Friday, September 5, 2008

Good night Seattle!

So I'm finally done processing the Seattle photos from my trip over the weekend. Nothing amazing, but a couple of shots I really liked. Our first stop was Pike Place Market, which always have great photo ops, from the fish market that... throws fish to the flower shop next door that just offers so many vibrant colors to the organic veggie shop just a few more feet down. Photographing people there is always interesting too with street performers at every street corner. Here are a few of the photos I liked slightly better from Pike Place...

From Seattle trip
There is something about this photo that I really like... maybe it's the back lighting and shadows on the orange. Maybe it's the simplicity of the colors... maybe it's just because it is so simple... a bunch of circles. If you like this image too, let me know why... :)

From Seattle trip
This turned out to be one of the better food shots from this trip... ok ok I only took like 5 food photos. This photo really showed off the power of the 24-105 F/4 L lens. This was shot at f/5.6 at 1/125 secs, 45mm and it is just SHARP. At 5.6 I was able to get just the right DOF so that the entire sandwich is in focus, but everything else is nicely blurred, especially the distracting stuff in the back just turns into this nice soft out of focus background. The light was also in my favor where I had hard directional light coming straight through the windows hitting my sandwich (but very little else in the background - or it was blocked by people :p). The directional light also creates interesting shadows on the bread bringing out the textures.

After Pike Place Market we stopped by UW - University of Washington, the campus is just beautiful, especially when the weather is as nice as it was. This is my second trip to UW, but during the first trip the library really stood out to me and I just couldn't forget how beautiful it was... so this time around I had to get a photo of it...

From Seattle trip

But the best photo probably came from inside the library...
From Seattle trip
I had to use my 10mm here to fit everything I wanted, but also I wanted the exaggerated perspective offered by the super wide. I dialed in a + 2/3 EV while using matrix metering to brighten the scene up a bit. Finally, I had to play around with the white balance a little to get this warm golden feel to it... originally it was a dull gray color, but with slight change in WB completely changes the mood I think.

The best shots of the day came at night... while we missed twilight due to some complications (including getting lost... stupid 1-way streets...). Here are a couple of shots of the Seattle skyline from Queen Anne. While the sky was mostly clear, there were definitely enough clouds to be light up by the bright city lights. I had a few shots where the entire sky was orange which looked kinda cool... but in the end I think this cleaner look is better. If the clouds do become a problem (as in the wide angle / panorama shot), turning the photo B&W always solves the problem. I bumped up the shadow and highlights a little to increase the contrast and make the Space Needle stand out even more.

From Seattle trip

From Seattle trip

From Seattle trip

The pictures were taken just above Kerry Park, just off W. Highland Dr and Queen Anne North. We had to point at pictures and ask a couple of locals before figuring out how to get there. Note that Queen Anne is actually a 1 way street near the Space Needle, so we had to go up 1st Ave, turning left at Roy St, then right at Queen Anne to drive up. Here is the map for your convenience:

View Larger Map

This is really a must stop for any photographers visiting Seattle... on a clear day you can see Mount St. Helen in the back making it the perfect post card photo of Seattle.  Next time I visit Seattle, I have to make sure I get here before sunset to get some twilight photos :). Overall, Seattle treated us very well... wonderful weather, great scenery and some good food. Thanks Seattle!