Saturday, August 10, 2013

some signs of industry and economic growth and a trip to a spiffy mcdonalds for desert

Dr Phillips Art Center construction

Dr Phillips Art Center construction

Hotel construction near Universal Studios, Turkey Lake Road

I've been running around like crazy today in preparation for a trip starting next Monday. One of my multitudinous errands was to take the Prius in for one of its 5,000 mile maintenance checks. I dropped it off and then went back later in the day to pick it up.

On the way back from picking up the Prius I stopped off at several major construction sites along the way home that have been in operation for some time in Orlando. When I say for some time, I'm talking about a year or longer. These aren't the only sites; many sites are operating at least six/days week, and the Dr Phillips Art Center has been running sever days/week. All of this ongoing construction would seem to indicate the start of an economic expansion cycle here in Orlando.

Spiffy McDonald's, West Sand Lake Road and Turkey Lake Road
One of life's little pleasures is to go out after supper and eat frozen yogurt, especially on a hot August evening where the temperature is still in the upper 80s. Our favorite frozen yogurt place was TCBY until the two nearest stores closed. Now in their places are these boutique frozen yogurt stores that sell oddly flavored and expensive frozen yogurt. We've tried a few of them but after the first one or two visits we never went back. We just couldn't afford them.

And then my wife got the bright idea to try McDonald's frozen yogurt. We drove down to the spiffy McDonald's on West Sand Lake, one of the only McDonald's I know of that do not have a children's play area, and ordered two vanilla frozen yogurt cones for $1.59 each. They were reasonably sized and a good deal cheaper than the boutique places in the same area.

While I was standing waiting for my order to be filled I suddenly felt sorry for the crew working the store. This particular store is rather large, and there was a steady stream of customer's flowing in and out, foreign tourists placing rather large orders. These folks behind the counter were really stretched thin between the inside customers and the drive-through. As I looked out into the dining area I saw piles of trash left behind by our tourist guests. Too many tourists coming out of the state (and out of the country) to Florida expect us Floridians to clean up after them. We don't mind if you come to visit, we certainly need the business that tourism brings, but it wouldn't kill you to clean up after yourselves, even something as simple as putting your trash into one of the many trash containers that line the walls and sit at the entrances. I don't know what the McDonald's crew feels, but I certainly get tired of it. We are far too dependent on tourism and the low paying jobs that come with it.

Technical

The first three photos were taken with the GX1 and 20mm while the last was taken with the E-M5 and Leica 25mm.

I learned something about the GX1 today. Its narrower exposure range coupled with the strong Florida sunlight produces files with clipped highlights and blocked up shadows, far more so than the E-M5. It's lack of an articulating screen makes it difficult to hold the camera at any other position than directly in front of you. I could have used the E-M5 at the Dr Phillips site for better files and positioning, and I could have used the 12-50mm for better composition.

Don't get me wrong, I've come love the GX1. The GX1 makes a great discrete little camera where the lighting range is narrower and softer and the setting more intimate. As they say the right tool for the right job. And you don't discover these little differences until you start to use them.

I also struggled with color balance on both cameras. The GX1 daylight photos have an odd warm cast to them, while the E-M5 McDonald's interior is struggling with the strong yellow (tungsten? sodium? too-warm LED?) light from the overhead fixtures. I did as much as I could in post, then left well enough alone.

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