Landscape Paparazzi

The last couple of weekends, I completely wasted spent almost all day Saturday combing through my pictures from my “once-in-a-lifetime” trips. The goal was to fill the incredibly empty walls of my apartment with my memories from around the country (and world).

However, I ran into a severe supply & demand issue.

I had two 14 (4×6) picture frames, a 25 (4×6) picture frame, a 4 (4×6) picture frame and a 6 (three 4×6 and three 3.5×5) picture frame to fill. I wanted to split them up, so all of the pictures weren’t from one trip or area of the country. So I decided one 14 picture frame would be dedicated to my 2004 Africa trip with my step dad, one 14 picture frame would be for my 2008 & 2009 Alaska trips to visit my dad, the 6 picture frame would be college football stadiums from my trip, and the 25 & 4 picture frames would be my best pictures from my cross country trip. That gave me a grand total of 63 pictures I needed to find.

The only problem was that I have 349 Africa pictures, 861 Alaska pictures, and 2854 cross country trip pictures. That’s over 4050 pictures… for 63 spaces.

Now you can see why it took me a couple of weekends to get that under control.

The Africa pictures weren’t hard to dwindle down. First, the trip was before I had my Nikon D40, so a lot of my pictures weren’t fantastic. Second, the frame has eight landscape-oriented slots and six portrait-oriented slots. I didn’t have a ton of portrait shots, so that helped narrow down what was going where. And for the landscape spaces, I had to make sure I at least got in all of the pictures of animals either my step dad or I took down.

The Alaskan frame was a little bit harder to handle but it still wasn’t bad. I had a lot more pictures to comb through and they were all taken with my Nikon so they were better shots. But the landscape/portrait deal helped out some again. And I’ve been a lot of different places in Alaska, so I wanted to make sure I had at least one picture from the major things I’ve done or seen there. So I’ve got one from salmon fishing, halibut fishing, hiking near Mt. McKinley, an animal reserve, a glacier we hiked to, a scene from Anchorage, and a picture near Homer.

All in all, I think they look pretty decent. The frame on the left is Africa. The frame on the right is Alaska. The one in the middle is my Christmas present from my mom and step dad. It’s a picture of Death Valley, Clemson’s stadium, during the 2005 triple overtime loss against Miami. There are two things cool about it – first, I was actually at that game and second, it’s signed by Danny Ford, Clemson’s National Championship-winning head coach from the 1980s.

Side note: I want to half apologize for the picture. The quality isn’t that great and I know you can’t pick out the specific pictures I mentioned. But I didn’t care enough about busting out the nice camera to capture my living room wall. Maybe if y’all left more comments, I’d be compelled to give you more than shoddy iPhone pictures 😉

Side note #2: My other Christmas present from my mom and step dad was getting both of my college degrees framed. These fit in really nice to my apartment as well. The middle square on the left is a pressed tiger paw. The one on the right is the Palmetto from South Carolina’s state flag.

The biggest problem, however, came with trying to find 25 pictures out of 2854 to make the cut into the big frame. I visited 48 states on my trip, so I couldn’t even have one picture from each state, much less one picture from every big thing I saw. So I simply took one Saturday, sat down in front of the computer, and wore some pictures out. I went through every single picture I had and grabbed every picture I thought warranted printing. I figured this would get me down to a small enough number to put up on my walls. But when I went to Walgreen’s Photo site, I found out I was still at 205 pictures. Sure, I had narrowed the list down by more than 90% but I still only had room for roughly 10% of those. Thinking there can never be too many pictures, I figured “What the hell…” and printed off all 205.

Want to know a secret? Flipping through 205 pictures on a computer doesn’t seem like that much. Just clicking an arrow to the next picture, you can fly through 205 pictures. But when the guy handed me a box (yes, box… they were too big for a typical photo envelope), 205 pictures suddenly feels like a much higher number.

Everything ended up working out great though. Going on an idea my dad had, I laid out the pictures in the frame in the same general area of the country I was in. So it’s indirectly a very crude map of the United States, in picture form. Maine in the top right, Seattle in the top left, Arizona in the bottom left, and Key West in the bottom right. The second row from the top is my favorite. There are some amazing pictures in that row that just happened to line up that way.

I left all of the college football pictures out of the big one, since I wound up putting some of my favorite shots in their own frame. In all honesty though, I could fill one of the 25-picture frames (and more) with all of the stadiums I have pictures of. Going clockwise from the top left, I’ve got Oregon, Clemson, Wake Forest, Wyoming, LSU, and Utah in there now.

And finally, I threw some of the remaining pictures I thought were really good into the frame on my file cabinet. Next to my Alaska album from my dad and my copy of the Alaska photo book I made him one year, we’ve got a cool picture I took of a tree at a Utah rest stop, the US Capitol building in Washington DC, the moon high in the sky over a herd of buffalo in Yellowstone, and Yosemite Valley.

I really like how everything turned out. But as soon as World Market has another sale on frames, guess who will be back to drop some dollar bills on more wall candy? I’ve still got 170 pictures I’ve got to find something to do with and plenty of wall space.

  1. Travel to Hawaii
  2. Own a cabin in the mountains
  3. Cut back on Facebook/Twitter/Useless-Internet-Surfing
  4. Clemson season tickets
  5. Run a half-marathon
  6. Clemson stats website
  7. Keep a daily journal
  8. Adopt a 2nd dog
  9. Picaboo Book
  • Who: Me, me, me!
  • When: As of yesterday and I’ll be trying to chip away bit by bit each day from here on.
  • Where: Picaboo.com
  • Why: My mom introduced me to the site when she created a story book for my nephew one summer he spent some time with them. It’s a really easy site and setup for putting your pictures into a book. As seen in the picture above, I created one for my dad one year, chronicling the trips we took in Alaska both times I visited him. So I’ve wanted to make one for my cross-country trip for awhile – sort of a coffee-table-book type of thing. And I’m glad to report, on Saturday, I finally started it. I spent Sunday creating maps in Microsoft’s MapPoint to include in the different parts of the book. And starting today, I’ll begin working on 09/07/2010 and my pictures from Columbia, SC, Athens, GA, and Dawsonville, GA.
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7 Responses to Landscape Paparazzi

  1. Glad to see you finally getting those pics together. That’s great. Most people never do.

  2. Aunt Lisa says:

    Ok, I’m commenting so I can see some closeups of those pics!!! (If you give more detailed frame info, rumors will get around and the frame fairy might visit some holiday!)

  3. RMJinAK says:

    Okay, now I have to visit your apartment to see in detail how they all look. But it sounds great and I congratulate you on getting all of this done and up on your wall. I can imagine how difficult it was to edit down to the final cut – I could fill the 25 slot frame just with the pictures we took of the redwoods and Crater Lake!

    • I’ve got two from Crater Lake printed but they didn’t make the cut. I do have one from the Redwoods and another from San Francisco in the big frame though from your leg of the trip.

  4. RMJinAK says:

    I recognized the redwoods and the Golden Gate pictures; some of the others I can’t tell the details, but I do see several light houses. Here’s an idea for another collage frame – all the zoos that you visited! Or else just keep them all collected digitally in one file. Congratulations on going over five miles on your run today!

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