Google for some highly rated places to get lunch, we found our spot and went and ate. We both got our fill before getting on the road to go to our first park.

After driving for about an hour and a half, we arrived to find the park practically empty. It was open, but there were only a few people parked on the lot. I was scared that they might not have all the rides running, but we lucked out in that regard. We managed to ride all the rides, most of them two, three, four times each and all very quickly. That's when I said to Mindee we should try and do some photos around the park. 

We were on the complete opposite end of the park from where our car was parked, so that's when I had the idea to try to do the set on my phone. I had been wondering how it would turn out and figured if I was ever in a pinch due to camera issues, or just wanting to do a spur of the moment set, now I'd know if it could be done. Mindee was going to be my guinea pig.

I'm always down for trying to get some photos in front of some roller coasters when I can.

We started the set right there at the back end of the park. One of the main coasters makes its way back to this area and then turns back around for its return to the platform. We shot some photos on one of the benches and then decided to get a little creative. We got onto the ferris wheel for the next few. I had done this back in 2005 with Precious, so I knew it could work. With the overcast above, I also knew I could shoot in pretty much any direction without worrying about the sun. This allowed me to get Mindee with her feet up on the center pole and the entire park in the background. 

After boarding, I had to time Mindee's poses to just a few photos on each trip around. On each rotation we were either too high up to see the park, or were down too low to where the ride attendants might have yelled at Mindee for having her feet up. If the ferris wheel was a clock, the region between 2 - 4 o'clock spot was what worked best. Once the ride ended, it was onto the area where I knew we'd get in some good shots - the bridge, which was also nearby.

This park had a long walk bridge coming off one of its parking lots. That parking lot appeared to be closed, but the walk bridge was not. With no one using it, we went out onto it for the rest of the set. We thought about trying a few in other places on the way back to the other side of the park, but it began to drizzle for a bit and then we decided to just ride some rides and get a bite to eat.

Overall, the camera on my phone did okay. I prefer my normal camera, obviously, but with some tinkering, I think I could make the phone a good backup. One thing I do need to look into is the aspect ratio. My camera images, when dropped down to 1920 pixels for its long side, result in 1280 pixels for the short side. The camera phone scales down to 1920 x 1080, which results in a narrower photo. It works well for the roller coaster photos, but I prefer the 1920x1280 scaled down from my Canon.

I have to thank Mindee for this set particularly, while we're here. After riding the swings, she was feeling a little under the weather. She said she felt better after we took a small break, but to still pull off the set was something I was thankful for. I loved the setting (naturally) and enjoyed testing out my camera phone with my most photographed model.

Day 2 of our trip saw us at another amusement park for the entirety of the day. The camera stayed in the car and I wasn't trying to shoot any photos while at this park. It was much to crowded. We enjoyed the rides and then made our way to Louisville that night for our final day.

On Day 3 we woke up early and headed out to one of the many caverns just over the Ohio River, back in Indiana. Our third park didn't open until 11 a.m., so we had some time to go do something else beforehand. Instead of photos, we picked the cave. I know, you're all bummed. Once that was done, it was back into Louisville for our last park and then onto the airport for our return home.

Even though this trip was never about the photos, it is always great to get in a few new sets with Mindee in some unique places. Having shot practically every kind of theme imaginable at this point, locations are something that we can really make use of. I was glad to get in a few while we were out riding some awesome coasters, going deep underground, and flying up so very high. Mindee truly is one of the best friends I have. I can't wait until our next adventure. We've had so many, why stop now?

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