Posts Tagged ‘wind’

Sadly the windmills on top of the modern structure are spinning so fast in the winds of the approaching storm that the blades are blurred in this shot. The future bearing down on the past – the kind of thing old guys like me think about :-)


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This verion is “out of camera” plus one click in the Photoshop Topaz Adjust plugin, then Imagenomic’s Noiseware. Ironically, this looks more "real" than straight out of camera… Maybe one could load the out of camera shot with this one as a layer and blend the two, making this look more like out of camera and less real with more manipulation…. nah.

Making the Shot

This was not planned at all. I spent all day
Saturday working in a server room in downtown Portland rebuilding power equipment that failed on Friday – but on toward the end of a 10 hour day I glanced out my office window and noticed that the sky was reflecting a wild rose-colored hue – sensing a photo op I grabbed my camera (I just about never leave home without it) and walked down to the conference room which featured picture windows showing a bit of skyline. The sky and light were everything I could have hoped for – the clouds were moving low and fast, and the lighting patterns were moving fast too. I took a few shots trying to get a feel for the scene, and over the course of a few shots I moved lower and lower and further to the right until I ended up kneeling on the floor with the camera pointing up at a dramatic angle, pressed against the window in the far right hand corner. That gave the shot the film-noir kind of angular disorientation I wanted – the scene outside looked like a sci-fi movie set… While I’m a rectilinear lines kind of guy (still miss swinging and tilting controls on my old view camera) this was one shot where I wanted the angles and distortion to work as part of the composition.

Although the shot was handheld (1/10 or so at f8) propping it against the glass window (and bear in mind it was shot through two layers of glass) gave great support in spite of the crazy angle I was viewing at, so it is very sharp – this will print nicely up to poster-size… 

Because the clouds were moving fast the light was changing rapidly. At one moment the reflections of the modern structure were dramatic, a few seconds later, flat. Ditto the sky glow; this exposure is out of a series of 10 or so shots made while waiting for the clouds to get into exactly the right position – backlighting the building in a halo of fiery glow.

As I mentioned in my Flickr posts, this is quite visually accurate – this is pretty much what it looked like – if anything the rosy glow in sky and on building is played down in this shot. Maybe this is what Portland is called the “Rose city” (no, but I felt like saying that)! The “out of camera” un-processed version of the shot in the preceding post is, if anything, slightly more surreal in appearance!

Glad I had the camera, and glad I took a breath and looked out the window at the right moment.

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Mary Travers died today.

That’s “Mary” as in “Peter, Paul and Mary”.

Let me tell you a story:

A long time ago when the world was on the verge of Vietnam, and I was just a high school kid, I went to hear PP&M sing at the Lambertville Music Circus, a theatre in the round in central New Jersey. That night Mary sang a song that was new for the group, Leaving on a Jet Plane by a then-unknown song writer named John Denver. By and by that song became well-known, and John Denver became a household name. And by and by it came to pass that 20+ years later I was backstage at a Peter, Paul & Mary concert in Philadelphia the night John D. plunged his homebuilt aircraft into Monterey Bay. I stood there listening, once more, as Mary sang “I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again…” My heart soared.

Mary’s gone. We all knew she’d had cancer for a while, but still… I’m surprised that I would feel it so deeply, but there it is, I do, and I felt obligated to share this discovery with you.

The photo is in tribute – dazzling clouds passing overhead at dizzying speed, singing in the guy wires of this aging ski jump – seen from below – and I feel the spirits of young people throwing themselves down that jump to fly with purpose through that sky – with unwavering enthusiasm and boundless belief in the limitless possibility of life…

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