Images & Observations

Storm Over City Hall

Nikon D80 10-24mm @ 10mm ISO 640 f/11 5 bkts Lr3 HDREfexPro1 ColorEfexPro3

Although it looks like a storm is brewing in this image, those are actually the last vestiges of a storm that blew in the previous few days from the Pacific and headed east over Southern California.  The view of the Pasadena City Hall is from the southwest corner of Holly Street and Garfield Avenue, the Jackie Robinson memorial was directly behind me.

Behind the shrubs in the front of the building is a subterranean walkway (open to the sky, below the first floor windows) that circles the entire building perimeter (running under the front steps).  As we were capturing these images I was accosted by one of the local homeless people, noticing the camera on the tripod she wanted to know if we were with the news media.  I told her “no, I just enjoy taking pictures”.  Shen then informed me about the “moat” around city hall, going on to say the city filled it with water and stocked it with piranhas.  (The reality is that the “moat” is the walkway in front of the basement level windows of the building, which allows natural light to come through to the basement.)  I thanked her, she continued on her way and I continued with my photography.

I have been thinking about the subjects of my photography recently and realize that I am attracted to images of objects or scenes created by the hand of Mother Nature and by the hand of man.  Judy and I have made a conscious decision to capture scenery, including lots of trees, in the natural world, we are also both attracted to motor vehicles and I have an interest in aircraft and architecture.  In a more documentary and historical preservation sense my eye is attracted to images or scenes that depict humans experiencing life, interacting in their contemporary environment, and scenes (with or without living subjects) depicting contemporary life and life in an earlier time.  This is what you can expect to see unfolding in this blog, and hopefully, it will all be telling an interesting story.

This was my first image created with the assistance of my Promote Control, which calculated and instructed the camera to fire off five brackets at f/11 from .6 second to 1/400 second. Utilizing this new tool has been a learning experience and it took me a while to figure out that I had to slow down the Promote Control to 2,000 milliseconds in order to not overwhelm the D80 .

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5 responses

  1. Great HDR image. You got some wonderful colors and details in your clouds.

    January 30, 2011 at 1:19 AM

  2. Thanks, atmx, I appreciate your feedback. What is it with the Austin area, is that where all the good, passionate photographers are incubating?

    January 30, 2011 at 12:58 PM

  3. Slight halo around the top of the tower, and a little deghosting of the people needed, but otherwise a great HDR shot – you certainly are improving.

    How is the Promote control? Though I don’t feel it will make my images any better, I would be interested to play with one and see what it does.

    February 1, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    • I had been seeing a lot of images where the photographers were using 5, 7 or 9 brackets, and since the D80 could only produce 3 brackets I decided to invest in the Promote Control. The Promote is easy to learn and use, and it is good in that you just specify the base exposure time and it will do all the math calculating the bracket exposure times and firing the shutter.

      Two small hurdles I had to overcome in order for it all to work as expected: 1) configure the Promote to slow down to a 2,000 millisecond pause between exposures so the camera could keep up with it; 2) realize that in some light situations, you are not going to be able to squeeze out 9 brackets of equally spaced EV’s. It is forcing me to think more consciously about the relationship of ISO values, exposure time and aperture.

      I have not captured enough images yet to determine if the increase from 3 to more brackets has any appreciable effect on the subsequent HDR’s. I think the effect will vary according to ambient light conditions at any given time.

      February 1, 2011 at 1:46 PM

  4. Pingback: Guns, Ammo & Gifts « Wayne Frost's Photo Blog

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