Looking over St. Louis

Got these shots of St. Louis and the convergence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers while flying to Austin by way of Chicago two Fridays ago. You can see the Gateway Arch, right of center, Busch Stadium, the Edward Jones Dome, the City Museum, and lots of barge traffic on the river.

I actually didn’t see much of St. Louis. My window seat didn’t have well-placed windows, and I couldn’t see downward in any case. But my little Canon Powershot 850 could look for me. So I held it against one of the windows, angled it downward, and shot away, checking from time to time on the back of the camera to see if my shots were accurate. Didn’t do too poorly, considering.

What I want is a small camera like this one that can shoot RAW without taking forever to do it. (As was the case with my old and much missed Nikon Coolpix 5700, which also featured a flip-out viewer, making shots like this much easier.) The PS 850 has no RAW mode, and its processing is rather thick with artifacts. Still, fun to use.

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12 comments

  1. Clay’s avatar

    Glad to read that you know about City Museum. We are very proud of it here. One of the cooler things anywhere.

  2. Will Crawford’s avatar

    If you want RAW on a Canon PowerShot 850, you can install the CDHK firmware (just Google CDHK). I haven’t used it on an 850, but it’s supported. There’s even a “RAW Develop” feature that will make a preview JPG you can view on the camera.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Clay,

    One of the reasons I was eager and pleased to shoot this series was that my 12-year-old kid loves the City Museum. He helped me spot and tag the museum on these shots.

    When we drove across the country in September ’07, we made a point of stopping and spending a day in St. Louis, just so the kid could go to the City Museum, and go up the Arch. Of the two, the museum was the big winner. He can’t wait to go back.

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Will,

    How fast is the camera shooting RAW? A problem with some of these smaller cameras is that they don’t have the processing power to shoot pictures in a series. Many seconds need to pass between one shot and the next.

  5. smick’s avatar

    That’s my town! On my wedding day I went on a helicopter ride over that very area with some family members. Nice spot for a fly over. Helicopter is the way to fly (and shoot.)

    Along with the City Museum, if you are bringing kids to St. Louis, you gotta check out the Magic House. I haven’t been there in over 20 years since I was little, but it was always cool then and it’s expanded 5-fold or something since the ’80s.

  6. Andrew Pass’s avatar

    Doc,

    There’s an even easier way to get such great pictures: Google Earth.

    Just kidding!!

  7. City Museum’s avatar

    Doc Searls,

    Thanks for the mention and the cool photograph. We hope to see you back at the museum again soon.

    -City Museum

  8. Peter Meng’s avatar

    Doc, Thanks for the fine pics of my home town. I’ve heard you say on various podcasts that you have posted photos of your aerial shots. Could you point me that way? I too have a thing for shooting out of plane windows..

  9. Will Crawford’s avatar

    Honestly, not sure – I haven’t installed it. Although my intuitive (i.e. – not based on any actual knowledge) sense would be that it might actually be a little faster, at least with a fast SD card installed. More data to write, but less processing that has to be done beforehand. I keep meaning to re-flash the camera and actually try it, but I since I use a big Nikon for major photo projects, the Canon tends to be the party camera.

  10. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Will. The CDHK site is here. I’ll download it and see how it goes.

  11. Ucup’s avatar

    If you use RAW format, the result is natural, but the size of the photos are too big

  12. Vladimir Sterkin’s avatar

    I think there are even more interesting shots of St. Louis from this altitude. If you ever get a chance to fly over the central and north side of St. Louis, you’ll notice how gray and rustic the city is. Almost looks like a city from the 1950′s with it’s checkerboard industrial warehouses, abandoned railroad network, and just what can be described as an ‘abandoned’ look.

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