Thursday, April 27, 2006

Requisite Landmark Tourist Shot

Hmm... On second thought I'm not sure that title makes any sense. Oh well.

For anyone who hasn't been, the Space Needle is 520 feet of 50's design, built in the 40's. At its base is the site of the 1946 word's fair, which celebrated the age-of-space. Somehow the Internet-age just doesn't stack up in the coolness department.

Bring on the Carnies
The fairgrounds, on this particular day, were completely deserted. It seemed rather surreal and post-apocalyptic I wandered around and managed to get a few cool shots. I bet it looks downright creepy at night. This shot is of the Space Needle rising above the top of a carousel. It was a sunny day, so I was definitely working the CPL.

Update: RBWright points out a bit of lysdexia. It's the 1964 Worlds Fair. Oops.

Sunny Seattle?

A meeting, on Tuesday, landed me in Seattle, Washington, for a few days. It was my first time in the city, so I was greatful that the meeting ended in time for me to do the lame-business-tourist thing. I'll post some more pictures but I want to start with one that I can claim absolutely no credit for.

Gehry. I don't know what to say.
There is simply no angle or composition that can harm the gorgeous aesthetic of this Gehry masterpiece. Neither, however, is there any angle or composition that can truly do it justice. This building, home to the EMP and the Sci-Fi Museum, sits at the site of the '64 worlds fair just beneath the iconic "Space Needle". As impressive as it is on the outside, the inside is just as gorgeous. It seems to be a crumpled ball made of many different materials. Its other neat trick is that the red-metallic panels cast a red glow over anything near by depending on the light. It's confusing and wonderful.

See the full set.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Taking the rental car onto the highway, upon my recent arrival in Charleston, I was struck by the degree to which spring had beat the hell out of South Carolina. That is to say: spring was squarely in the rear-view mirror. Summer had struck.

It seems, though, that while I lounged about on vacation Spring was hard at work on my home turf. Now, the smell of lilac and dogwood is overpowering - woe be to allergy sufferers.

Smelly yummyness
I'm not really sure what kind of tree this is. I'm sure this statement will illicit an answer from Sam.

On my drive home, I pass a row of these trees within walking distance from my house. For the past couple of days, the 7pm sun shines low and warm on these trees. Today I took a walk down to take some pictures. I ended up spending 20 minutes playing with my flash and various exposure settings. I'm a serious novice when it comes to flash photography - though I feel a bit better after today. You can tell that the flash made a serious difference in this shot. Without it you would be looking at a silhouette.

Full moon rising over Charleston

Will and I went out drinking on my first night in town. Aside from drinking, smoking cigars and talking about compile-time optimizers, we also took a few photos. Its hard for me to resist a balmy night in a strange but comfortable city!

Anyone who's looked at my photos as a whole is probably aware of my penchant for long-exposures. On this particular night I found myself grateful for having lugged my tripod around on a night out drinking. The way the moon shines, silvery, off the still water is fascinating. The next night the waters were a bit more turpid, so I'm glad I got this shot when I did.

Rainbow Row

Charleston has a curious collection of antebellum architecture. Running along East Bay street by the Charleston gunnery battery is Rainbow Row. A row of houses, each with a different color. Here two houses meet a shadow cast by the left house breaks up the image. Stucco abounds.

Two buildings meet in the middle
The shot is slightly underexposed - this is for two reasons. When I'm in the field I tend to underexpose daylight photography so that I have a bit more texture to work with in post. The other reason is actually kind of embarrassing. I recently upgraded from a CRT monitor to a ultra-bright flat panel. The size and brightness has made my work-flow a bit more comfortable, but I think I'm being screwed up by a bad gamma setting. Oh well.

I took another photo similar to this one. I really am crazy about the texture of the stucco. The colors of the buildings glowed in the evening.

I'm Back.

Well, I spent the past weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. Wow - just an absolutely gorgeous town. To make for an even better weekend I had the honor of being Best Man at WW's wedding. I'm not going to go on-and-on providing a detailed chronology of the weekend instead I will provide the following bullet items:
As for my photographic responsibilities - I happily shirked them during the actual wedding. Perhaps if I'd been a bystander I'd have take more pictures. Instead, as a member of the wedding party, I had more pictures taken of me than I care to think about. I'm sure I'll be squinty/awkward in most of them.

This photo obviously catalogs a portion of my out-bound trip from Charlotte to Charleston. Airport stop-overs typically involve either boredom or drinking. In this case, the former. To pass the time I took some pictures. On this trip I opted not to bring my laptop so my carry-on item was my camera and tripod. I took this shot, plus a number of uninspired shots of a guy in a rocking-chair. Oh well.
There are two reasons I like this shot - actually three if you count composition (Now that I think about it - I'm sure most people do). I like the various levels of black and the texture of the canvas-esque plastic material.

By the way, here's a tip: Don't try to write on one of these yellow tags with a gel-pen. It'll all end in tears.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Westport Library

The truth is, I'm not really sure why it took me so long to post this one. Things have been quite busy; between house-hunting and healthcare its hard to find my motivation some days. Here's the great news though: The recent daylight-savings change means that at 5pm-ish there's still plenty of daylight!

Library at night
After a particularly wretched day I decided to get out and take some pictures. I spent my time wandering around downtown Westport finding myself eventually out behind the library taking pictures at the Levitt. Walking back to my car I stopped to take pictures of the glowing glass bricks which make up a portion of the Westport Public Library.

I probably took about 30 shots of this. My intention was to do some HDR on them and see what happens. Maybe someday. I take an over-under on all of my shots - which in this case took quite a while. I'm pleased with the layout, the color and the light.