Week 9 & 10 - Forsake and Selective Color

Wait a second, where was last week's post?

This week you get not one but two posts in one!  I know, very exciting.  You may be asking yourself, isn't; this supposed to be a weekly blog?  You're working on a weekly project and you're supposed to be putting up a post per week.  What happened? Simply put I hated my photos from the first week, Forsaken, and did NOT like the second week's subject of Selective Color.  Read on for details.


Last week the theme was Forsaken.  My idea was to go take some photos of a house or two that has been abandoned.  As many of you know, the Seattle housing market is crazy busy right now. As such the number of abandoned houses are few and disappearing as they are either torn down for new housing stock, typically townhouses, or are remodeled.  My idea was to go and capture one before this happens.

My lovely wife knew of a house nearby that was for sale and clearly had been left to fend for itself.  It is a mid-century modern house the overlooks Lake Washington.  You could tell that it was a great house when it was in it's prime.  It's a shame to see it in such disrepair.   Still it was a good subject.  I went over in the evening.  I wanted to capture the house in the golden hour.  That way it would look it's best in the fading light of the day.  I took about 40 shots and didn't like most of them.  This is not unusual.  Normally though I find a few that I think are okay and will share them.  The problem is that I didn't really capture how truly abandoned it was. I got two shots that were okay.  Both of them were detail photos.

I wasn't pleased with my photos.  Unfortunately I didn't really have time to go out and do a another shoot. That weekend we went to Great Wolf Lodge and while fun, I didn't really have time to do another shoot.  I was too frustrated with my photos and needed some time to ignore them and then come back to them.

Looking at them I'm still not super pleased.  I do kind of like the two that I posted above.  I ended up sharing this one for my photo of the week. I may revisit the subject in a future theme as an attempt to redeem my meager attempt at photographing the house.

Selective Color

This week's theme is selective color.  What's that you ask?  Typically it's a black and white photo with a splash of color on one subject or only a single color in the photo.  They were very popular, and cliche, when digital photography and image editing really took off.  I really, really, hate them.  I understand what they're attempting to accomplish.  It's a way of clearly separating your subject from the background.  Typically this is done with light and shadow, or using a big aperture so the background is out of focus, or using the natural colors in the scene. With your subject standing out from the background it makes your photo much stronger.

I decided, for my attempt for "selective color" that I would head over to... Kubota Gardens.  There are two bridges there that are bright bright red and surrounded by all kinds of luscious green bushes. It wouldn't be exactly selective color, it would be my version of it.

Sunday was a lovely sunny day and into the 60's (it's supposed to be in the 70's on Monday).  I decided to take my Fuji with me this time.  Typically I use my Nikon and it's bevy of lenses when I do landscape.  I normally use my Fuji for street/candid photos.  I thought it would be fun to see how it worked as a landscape camera.  Plus it's a lot smaller and lighter than my usual backpack filled with gear.

Unsurprisingly the park was busy Sunday afternoon.  It was nice to see families and various groups of people enjoying the park.  It's really beautiful and a nice quiet spot in the city, obviously I'm a bit of a fan. I headed straight for the first and larger of the two bridges, Heart Bridge. I set up the camera on the tripod and took a variety of exposures.



Heart Bridge, a traditional red bridge similar to one on Mr. Kubota’s home island.

I've take this shot before and while this one was okay it wasn't better than anything I had take before.  Additionally I really wanted there to be only two colors, green and red.  I wanted to really emphasize the red of the bridge.  While nice this photo didn't really do it.

I then headed over to the other red bridge, Moon Bridge.  Now I've taken several shots of this bridge before.   I wanted to do something different this week.

 Moon Bridge from the usual angle, though normally not in black and white.

Moon Bridge from the usual angle, though normally not in black and white.

I wanted to do something different this week.  I walked around the area to try and see if there was a different angle or view of the bridge, especially if there was one with more green bushes. From the backside of the bridge I found my shot.  I set up my camera and took my shot.  I was quite pleased with it.

Not the typical shot of Moon Bridge.

With this shot of the bridge I really tried to emphasize the greenery and have the bridge really jump out in the photo.  The funny thing about this week while I hated the theme I ended up with a photo that I normally wouldn't have tried to get.  No matter how well you think you know your subject there's always something different to try.  It doesn't always work out and sometimes it does.