Air Force Academy – August 2014

As I am laying down most of the time, I figured it would be a good opportunity to process some of the photos from the August visit to the Air Force Academy. My brother and his wife came to visit, and that is one of the places we went.

All of these photos are taken with the Samsung Note II, and all are post-processed with Snapseed and Pixlr Express.


By the way . . . this will be a long post. Lon, long, long . . . long post. If you do not have the time, break it up into multiple viewings.

Of course, you could also do what the majority of people do, and skim.

By the way, no SmugMug gallery for these photos, but you can click on them to have a larger version of the file open in a new window or tab.

The above photo is from the visitor center shop/display area. The building houses a small movie theater and an area where the history of the AF Academy is showcased. For instance, they have a scale model of the highly recognizable Chapel.


. . . and here’s the real deal.



You, gentle and esteemed reader, might notice I played around with nearly all the photos. I have to tell you that editing photos on the phone is not quick, but it is pretty good at taking my mind from the fact I might end up like Dr. House.

I kid, no way I can do a British accent and a clear, deep voice.

Anyway, although I’ve shown it before, here’s the inside of the chapel.


By the way, it is actually that blue inside. Here’s a B&W version for them who not be into blue.


Wow!  . . . Sorry, Melisa just brought me a very nice banana split with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, sliced banana (obviously), chopped pecans, and topped with whipped cream. Combined with me listening to a new Epic Music compilation I found (HERE), and I’m all of a sudden in a pretty good mood, hurt leg and all. By the way, they video should open at the place I was actually listening while writing this. If it doesn’t, go to the 13 minute and 7 seconds mark.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, the interior of the chapel.


It’s kind of neat since the lighting will change with passing clouds . . . the blue tint comes from the stained glass that is inlaid at the joints.


There is regular heavily tinted glass looking out into the parade grounds, but you can see the blue stained glass at the edges.

Looking overhead . . .



. . . and a wider view of the side windows construction.


Some of these photos show the limitation of editing on the Samsung; it has a big screen, but it’s still small compared to a laptop screen, and minuscule compared to my regular 30″ monitor.

I usually snap more than one photo, increasing my chances  of getting a decent shot. You will note the overhead shots are not as good as they might have been . . . had I picked the other shots I had, they would be sharper. I’m too lazy to go back and process the others; it’s late, and I have pictures to go before I sleep.

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Here you see two slightly different treatments of the side windows photo. I thought many of these shots lent themselves to B&W treatments. Plus, you know, I was bored.

Here a shot looking back toward the entrance. The mezzanine above the entrance holds an impressive pipe organ. Here’s the original and two slightly different treatments of the shot.




I also thought a B&W treatment might look good.


Yeah, I know . . . looks all the same to people who are skimming. Oh, well, these are not for skimmers.

Here’s a closer look at the pipe organ.


I have to point out that, to me, that looks like some evil monster poised to rule over the cadets as they are being brainwashed. Don’t see it? Here’s a few treatments that might aid the imagination of them who care to look.



See it now? A touch of Sauron, a touch of Cthulhu, perhaps. Perhaps if I add a slight cosmic theme . . .


Yes, yes . . . it’s coming into focus now. But, it’s still not quite right.

I think it’s a representation of the evils of religion, if not religion itself, so I know what’s missing . . . FLAMES!


There . . . I can just hear it!

“Bow before me, you mindless hunks of flesh! Do not dare think for yourselves! Do not dare question! Listen to the fool on the pulpit; he speaks for ME!”

The chapel houses a number of places dedicated to other denominations. This one, for instance, is for the Roman Catholics.


I did not see an organ here . . . perhaps they could not be trusted with one.

I tried a few B&W variants with this shot, as well.



The chapel is a recognized landmark of the place, but my favorite displays are the static models planes in the plaza to the side and behind the chapel.


As this is one of my favorite planes, I played around with it quite a bit.





There is another sculpture I quite like; that of three falcons cavorting in a tree. I’m not sure how often this actually happens, but it makes for a striking display.


And, yes, I played around with this one as well.




But, as I said, by far the planes are what draws my photographic attention.




Stay with me now; I mean, we’re not close to the end, but you made it this far, you can surely invest a bit more time to reach the finish, right?


Here’s another angle . . .





This next one looks nearly identical, but has a bit more ‘drama’ added.


Add a bit of cosmic treatment, and, if you can forget the pole holding it up, you might envision a night flight, searchlights from below finding their mark . . .


. . . and the anti-aircraft batteries coming on-line . .


Such was the fate of many WW II aviators. We remember them for their bravery, and thank them for their sacrifice.

Here’s another view of the same plane, with a bit of background for reference.


And yet another view, where  I’m trying to make it seem airborne, free of the shackles tying it to the ground, soaring into the firmament.


Perhaps a few different treatments will add to the illusion . . .


Nope; that’s just a B&W treatment. 

How about this one?


Or perhaps, this one?


It has that vintage look that might add to the realism.

No? Oh, well; let’s continue, then.


Well, you know I will be hitting this one with some choice filters!




You know what? I should experiment a bit with the chapel. Here’s the sort-of plain shot.


The obligatory B&W shot:


The stellar shot:


And the cosmic conflagration shot:


OK, we are nearing the end of the post (says I with a wink and a nod), and time to step up to one of two B52 to have shot down a MiG.


By the way, my phone was running out of juice by now, and I did not take that many more photos . . . but that’s not to say I can’t make up for it with post-processing treatments.


I seldom use these automatic insets overlays because you cannot control where they get picked from. In this case, I did not mind the choices.

But, I wanted something more dramatic for this, plus, my leg had just gone into a “let me remind you I’m here mode” and I thought a flurry of editing would help me get my mind off of it. Here’s what I came up with, and I quite like some of these.




Hey, I could probably do a plain B&W!


Actually, I added a bit of “drama” to that last one, and here’s an effect I’ve not used in a while.


I thought that came off pretty well.

And here’s the last picture, directly below the tail . . . 


That green is actually the reflection of the grass below the shiny surface. The plane itself is black.

OK . . . the last three treatments, and we’re done.




That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Airplanes, Black & White, HDR, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Air Force Academy – August 2014

  1. seekraz says:

    It’s been a long, long time since I was there, Emilio…thanks for the memories.


  2. That chapel is beautiful!! What a magnificent building!!! I’d love to see that in person :)


  3. oneowner says:

    I thought this was going to be a long post! The Air Force chapel is one of the best examples of modern architecture in the world. I don’t say that because I’m ex Air Force either. And there are some excellent shots here, by the way. Good work.


    • disperser says:

      Long for regular people.

      As I mentioned in another comment, I’ve been there a few times. I will, if I have a chance and remember, dig those up and do another post (not real soon, unfortunately).

      And yes; as usual, I was pleased with the performance of the phone. I purposefully went there without my regular camera to see what I could do with just the phone.


  4. I remember very clearly watching the super fortresses flying east in their droves heading to pound the Jerries from where I lived in London during WWII, what a great sight, never to be forgotten, pity we never saw them coming back the same way, always ones or twos and stragglers. The RAF Lancs went off to take over the bombing night shift another fascinating sight, The RAF were better navigators for night flying, the Yanks preferred being able to see where they were going, so between the two air forces the poor old Jerry got pounded both day and night no peace for the wicked as the saying goes..

    Pity they cant have those propellors spinning on those planes how great would that be bring them to life.
    I don’t like that chapel I find buildings like that and for that purpose quite obscene a disguting waste of money which could be spent better doing the works that the churches preach but don’t want to practice, then that’s probably the atheist in me. :twisted:


    • disperser says:

      Eh, I can live with churches and chapels. Some people need them.

      On the other hand, yes, it’s a tad upsetting the monuments humanity builds to imaginary beings, and the acts perpetrated either in fear of, or to the pleasure of mythical entities which are little more than reflections of man’s own fears.

      . . . although, look at all the ancient temples we now get to go visit, marveling at the architecture and determination of humans, regardless the motivation.

      As for the spinning propellers . . .


  5. That chapel is amazing! Quite the structure…inside and out!
    I like how you fiddle with the photos. Very cool. (Sorry for my use of such technical language. :-P )
    Please don’t end up like Dr. House. We want you and your legs completely well.
    I met a chef in Denver who looked just like Hugh Laurie. He made me risotto. And he was nice, not grumpy. :-)
    Yay for banana splits and good music! :-)
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      Well, many already think I have the disposition, if not the oratory mastery, of Dr. House. I suppose the limp would just complement the impression.

      As for the photos, thanks. Glad they provided a few moments of escape.

      As for risotto . . . hmm . . . I’m going to have to leverage some injury-generated sympathy to get me some. Melisa is a very good cook, and her risottos are very good. Also a lot of calories, so she does not make them often, but if I make a pouty-face, maybe I can get her to make some. You know, to help me get better.

      . . . or at least fatter . . .


  6. PiedType says:

    I’ve never visited the Academy and have only seen pictures of the chapel from the outside. Had no idea there was so much stained glass. Fittingly, it’s as spectacular on the inside as on the outside.

    As for the B-52, that’s not it’s best side. But up close it makes a fascinating abstract.


    • disperser says:

      My phone went into lockdown (low battery) as I was making my way around . . . I have many shots from my visits there . . . I suppose I’ll have to break down and gather them up into one post. The annoying thing is that I thought I had, but evidence points to the contrary.


  7. lenahedges says:

    I love the use of colour, especially the blue & purple hues in the photographs.


    • disperser says:

      Thanks; I removed the two links, because, you know, it made it seem like the comment was only here to advertise your site.

      Your gravatar is already doing that, so I thought, you know, it was an oversight on your part. I was happy to correct it for you.

      And thanks again. The coloring inside the chapel is unique and striking. Even more so in person.


      • lenahedges says:

        I can imagine it is. I hope to have the opportunity one day. It was actually advice given to me by hilary Alexander (the journalist & ex fashion editor) to always add links to my blogs on any comments I make to other people. I don’t comment to advertise obviously, if it were I’d comment on all posts, I actually don’t comment on many. Thanks for your feedback


  8. AnnMarie says:

    The subjects and your awesome processes are a great source of artistic inspiration for me both in composition and splendid colors. Interestingly, the one series of photos that really impressed me is the Sauron-looking organ. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw it and your progressive choices of processes really expand on that evil essence. Photographically, you’ve never missed producing excellent shots at this place.


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