long exposure

Week 3 Full Manual - Cold, Rain, and a Great Wheel

This week's challenge was Full Manual.  Like a lot of other people doing the challenge I did a long exposure, you can see several on Instagram here. In fact somebody else in the Facebook group had taken a photo of the Great Wheel earlier in the week, I didn't see it until I was posting mine.  Oh well.  As I've said before this is about getting practice in not about necessarily making great art, though I wouldn't mind it if that happened.

 What's been nice about doing this challenge is that I have all of the themes ahead of time.  That gives me lots of time to think about what I'm going to do in advance.  I'm able to go and shoot exactly what I want. We'll see if that keeps up. Because of this I had known that I wanted to shoot the Great Wheel, it's a bit cliche at this point but that's okay I hadn't shot it yet.  Like last week it was going to be a long exposure at night.

It had been rainy and cloudy all week, surprise surprise it's Seattle in winter. I tried to get down to the waterfront in time for blue hour but it didn't really matter as you'll see in the photos.  Thanks to Google Street View I had already scouted out where I wanted to shoot from.  I grabbed my camera bag and zipped down to the waterfront.  I set up my tripod and used my wide angle lens to get several shots of the ferris wheel at a variety of shutter speeds.  I then switched to my 85mm and 50mm to get detail/abstract photos of the wheel. While I liked those my photo editor (The Wife) liked the landscape one of the ferris wheel as can be seen here on Instagram.

You can see all of the selects from my shoot below.

Next week's challenge is Creative: Quiet Moment.  My initial plan was to go shoot a sunrise photo of Lake Washington with Mount Rainier in the background from Seward Park this week.  Though my dog Sammie sleeps like the dead all day long so I may end up taking a photo of him instead.  We'll have to see.

Week 2, in by a nose...

Before I discuss this weeks tale of photographic adventures I thought I would bring something interesting up.  According to the analytics provided me by the fine folks at Squarespace on average I get a visitor to my website... from the UK. I have had visitors from Devon, City of London, Hertforshire, Brighton and Hove, and Hackney.  I'm not sure why this is but hey, looks like I'm international!  (By the way if you are from across the pond and you stumbled across my little blog here please drop me a line!)

As I sit here typing away I still have an hour and a half left of the weekend.  When I decided to do this challenge I figured I should have the week start on Monday.  That way I have a full weekend to figure out when to get my shoot in. Good thing since I barely made my self imposed deadline in only the second week!

I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot this week.  Once a week The Boy has speech therapy on Capitol Hill.  We drive by this bar called the Hula Hula on our way to his appointment. I KNEW that was the thing I should photograph.  I just needed to figure out when.  Of course it rained a ton last week, Thursday was especially rough. I needed to wait until the weather would cooperate.  Finally tonight both weather and schedule cooperated.

I drove up to Capitol Hill Sunday night after dinner.  I had scouted the location a bit already on google maps so I knew the angle I wanted to make sure I maximized the orange. Once I finally found parking (sort of legally?) I walked down to the bar.  I walked around and confirmed the position that I wanted to shoot from.  I then set up the tripod and camera.  The thing I wasn't sure about was the exposure.  The signs were WAY brighter at night than I remembered.  I decided to do a bracketed shot.  This is where you take multiple shots of the same subjects at different exposures.  Once I had done that I packed up my stuff and went home. I think I spent more time driving around looking for parking then I did actually shooting.

Once I got home I loaded up the photos on my computer and realized that I was going to have to use two of my shots to get a proper exposure, good thing I bracketed.  I wanted the building to be bright and the signs to be legible.  That was not possible in one shot due to the brightness of the signs.  So I fired up Photoshop and blended two photos together to get what you see below.  I'm pretty pleased with what I got.

Hula Hula.jpg

Next up is Full Manual.  I think I'll go for another long exposure at night. This time I'll get it at a variety of shutter speeds while shooting the Ferris Wheel down by the waterfront. Hopefully we'll see different patterns in the light.