Tom Curley Photography: Blog http://www.tom-curley.com/blog en-us (C) Tom Curley Photography tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) Thu, 03 Aug 2017 18:41:00 GMT Thu, 03 Aug 2017 18:41:00 GMT http://www.tom-curley.com/img/s/v-5/u6611774-o667535835-50.jpg Tom Curley Photography: Blog http://www.tom-curley.com/blog 90 120 A Day in New York City http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2017/8/a-day-in-new-york-city August 1. A beautiful sunny day in New York City. Jane and I took the train from White Plains to Grand Central Terminal with plans for dinner in Manhattan and a show in Brooklyn. Since we would be heading right to the show from dinner, I decided to leave the Lumix camera at home and shoot with just my iPhone7+. Not my usual style, but the results were satisfying. 

Jane used to work in a building on Vanderbilt Place next to Grand Central Terminal.  The building is gone and a huge hole in the ground exists with construction underway for what will be a spectacular new skyscraper taking up the entire city block to be called One Vanderbilt. Until it is built, there are some interesting cityscapes including a view of the Metlife and Chrysler buildings with Grand Central Terminal in the foreground. We popped into Jane's favorite department store, Lord & Taylor, but didn't purchase anything....

Neither of us had ever been inside the New York Public Library so we checked it out. The Rose Reading Room is spectacularly beautiful.

On to mid afternoon tea at the Algonquin Hotel. It is a favorite spot of ours for meeting people or just relaxing any time of day for coffee, tea, a beer or wine, or even a martini. Just a wonderful 'oasis'.  Pleased to see that Matilda the cat is back in the lobby, as she was not a year ago. I'm not much of a cat person, but this animal was quite majestic. 

Straight up Fifth Avenue, a lot of shops and a must include stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Beautifully restored outside and inside over the past few years. 

Onward to Rockefeller Center. Amazing architecture...the largest private building project ever undertaken in modern times. Jane and I found a sculpture above a lobby entrance that was just fantastic. We asked the building staff if there was a plaque describing it and he pointed out the name on the sculpture itself, which made of stainless steel and weighs 10 tons. It is called "News" and was commissioned by the Rockefeller foundation during the construction of the Center in 1940 to a Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi. The doorman agreed to pose for a photo in front of the sculpture.  

On to some shops on Fifth Avenue. Pretty spectacular to see it all. We checked out Uniqlo and Bergdorf-Goodman among other shops, then on to a wonderful dinner at QUALITY ITALIAN on 57th Street.

Bergdorf... what a head trip. Super overpriced everything. The childrens shoes were $350.

Then, the concert... the reason we came to NYC on this day.  London Grammar features the beautiful singing voice of Hannah Reid. We Ubered over to the venue, Brooklyn Steel, where we found a great position up front near the stage for this general admission show.  

The show was excellent and we really enjoyed the evening. Thanks for visiting my blog. It is great to get out and travel, even if the destination is only an hour away as is the case with NYC for us.  While it was only one day, we experienced a lot and hope to do it again soon. 

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) bergdorf center goodman grammar isamu london manhattan noguchi nyc onevanderbilt patricks rockefeller st. uniqlo http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2017/8/a-day-in-new-york-city Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:57:54 GMT
Vietnam Experience - Part Two http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2017/1/vietnam-experience-part-2 I traveled to Vietnam in December 2016 with Ralph Velasco's Photo Enrichment Adventures tour. I kept a diary along the way. This is Part Two of the blog post of the diary that includes the second week of the trip with some photos. See Part One which covers the first week of the trip
Saigon RainMid day bus ride from airport to hotel in District 1 Day 9:

After a wonderful time in Hoi An it was off to the airport for our flight to Ho Ch Min City, also known as Saigon. Here we were greeted by our local guide, Tiger, a young man who told us about the city, local culture and the many sites to see in Saigon.

Saigon High RiseBitexo bank building Modern SaigonLuxury hotel and private residence in city center Saigon

Several of us walked over to the Bitexco Financial Tower and visited the sky desk for an amazing view of the city at night
Saigon RooftopThe building that helicopters evacuated CIA personnel at the end of the war in 1975, made famous by the photo taken by Hubert Van Es Saigon EvacuationPhoto by Hubert Van Es - April 29, 1975
Days 10 & 11: With so many sites to see in Saigon, Tiger led us on a walking tour of District 1 which is essentially the hub of the city. First site that he showed us was the building in which the CIA occupied during the war which famously was photographed as evacuees boarded a helicopter on the roof (to be taken over to the nearly American embassy).


The Notre Dame cathedral built by the French, and the Post Office (designed by Gustaf Eiffel). Our bus drove around the former American Embassy (now the Consulate, as the current embassy was moved to Hanoi), then on to the War Artifacts Museum which is all about the 'American War' but mostly black and white photographs of Agent Orange victims. It was worth the visit and quite eye-opening.
Saigon is an enormous city. Modern and bustling, but still with the thousands of ubiquitous scooters clogging the roads and clogging the sidewalks where they are parked.

Saigon Canal Slum FamilyAlong a narrow and trash filled canal, families live in inner city primitive conditions, yet appear happy and content on the surface.
We took a boat ride on the main canal in the city and saw slums that were shocking and depressing. I photographed in black and white the entire day, as an exercise of creativity with the camera but also in homage to the war photographers of 50 years ago who had Plus X and Tri X as their medium.
We stopped in at the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon for a cocktail on the rooftop bar. News correspondents stayed there during the war.

Notre Dame Cathedral Nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn - 1880s Catholic cathedral built with French bricks & featuring 58m-tall Romanesque bell towers. Saigon Central Post OfficeSaigon. LunchSaigon Street Food Vendor


The next day we continued our exploration of the city by visiting Chou Loon Market, a neighborhood of Chinese merchants selling spices and all sorts of fresh and packaged goods. Lots of opportunities for photos. We also stopped in at the Thien Hau temple which had giant urns of burning incense.
Nut LadyWholesale market
Day 12:

We are off to Can Tho by bus, a couple hours to the south in the heart of the Mekong River Delta. Along the way we took a boat ride for lunch and checked out a market in Cái Bè. On to Can Tho, a touristy town with casinos, restaurants and river boats for dinner cruises. We rested and went to bed early in preparation for an early morning excursion.
Rice Cake MakersFactory tour for tourists to see how food items are made. Tour BusOur 26 passenger busses were great, as ten of us each had our own windows.
Day 13:
Just before sunrise we walked to a river boat to head for the Cai Rang floating market, one of the most famous floating markets in the Mekong Delta.

Early Morning Ride to Cai Rang Melon LadiesCai Rang Floating Market

Floating BodegaThis couple had a small boated displaying a great variety of items that you would typically see at a small supermarket. Everything is for sale. A Life on the WaterWife of boat owner who transported vistors to the Cai Rang Floating Market. This woman offered custom finger and toe nail painting also sold quite nice locally made jewelry at very affordable prices. Cai Rang MerchantFloating market in Mekong river delta.

"The vendors here specialize in selling fruits and agricultural products from the whole region. During the early morning market hours, larger sized boats anchor and create lanes that smaller boats weave in and out of. The waterway becomes a maze of hundreds of boats packed with mangos, bananas, papayas, pineapples, and even smuggled goods like cigarettes. Sellers don’t have to cry out to let passers-by know about their goods because what they sell can be seen from a distance, and their cries would not be heard in the vastness of the river anyway, especially with the noise of boat engines. Instead sellers tie their goods to a tall pole so that buyers can see from a distance what they specialize in. Small boats that sell beer, wine, coffee and soft drinks maneuver among the other boats to serve market-goers and visitors alike."  - description courtesy of Photo Enrichment Adventures http://photoenrichment.com/

I captured a lot of 4K video that I hope to have edited and shared soon. It was definitely one of the best sites to photograph of the entire trip. It was back to Saigon for a gathering to share some photos with each other as Ralph shared some critique comments with the images projected on a screen, then a farewell dinner with the group.

Day 14: Departure day. My flight was via Cathay Pacific airline to Hong Kong where I spent 8 hours in the airport there (the airline club was very comfortable) then on to JFK via Vancouver. A very comfortable and non-eventful flight. Gotta love Business Class. The end of a wonderful trip that really opened my eyes to a wonderful country and an exotic part of the world. I hope to return soon.

 

Thank you for stopping by to look at my pictures. I'm editing some 4K video and will share that content soon.  Also, look for my blog post, 10 Things I learned about Vietnam that surprised me or otherwise didn't know, coming soon. 

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) Hanoi lumix photoenrichment vietnam http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2017/1/vietnam-experience-part-2 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 05:58:43 GMT
Vietnam Experience - Part One http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2017/1/vietnam-experience I traveled to Vietnam in December 2016 with Ralph Velasco's Photo Enrichment Adventures tour. I kept a diary along the way. This is that diary with a few pictures.  Here is week one of the two week trip. See part two for the second week. 

Rice field workersWe stopped at a rest stop along the highway to wave to these ladies and take some pictures. This image is cropped from a full size image to panorama format. Lumix G85 with 35-100mm f/3.5-5.6

November 26, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday
Travel day from home. Jane and James drive me to JFK Terminal 1. Checked in at JAL desk, agent offered to move me to a window seat. I went to TSA line and after a few minutes the Japanese woman JAL agent came over and asked to see my Vietnam visa papers. She had forgot to ask earlier, and was relieved that she caught me. The lounge at this terminal is run by Air France. Grabbed a Nespresso coffee and hung for about an hour.
Japan Airlines MealBusiness class JFK to TOK. The JAL crane was a nice touch
Flight to Narita on a Boeing 777. Most of the 36 seats in Business Class were empty. Perhaps a dozen seats occupied. I watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain about Okinawa, Japan, a documentary about Chinese Pandas and Wolong Reserve, and a couple of movies. For the meal, I chose traditional Japanese. it was delicious. Flight map showed that most of our path was across the northern parts of Canada and the Alaska, hopping over the Aleutian Islands.

At Narita, checked in to the Sakura Lounge, same one I had visited in 2014. Got a message via Messenger from Chris Payant who was to meet me here as we are on the same next flight. Turns out that there are three (or more) Sakura Lounges at Narita and it took us an hour to rendezvous at a lounge near our gate. Quick glass of wine as we got acquainted and off to the gate.
TOK to HANSecond leg of trip to Hanoi, flying directly over Shanghai, China. 5-1/2 hour flight.
Same type of aircraft on the flight to Hanoi. Map video showed that we flew right across China, from Shanghai to the south on a bead towards northern Vietnam. Traditional meal was a delicious Steak with a little glass of red Bordeaux.
HAN ImmigrationWaiting for visa
After a long wait at Hanoi airport to get our visas processed where we had to listen intently to a barely discernable local official reading names over a crackling loudspeaker, we met our driver at HAN airport and drive to hotel, getting into the room just after midnight. E Central Hotel, part of the Elegance Hospitality Group. Very nice room with all the amenities. Fourth floor overlooking the street. Got some good sleep and awoken by a rooster (which faithfully sounded each morning thereafter). Seemed odd to hear a rooster in a big crowded city but that sort of set the tone that I was in a very different place. 
Hanoi BeeriPhone 7+ Portrait Mode Friendly Bellman in HanoiLas Seista hotel, location of restaurant and part of the Elegance Hotel group
Day 1:
The next morning, still ahead of our group, Chris and I headed out to explore the local neighborhood of Old Hanoi. We walked around Sword Lake which was packed with families, bridal parties, youth groups,.... all out enjoying the weather. The city closes off off the streets surrounding the lake. We stopped for a coffee after a couple of hours, then back to the hotel to meet the group for our Meet & Greet with Ralph and the other attendees. After an hour meeting we headed over to the Red Bean restaurant at the La Siesta hotel, which is also part of the Elegance Group of hotels. Tried a Hanoi Beer with dinner which was a multi course prix fixe of delicious plates.
Turtle ShrineLocated in the temple on the island in the lake. Morning StretchesAn elderly man doing his morning exercises in Hanoi.
Day 2:

Off early (700am) with the group to photograph around Sword Lake again. Walked across the temple bridge to Ngoc Son Temple on the island. Giant Turtle sculpture inside a glass case, a beautiful shrine with incense burning and store bought biscuits still in the retail packages offered up on the alter. Lots of people doing Tai Chi exercises. The group then headed over to the open air food market, where shops sell fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, etc. Narrow streets with activity on both sides. Motor bikes whizzing by... tried some slow exposure speed pans to get background blur effect. We walked over to a century old temple with beautiful yellow paper lanterns hung, and caged birds. Next, we all hopped in cyclos.... which are the pedicabs... for a ride through Old Town. About 45 minutes of exploring the sites, captured a timelapse on the iPhone. Stopped at Ying & Yang restaurant for another meal with various dishes of traditional Vietnam cooking. (This all just a warm up for the foodie tour to come in a few days). After lunch, free time so I found a hotel nearby that had a spa for a massage. I asked for something other than a Swedish or Shiatsu, which the said were both 'medium', and I opted for a Thai massage. 60 minutes of the masseuse digging his elbow into my spine up and down... very intense to say the least but one of the best massages I've ever had. Cost was $16.
Sacred BridgeBridge to temple on Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi
The group met up at 430pm to head back over the the lake one more time, this time to photograph the bridge to the temple island. It is lit with red lights at night so we positioned ourselves along the lake to prepare for some long exposures. After a couple of hours, we wrapped up and grabbed a beer at the beer hall that overlooks the traffic intersection that William had told me about. We did some time lapse and long exposures for fun. My time lapse was not ideal due to a focus issue (failure on my part) so will have to try again next I am here.

Day 3:
Checked out of hotel, grabbed breakfast and boarded our bus to Ha Long Bay. Our guide, Steve, provided an excellent lecture on the bus about the country's history, culture, growth and outlook. Since the end of the war, the transition from a communist country where the government owned everything (i. e., the farmer's rice) to individual ownership and privatization, and two baby booms (one right after the war, and one happening now) in which the population has doubled from 50 million to 100 million today, there are so many fascinating aspects of this country.

Interesting rest stop half way to Ha Long Bay. Big factory type building with various trinkets and statues for sale. Busses dump off the tourists at one end of the building and told to meet their bus at the other end. I purchased a small lacquer box and a snack.
StateroomOnboard the Annam Junk on Ha Long Bay, each guest is provided a private stateroom with private bath. Halong Bay MajestyEarly morning activity in Halong Bay.
We arrived at Ha Long Bay (The Bay of the Rising Dragon) at noon and boarded our boat, the Annan Junk. Each site has a double bed and private bath. Very nice.

Touring Ha Long Bay: breathtaking views of the towering islands, unlike anywhere I've ever seen.
After about an hour or so of cruising, we stopped to board a flat skiff to enter a grotto which was basically a small hole in the side of a mountain. along the shore of the entrance little grey monkeys were skittering at the water's edge . The boat driver, standing on the back wires long paddles, guided us through the hole in the mountain to an inlet that looked like a lake surrounded by steep cliffs. We were essentially inside the donut hole of the island. A very magical place indeed. We boarded our tender and headed back to the junk, where we relaxed until dinner. The chef gave a lesson in making spring rolls which we each did and ate as appetizers. Dinner was served, which consisted of many dishes of traditional foods, mostly seafood. After dinner we listened to music from Ralph's iPhone and talked until bedtime.
GrottoInside the lake-like grotto accessible by a single cut in the rock walls that surround it. MacaqueMonkeys along the shore are non-indigenous macaques.
Day 4:
I enthusiastically joined the morning Tai Chi exercises, led by the chef, on the top deck of the boat at 630am. We photographed the scene around us with the rising sun. After breakfast we headed over to Titop Island and climbed the 420 steps to the top of the mountain for a fantastic 360 degree view of Ha Long Bay. This wrapped up a spectacular 24 hours in Ha Long Bay, and we headed back to Hanoi, stopping at the same statue factory that we had visited the day before for Pho lunch and some more shopping.
Snake Winevietnamese snake wine, along with the superstitious and tourist attention getting appeal of a cobra AND a scorpion inside the bottle, is more like strong vodka made from rice.
Jeff bought a bottle of vodka that had a giant scorpion AND a cobra snake inside it for twenty five dollars.
Hanoi Street FoodA woman cooks up street food on the sidewalk in Hanoi city Street Food MerchantThis merchant served hand made spring rolls from his kitchen on a bicycle. Hanoi Foodie TourTasted many dishes on a three-hour foodie tour in Hanoi
Back in Hanoi: Checked into our hotel and rested for the afternoon before heading out on a foodie tour with our host Miss Cherry, a young lady who specializes in leading such tours. We walked to about eight restaurants (I lost count), each of whom were waiting for us and we tasted many different kinds of cuisine. Virtually stuffed by the end of the evening but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Ho Chi Min mausaleumHanoi, Vietnam
Day 5:

Today we embarked on a sightseeing tour of Hanoi by private motor coach (Ralph arranged for a bus that seats 26 for our group of ten for the entire time in Hanoi. Everyone had a window seat)
First stop was Ho Chi Min's mausoleum, an enormous complex with guards in impressive white uniforms standing guard. We did not enter the tomb but did witness the changing of the group guards and captured it in video. We moved around to the other side of the complex to visit the One Pillar Pagoda, sampling some fresh cut Jack Fruit while there. We then moved on to a beautiful complex of gardens, ponds and buildings with statues and alters.
Golden TurtleSymbolizing wisdom. Citroens in HanoiOutside the Sofitel Hotel.
Here we saw another giant tortoise in a glass case, this one covered in gleaming gold.
In the evening a group of five of us walked over to the Sofitel for a cocktail, then I left the group for a late dinner in the Old Quarter to experience Bun Cha for the first time.

This is the meal that Anthony dined on with Barack last year IN Hanoi. It was as good as I had dreamed it would be but didn't come close to finishing it. Entire meal was 60,000 dong, which is less than three dollars.
Da Nang AirportDuring the war, this was the busiest airport in the world with all of the take offs and landings of US military aircraft. FishermanUsing hand casted nets, fishing the river deltas of Vietnam.
Days 6, 7 and 8:

Leaving Hanoi hotel, we transferred by bus to the airport for a flight to Da Nang. It is said that during the 'American War', Da Nang was the busiest airport in the world with all of the take offs and landings of military aircraft. Today, it is a modern international airport. Along our bus ride to Hoi An, about an hour away, we stopped at China Beach, it was so named by the American forces who found pieces of pottery (china) in the sand when they first visited.
We checked into the Vingh Sun resort in Hoi An just before some heavy rain started. By the next day the river started rising but not before we got a morning of great shooting at the 'wet market' (mostly seafood, and also produce). Hoi An is a beautiful town, known as the city of lanterns, and we visited many attractions including: Japanese Bridge, a boat ride to watch fishermen cast nets, a bike ride into small villages along the waterways, and lunch at a place made famous by Anthony Bourdain as having the best Banh Mi sandwiches, a wonderful combination of fresh ingredients inside a perfectly fresh French style baguette. Crispy on the outside; soft and fresh on the inside.
Hoi An FloodAlongside the river, Hoi An's shopping district is vulnerable to flooding during the wet season. Miss MelindaCustomer service representative at tailor shop in Hoi An, Vietnam
By the second evening in Hoi An the waters had risen so high that the streets were flooded and we had no choice but to stay at the resort for dinner. We sat at the outside bar as the river rose nearly to our bar stool legs.  While in Hoi An we visited Yaly Couture, one of many custom tailor shops where they make suits to order. The service was spectacular and the technology (including a full body laser scan) used to measure, fit, and adjust, along with an army of tailors on the floors above the street level shop, allows them to make a totally custom suit from scratch and deliver it the next day. My personal representative was Melinda who helped me pick out the material, browse online to a suit on brooksbrothers.com that I wanted, and they made and delivered it the next day for a fraction of what it would have cost me at Brooks Brothers in the states.
Casting the NetFishing net demonstration captured in 4K Photo. Lumix G85
We spent a day exploring the area by bicycle, and also out on the river to watch a demonstration of fishing using a hand cast net. Although this was staged just for us tourists, the fisherman did catch a few fish... he had his dinner and we got some great photos. I used the 4K Photo feature in my Lumix to capture just the right moment that I wanted. 
Boats in Hoi AnBoats in Hoi AnBoats with eyes on the rising river waters in Hoi An, Vietnam
In Vietnam, all of the boats on the water have two eyes painted on the bow. We were told that it is such so as to ward off the evil spirits in the water.

 

In Part Two, we head to Saigon and the Mekong Delta.  Also coming soon, a post about the 10 Things I learned about Vietnam that surprised me or otherwise didn't know.


 

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) Hanoi lumix photoenrichment vietnam http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2017/1/vietnam-experience Sun, 15 Jan 2017 03:55:28 GMT
Hanoi Market Lady http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2016/12/hanoi-market-lady Produce Market LadyProduce Market LadyHanoi, Vietnam

surrounded by fresh vegetables, this woman seemed to not mind having her photo taken

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) Hanoi Vietnam http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2016/12/hanoi-market-lady Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:56:26 GMT
Beaver Lodge Discovered on Christmas Day http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2014/12/beaver-lodge-discovered-on-christmas-day Jane and I took a walk around Second Hill Reservoir in New Milford today, Christmas Day.  

We came upon a strange site...

We soon realized that there were beavers at work here...

There were a great number of felled trees and half chewed trees.

We hiked on and then found....

...the lodge.  It was enormous.  There must be several beaver in here.

A nice hike on a beautiful unseasonably warm Christmas day. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Images captured with LUMIX LX100

 

 

 

 

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) beaver beaver lodge lumix lumixlounge lumixlx100 lx100 new milford second hill http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2014/12/beaver-lodge-discovered-on-christmas-day Thu, 25 Dec 2014 22:36:10 GMT
People Using iPads as Cameras in Paris http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2014/8/people-using-ipads-as-cameras-in-paris Recently visited the Louvre in Paris.  So many people using iPads as cameras. They look so dumb. 

People.... buy a real camera, PLEASE!

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) dumb ipad ipads louvre paris http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2014/8/people-using-ipads-as-cameras-in-paris Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:22:24 GMT
How to Create Custom Audio Tracks for Pro Show Videos http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2013/10/how-to-create-custom-audio-tracks-for-pro-show-videos Have you ever looked for ways to use a soundtrack that is customized for your subject matter? There are times when I want to create a ProShow Web slide show that uses a soundtrack that relates to the content.  Usually it is a music related subject, and I've found that I need to decide among several choices:  Use the licensed songs in the ProShow Web app, use recorded songs that are copyrighted (not an option when I want to put the video on a public webpage), no soundtrack at all, or create a custom soundtrack from the event itself. This last choice works well for me when I create a hybrid slide show of a musical performance, such as the marching band that my son, James, plays drums in at the University of Connecticut here this recent video.


Here's how I create the soundtrack, and use it to author a slide show using Pro Show Web:

1. Record a clip of audio at the event that will be long enough for the slide show.  I use my camera in movie mode with either the built in microphone or an external mic.
2. The tricky part is extracting the audio into a file that ProShow Web recognizes, which is MP3.  I am using a Mac with iMovie so I start a new Project, and import the clip.  Detach the audio from the video with by hovering over the clip in the project clip, then Export using Quicktime as an AIFF file.   Then drag that file into iTunes and save it as an MP3 file by right clicking on the file in the library and selecting Create MP3 Version from the contextual menu.


3. Use the MP3 file that you created in step 2 as the soundtrack for your ProShow video.  The other clips will play with sound by default and this soundtrack will reduce in volume, or if you want, mute the sound in the other video clips so that the soundtrack plays at a uniform volume for the entire video.

There are surely plenty of other ways to extract the MP3 file other than as described in step 2 but you'll find that this process is a great way to create a really customized hybrid video.  Have fun!
 

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) hybrid imovie lumix lx7 photodex photography proshow show slide slideshow http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2013/10/how-to-create-custom-audio-tracks-for-pro-show-videos Sun, 13 Oct 2013 17:45:14 GMT
Leaving Las Vegas http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2013/8/leaving-las-vegas Leaving Las Vegas

This was one of those times when everything goes so nicely, and turned out to be the start of an awesome day. After wrapping up a two day business conference in Las Vegas I was booked to fly out on an 800am flight. The airline folks had been giving warnings to arrive at least two hours before departure time at McCaren (LAS) airport so I checked out of my hotel and jumped in a cab at 600am sharp.  Sure enough, the check in line at American ticketing must have had at least 500 people in line. Oh boy, I thought. But then I realized that I could check in electronically with the iPhone app, which I did, then headed upstairs towards the gates.

Today was the first time I got to use my TSA Pre✔. It was fantastic. There was no one ahead of me in the special TSA Pre✔ lane. I bypassed the regular huge line (have you flown out of Vegas lately?), and didn't have to pull my laptop, remove my shoes or take the stupid little bag of liquids out of my carry on luggage. I had applied for The Trusted Traveller program earlier this summer and this was the first time I used the service. So at this point I am at least an hour ahead of where I otherwise would have been to catch my flight. 

It just so happens that American Express has opened a beautiful new airline lounge right in the American terminal in Las Vegas. It's called the Centurion Lounge, and it is the only one in the country. I received a complimentary access card with my Gold card some time ago so mozied on it like a big shot. Wow! It is a fantastically luxurious lounge. They were just serving breakfast so I indulged in that, had some coffee, took some pictures with my Lumix LX7 (see the gallery here http://www.tom-curley.com/p318589364), and relaxed for about an hour until my flight boarded. 

Traveling can really suck these days but with a little planning and some luck it can actually become a pleasurable experience once in a while. This was one of those days. If you have an American Express card that is anything less than Platinum and you will be traveling to Las Vegas on American, give them a call and tell them that you want to check out the lounge. If you have a Platinum Card, you should already be a member.

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2013/8/leaving-las-vegas Sat, 10 Aug 2013 22:20:15 GMT
Creating Video with One Point Color http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2013/3/creating-video-with-one-point-color Creating video is becoming easier with the newer digital cameras. Sure, anyone can create video using a smartphone.... I do it all the time with my iPhone, and I use all sorts of apps to edit and share. My favorite is iMovie for iPhone. But to create high resolution HD video in 1080p that I can edit and present in the highest quality, and be able to use a variety of premium lenses, I'll use a mirrorless camera. Lately I have been testing the One Point Color creative effect in the Lumix G series. Its also available on the Lumix LX7 camera. You choose the color that you want to feature and then every item in the scene with that color will be seen in that color, and everything else in black & white. So now I can create HD video with some really cool effects.

To use the one point color effect, simply set the dial to Creative Control, select One Point Color and use the picker tool to choose the featured color.  I'm shooting video clips and having a lot of fun doing so. The file captured in the camera is created as you see it in the display. All that I do in post is trimming the length.  Here's one I did with GREEN as the color choice.  Several clips were combined in iMovie:

and here is another one I made selecting the GOLD of the cymbals as the color choice.

I encourage you to try out this really cool feature of the Lumix G series cameras, and make some videos using it.

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) GH3 Lumix color curley one panasonic point tom video http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2013/3/creating-video-with-one-point-color Sun, 31 Mar 2013 21:38:40 GMT
The Channel http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/the-channel Thanksgiving Day, 2012:  An after dinner walk in my brother Brian's Fort Point neighborhood in Boston, we strolled over to the site of the former Channel nightclub.  It is located on the edge of the Fort Point Channel.  The building was torn down in the 90's during the construction of the Big Dig.  Paul recognized the location of the building that was L-shaped and wrapped around the taller brick building next to it.  The roof line of the one story Channel building is visible on the brick building that it abutted.

Paul at the Channel nightclubPaul at the Channel Famous for the numerous acts that performed at the nightclub in the 1980's (Wikipedia page), Paul's band, The Prime Movers, played at the Channel at least six times.

Photo: Lumix G5

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) G5 big dig boston boston nighclub channel fort point lumix http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/the-channel Sat, 24 Nov 2012 01:23:30 GMT
Total Eclipse of the Sun http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/total-eclipse-of-the-sun A total solar eclipse darkened the Southern Hemisphere today, November 13, 2012, visible from Cairns, Australia.  Here is a screen shot of the live video feed on the internet. 
Screen_shot_2012-11-13_at_3

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/total-eclipse-of-the-sun Tue, 13 Nov 2012 12:45:45 GMT
Fake Huntsman Cheese http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/fake-huntsman-cheese

Lately I've had a hankering for one of my favorite cheeses, Huntsman, which is a combination of Double Gloucester and Stilton. What? You've not tried it? Check it out! It is quite hard to find in the local supermarkets here in Connecticut, and I haven't had time to venture to the city or elsewhere I know it can be found. So I thought I would try to create my own here at home. I'm calling it fake Huntsman because I used Cheddar and Blue Cheese. But I gotta tell you, it was delicious. After bringing both cheeses up to room temperature, I cut the cheddar block and packed it with the blue, then pressed the whole thing together inside of clear food wrap. Once done, this combo was as good as I dreamed... sliced up and placed on a cracker. Yum!

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/fake-huntsman-cheese Mon, 05 Nov 2012 18:42:00 GMT
Normandy Beach, NJ: Before and After Sandy http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/normandy-beach-nj-before-and-after-sandy As a kid, I spend my summers on 7th Street in Normandy Beach on the Jersey Shore.  My grandfather built a house there in the forties, and my mom spent her youth there as well. We no longer own the house there. The house appears to be still standing after Hurricane Freak Hybrid Perfect Super Storm Sandy (a 'hundred year storm' that the Governor of NJ commented now occurs every year) but there is a lot of sand in the road. Probably a lot of water damage.  Just north of 7th Street, the damage is much worse.  Notice the boat in the parking lot of the Catholic church (the building with the green roof)  

Before and After Satellite Imagery from Google

Pastedgraphic-3 Pastedgraphic-1

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/11/normandy-beach-nj-before-and-after-sandy Thu, 01 Nov 2012 19:49:18 GMT
Most Viewed Photo Ever? http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/10/most-viewed-photo-ever

The most viewed photograph ever?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7d/Bliss.png
This photo was default wallpaper for Microsoft XP O/S.  How many people saw this photo when they booted up for the first time.  How many didnt bother to change the default wallpaper to something else?

Side by side of the 'photo' with another of the same location: 

A photo of the original scene.  Is this the original image?
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Bliss_(location).jpg/800px-Bliss_(location).jpg

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/10/most-viewed-photo-ever Sun, 07 Oct 2012 19:41:00 GMT
5 Reasons to Get a Twitter Account Today http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/9/5-reasons-to-get-a-twitter-account-today Sharing this blog post:

http://aluminumsoil.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/5-reasons-to-get-a-twitter-accou...

Follow me on Twitter @tcurley

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/9/5-reasons-to-get-a-twitter-account-today Wed, 19 Sep 2012 06:56:36 GMT
Swedish Fire Torch http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/9/swedish-fire-torch My turn to try this awesome technique of taking a single log, quartering it, and burning it with a single match. Thanks to my friend Bruce for turning me on to this, and Reggie's Bushcraft (find that on YouTube). And thanks to Matt Curley for stopping by with an impromptu composition for a little soundtrack here.

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/9/swedish-fire-torch Sun, 16 Sep 2012 18:56:47 GMT
Interactive Magazine http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/9/interactive-magazine

Check out this short video about a new app that enables an interactive experience using a smartphone or tablet with a printed magazine.

http://www.aurasma.com/

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/9/interactive-magazine Thu, 06 Sep 2012 19:02:00 GMT
Skype Voicemail http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/8/skype-voicemail

Do you use Skype on your computer?  Did you know that there is a free voicemail service?  I have mine configured so that if I get a Skype call when I am away from my computer, the service will record a message.  It is easy to set up by logging on to your Skype account at www.skype.com and enabling voicemail.  There are couple of options, like forwarding the message to your smartphone.  Check it out at www.skype.com/intl/en-us/features/allfeatures/voicemail/

 

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/8/skype-voicemail Thu, 16 Aug 2012 08:11:00 GMT
Photos from Quebec City 2012 http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/6/photos-from-quebec-city-2012-1
A few iP4 snapshots of our trip to Quebec…..
Fromage New York!
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Gite Ici et Maintenant in Magog, QC
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We told the B&B host that we had to leave very early but she insisted on preparing breakfast for us… at 500am. It was spectacular
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Bar at Conti restaurant
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A delicious Italian Cabernet with our dinner.
That is a pretty big pepper mill!
Cameracraftsmen of America annual group photo in Quebec City, with the Chateau Frontenac in the background.
Quebec City street
Garrison Club in Quebec City, steeped in history, was a wonderful setting for our banquet.
Le bar au Château Frontenac

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/6/photos-from-quebec-city-2012-1 Mon, 25 Jun 2012 14:18:00 GMT
Found Online http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/6/found-online  

Amazing what you can find with a little Google search.  I just found this photo of me and Ann Monteith taken at the United Nation 4 years ago. 
http://annmonteith.com/page18/files/archive-may-2008.html
Hi Anne!

 

Regards, Tom 

 

Page18_blog_entry157_8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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tom@tom-curley.com (Tom Curley Photography) http://www.tom-curley.com/blog/2012/6/found-online Thu, 07 Jun 2012 19:25:57 GMT