[/caption] This is a rare photograph of downtown Seattle, WA with only blue skies in the vicinity. Seattle looks completely different when viewed on a day like this. In fact, on this particular summer day the temperatures reached well in the 90’s and the clouds were absent for almost the entire week. Lake Union and Lake Washington were teaming with swimmers and boaters and Elliot Bay and the Puget Sound were packed with boaters reveling in the sunny and hot conditions. This photo was taken near Alaskan Way as I was driving along the highway. I had my wife drive slow so I could get this photo of the skyscrapers in the foreground and the blue skies behind them.
[/caption] I normally don’t change many of my photos to black & white due to the fact that I like to show the colors that engulf the Pacific Northwest. I also find myself spending so much time on my color shots that I forget to chance any to Black & White. This is kind of strange though since I have an entire Gallery on my website dedicated to Black & White shots. However, I decided to go through some of my Seattle photos that I took last summer to see how they would turn out and I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. This shot was taken from West Seattle with Elliot Bay and Seattle in the background. Downtown Seattle is about a mile from where I took the photo. You can see that the Space Needle isn’t in this photo. The Space Needle is located on the left but unfortunately the city skyline is so long that I wasn’t able to get the Space Needle as well as the Port of Seattle and Quest field in the photo. If you were to use a wide angle lens you would be able to get the entire skyline but the skyline would be too far away and the buildings would look like tiny ants running across the photo. In fact, the Space Needle is so much farther north from the city skyline that I decided that I didn’t want to lose any of the main sky scrapers as seen on the right of the photo. I also like that you can see the bright lights emitting from the stadium and also coming from the port with the ships docked at the waters edge. I was using my Canon EOS T1i along with my Canon 18-24mm lens and I had the focal length at 29mm. It was 9:37pm at night so the sun had already set just behind me. I was wanting to get as much glare from the lights in the city as possible as well as blurring the water so I set the shutter to 20 seconds. I had to attach my ND4 and my warming filter to ensure that there wasn’t too much over exposure. I also set the ISO to 100 and the white balance to -1. The camera setting was at Program/Normal mode so the aperture was automatically set at F-9. I normally always use shutter priority whenever I set the shutter speed but on this particular shot it came out better while the setting was in Program/Normal mode. This is mostly due to the wide field of view. One great thing about black & white photography when shooting a city skyline is that you can see the hue surrounding the upper parts of the overexposed parts of the photo.