BROAD VIEW

These images were made recently on short trips, some from the car.

The photos take a broad view, literally, and some also take a broader view than typical landscape photography does of what you can do with a camera.

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Brooding skies over the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, with the Olympic Mountains in the distance. This one uses an in-camera filter for dramatic effect.

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Three roadside shots from the Cascade Mountains, near Index, Washington. The first two were taken from the car as we rounded bends on a narrow, two lane road. Coming out of the camera, the top two were very pale and didn’t look like much, but boost the contrast and increase the black tones, or pull the tone curve shadows and darks way down, and they get interesting. Desaturating the second one adds a bit of mystery, I think.

The third image is straight from the camera, but uses an in-camera filter to increase the drama (same filter as the first one of Seattle). It was one of those dreary gray days that don’t offer good light for photography, but there we were, in a spectacular setting. I was glad I could try different interpretations of the scene.

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There’s lots of intentional blur in this one, where I panned the camera from left to right out the passenger window of a moving car. By panning while moving, the area in the middle stays more or less in focus while the rest is blurred. This is a technique I want to try more.

If shooting intentionally blurred shots intrigues you, there’s a very good book out by an Adobe trainer, Julieanne Kost. It’s called Passenger Seat (click for a look). The book includes her own gorgeous blurred photos with information on techniques. There’s lots of advice on workflow, processing, and presenting your work by sharing it online, publishing a book, etc.

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Last, a phone shot taken at Marymoor Park in Bellevue, Washington. There’s very little processing on this one – the light created the magic, along with the little girls, who I trust are magicians themselves…

 

ONE SCENE, TWO TAKES

Or, as the current Weekly Photo Challenge puts is, One Shot, Two Ways.

In either case I think I have an affinity for this assignment, which is to capture two images of a scene, one horizontal and one vertical.  Seeing things in different ways comes naturally.  I often begin looking from a normal eye level angle, scanning left and right. Then I like to think about other ways to see a scene, switching up the viewpoint for another angle.

I could wade through the photo archives and come up with pairs of photos that demonstrate the principle of One Shot, Two Ways, but I’m trying to hew more closely to the spirit of the challenge by using photos taken just for it.  There was an opportunity for a little road trip the other day and I figured I’d look for a scene  that would lend itself to horizontal and vertical shots. Now, which way to go?

We had major construction and road closures to our south, so that direction was out. Last weekend we went north, and going west means Seattle, unless there’s time for an overnight out on the Olympic Peninsula.  So I scanned a map, searching for some place east of us and not too far away.  Somewhere new.  State Route 2, one of the handful of roads that manages to climb the great barrier of Washington’s Cascade Mountain range, would be the starting point, but then what?   I found a promising road on the map – a local two lane that parallels Rt. 2 for a few miles toward the tiny town of Index, famous for its 1000′ granite rock climbing wall.  We had yet to explore Index, so the route was set.

The road lived up to our expectations. It’s a secondary road that few people use, and it was a delightful ride as it lifted and tumbled and whizzed us around its curves. Tall second growth native trees hung with glowing green moss pressed hard upon its edges. When we stopped the car, the silence soothed our highway-buzzed nerves, bringing us back to that grounded place of rest and renewal.

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Index was a cool little town. With about 150 inhabitants, it’s hemmed in by that huge wall of granite, a beautiful winding river, railroad tracks that used to transport ore from mines nearby, and the jutting finger of Mt. Index to the south. There’s a general store, a tiny museum and a rafting and outdoor adventure outfit, and not much else. We heard that homes rarely come up for sale – it’s a tight community in a stunning landscape – and when they do, you’ll need to wait in line and pass muster to buy in. We could see why. Here are few phone photos around Index. Click to enlarge:

You can find more Weekly Photo Challenge double takes here.