Sunlight and Clouds on Beach 4

Now that I’m out here in New England, I thought it might be time to revisit some shots I took when we were out on the Pacific Coast last fall.

Going through my Lightroom library revealed a number of shots with potential, and this was one I decided to go ahead and process and see what came out of it.

Overall, I like how it turned out, though the blown out areas behind the trees are less than optimal in my opinion. I tried to use Lightroom to recover some of these areas, but they are still overexposed. What saves the picture in my view are the sun rays streaming through the trees and hitting the beach, contrasted with the blue sky and dramatic clouds.

Not bad, I guess, but there are others from the same shoot that I prefer over this one.

Hydrant

This one surprised me by reaching Flickr Explore at #118 for 29 November 2008. Some of the folks on Flickr really took a shine to the color range and vibrance, and I guess it does have a very striking quality to it that catches the eye, especially when viewed in smaller sizes.

Taken on a photowalk around Seattle’s Capitol Hill, organized remotely from Italy by Flickr user (and former Seattle resident) Photocoyote.

Look closely and you’ll see “Photocoyote is Alive in the Superunknown” written on it.

There were about 10 or 12 of us on the walk. Amazing that Flickr enabled this to happen so easily! To see other photos taken on the walk, look for the tag superunknownwalk.

Seattle Waterfront Streetcar Tracks

I used to love to ride the trolley along the Seattle waterfront, but this is all that remains of those times — some abandoned tracks that run the length of Alaskan Way. King County Metro (the transportation organization) claims that service is only temporarily suspended, but I doubt the streetcar will ever run on tracks along here again any time soon, as there is no longer any place to store the cars at night at the end of the line (they tore down the maintenance sheds when they built the Olympic Sculpture Park).

(And I am really loving my Sigma 10-20, which makes shots like this even possible.)

East Waterway, Port of Seattle

A wider, panoramic shot of the East Waterway of the Port of Seattle. You can see a tugboat and two big container ships. The interesting about the container ships is that you can’t say whether or not they are loading or unloading because they load and unload simultaneously — a fact that I just learned last Spring when my son’s 1st-grade class did a boat tour of the Port.

Foggy Sunrise, Seattle Skyline & Mt. Rainier

Got out of bed early a couple of weeks ago and went the few blocks from my house over to Kerry Park in Seattle to shoot the sunrise, and I almost missed this shot, as the fog was really moving in fast and soon obscured the mountain within about 5 minutes of me setting up my tripod and getting this shot.

Kerry Park is a favorite place for photographers that want to get a sunrise or sunset or night shot of Seattle, and there were 3 or 4 other folks there at the same time as I, but they were all complaining that it was too foggy and the light wasn’t any good. I thought otherwise, and shot a whole bunch of photos.

This one was made from 3 exposures in Photomatix Pro, and then tonemapped and further processed in Photoshop and Lightroom — all of these are truly awesome tools that make images like this possible.

At the Grain Terminal (2)

OK. I admit it. I had a lot of fun doing this one.

When I bicycle to work along Elliott Bay in Seattle, I go through Myrtle Edwards Park on the bike path and pass the grain terminal, where there is invariably a grain ship from some exotic place like China, Panama, Greece, or Malaysia sitting there filling up with wheat. These ships are huge, and the process is quite impressive.

Anyway. I finally got my act together and stuck my camera in my pannier last week before I left in the morning so that I could grab a couple of quick shots on my way to work. I got lucky and the morning sun was hitting one side of the ship as dark clouds moved in from the west over Elliott Bay.

So, I just got around to processing some of them yesterday evening, including this one — did a little HDR tonemapping work on it, made some color correction and applied noise reduction in Photoshop, and then used Photoshop to mimic the famous “Orton Effect.”

Finished up with a bit of sharpening in Photoshop and ended up with this shot, which I am really quite pleased with. The level of detail that emerged combined with the sort of glowing effect the Orton processing adds to the shot really makes for an impressive combination. Click the image, and on Flickr view the larger sizes to really see the effect.

Seattle Skyline at Night

And one more from my little twilight photo shoot on the Water Taxi pier in West Seattle. This one is of course looking the other way than the previous two shots I posted.

I iniitially processed this from 3 exposures as HDR, but mostly just to get the exposure right. Some of those HDR shots just look too crazy — even for me — and I was just trying to use the HDR process to enhance rather than overwhelm.

BTW, if you’re interested, there are more shots from my evening on the pier up at my Flickr photostream.

West Seattle Fishing Pier at Dusk

OK. I had to post this one to my blog as well. It’s the result of some serious digging into Photomatix Pro for the HDR creation and tonemapping and then Lightroom for final processing.

I am simply amazed at what these software tools can do to make images like this much easier to achieve. In the film developing days, I’m not even sure if an image like this would have been possible, but if it was, it probably would’ve taken considerably more time and effort than I spent on this.

Fishermen at the Water Taxi Pier, West Seattle

Well. I had quite a time a week ago Friday hanging out on the fishing pier where the West Seattle water taxi comes in from downtown. I had intended on getting only some twilight skyline shots, but the fishermen and the water taxi were there and so I turned the tripod and got a few shots there as well. I think they were fishing for salmon, but no one seemed to be catching anything. Still, they all seemed to be relaxed and familiar with each other.

Processed this as HDR in Photomatix Pro initiially from 3 exposures, and then edited in Photoshop and Lightroom. This one took more work than others, but I like how it turned out.

I’m really having a blast these days making these photos, and have found Flickr to be more and more inspiring. I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride and taking this stuff seriously, even though every time I feel happy with a shot, I just start looking around Flickr, and it ain’t long before I feel utterly humbled.