Twilight over Seattle’s Skyline
I’ve just returned from a long trip overseas. I was away for about six weeks in Europe. The last place I visited – where I took the photograph you see above – was in Paris. This shot was captured in the evening from the top of the Arche De Triumph. Thanks for stopping by the check this out!
Wilcox Wall is a retaining wall along the south edge of Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle. This shot was captured fusing three different jpg exposures to create this HDR image of the large retaining wall up close.
The truth is that Fremont Park isn’t a forgotten park, it is a new addition to the already large and diverse collection of parks throughout the city of Seattle.
Though Seattle is host to many parks, the Wallingford and Fremont neighborhoods have surprisingly few. If it weren’t for Gasworks Park – which originally supplied electricity to what is now Ballard (you can still see the retired gas power plant if you make it out to this interesting Lake Union getaway) – there wouldn’t be much in the way of Parks.
Luckily, Gasworks is a large and well situated park. Along with Gasworks, it is fun to discover the miniature parks that dot Seattle much as they dot the steep hills of San Francisco. Some of these parks are not visible on popular online references like Google Maps.
Fremont Park is an ongoing community project. It provides a nice public viewpoint west toward the Olympic mountains.
As you can see in the photograph from today, Fremont park looks down on the Ballard neighborhood, originally a separate city from Seattle. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed this Pacific Northwest Springtime moment.
The trouble with bird photography is that most often the backdrop for a bird is the overly bright, white sky behind it.
Luckily, with digital photography, we can recapture some of the blown out highlights in the sky when we need to. I was pleasantly surprised with how this photograph I took three months ago of a Bald Eagle soaring overhead turned out with a little post-processing of the sky.
By altering the colors and tones of the white background, I was able to maintain the detail in the eagles brown and white feathers without having to deal with a white blown out sky background.
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It has been an eventful week. Most importantly, the Pacific Northwest appears to be in the full throws of Spring. Hope you enjoyed the Tulip photos from this week. If these photos inspire you and you’re in the area, make a trip out to see them for yourself.
As for me, these Tulips are the last flowers I’m photographing for a few days. Don’t get me wrong, flowers are great subjects. It’s just there’s only so much you can do with the digital product when its flowers. Before you know it, you’ve over-processed the shot into digital photography oblivion. I’m excited to capture some brilliant Spring shots of Seattle from some fresh viewpoints.
Best wishes and thanks for stopping by.
Though the posts for this week focus on the beautiful Spring Tulips blooming in the Pacific Northwest’s Skagit Valley, I’m also highlighting the question of aesthetics in regard to HDR photography and tone-mapping.
The foreground Tulips remain vibrant, and put together – I think it makes this a decent Tulip landscape composition – albeit a heavily tone-mapped HDR image as well.
Which of this weeks posts is your favorite photo? Which is your least favorite shot?
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This shot provides a closer perspective of the Skagit Valley Tulips featured in the photography from this week.
From afar, the rows and columns of Tulips can seem to blend together, but up close it is easy to see these Tulips are neatly arranged. Tulips are planted in soft silty soil which seems to hold a lot of water. When you walk on the Tulip soil, you can feel the water beneath the top layers of soil, like walking on a firm water bed.
Let me know what you think, and have a great spring. Cheers!
I know that some people are going to despise this photograph, which is fine. I know this digital image isn’t a true rendering of the scene relative to what I saw with my own eye while I was took it.
The flowers are over-saturated, the tint of the sky is inaccurate, and the clouds have three or four times the level of contrast – and that’s just for starters.
I would have turned my nose at a photo like this a year ago. Questioning why I disliked these high-processed images, I realized the sole cause of my distaste was rooted in the fact that HDR prints don’t look like the image my eyes and brain are visually interpreting.
Most traditional photography depicts a scene similar to what our own eye sees. But film and early digital photography display a range of light that is smaller then our eye’s visible range – so while a traditional photos will never look unreal or fake, their dimness, or dreary dark qualities are due to this limited range of light at an analog camera’s capable disposal.
When I learned what HDR was, I began to appreciate these heavily processed shots alongside the other brilliant more naturally captured images. HDR is simply able to capture a greater range of light then what traditional photography and our own eyes can capture.
If you can accept what abstract HDR renderings are – simply another artistic interpretation of the same scene, from an entirely different lens – one able to capture light ranges at levels greater then our own eye’s can view, and thus one that looks fake and impossibly bright relative to what we recall and know it to be – then this photograph is a unique perspective of these Skagit Valley Springtime Tulips.
But without this interpretation, one will always think HDR abstract photography is ugly, fake and worthless. Just because a photo doesn’t look real, does that make it inherently ugly/bad? I don’t think it necessarily should, and I know that it doesn’t for me.
I’m publishing my abstract high dynamic range photography alongside the natural depictions in an effort to engage in this question of digital photographic aesthetics:
Why does an aesthetic photograph require a likeness to our own eyes to be considered of value?
Do you have a better reason to dislike HDR photography like the image in this post? Whatever your opinion – positive or negative – I’d love to hear it.
Feel free to comment in the text box at the bottom of this page.
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