Tag Archives: Seattle at night

Seattle, WA in Black and White

[/caption] This photo of the Seattle skyline was taken at about 10:00pm and the night sky was pretty dark but not completely void of any color. I wanted to create a black and white photo and try to make the backdrop of the city completely black. After spending several hours going through my best candidates I realized that you need to look for a photo that was taken about 30 minutes after sunset. This way you still have the glare from the city lights in the foreground but a darker night sky behind the city lights. I made sure to take full advantage of Photoshop and found myself changing the blue color change as well as the contrast when the Photoshop was in the convert to black and white graph. I found that if you try to manipulate the color and saturation, while the photo is still in color, you will have a hard time changing it to the convert to black and white graph. Once I was happy with the way the photo looked in black and white I then made some minor changes to the saturation and brightness. I took this photo last summer on 7/11/11 and the day had some clouds so I wanted to make sure that the color scheme of the clouds would be blacked out. I had originally set my ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had my CIR-PL and warming filter attached. I had the camera mode at shutter priority so I could set the speed at 16 seconds and the aperture was at F-6.4. I also had the focal length at 46mm in order to get somewhat of a close up of the city skyline without eliminating too much of the city skyline. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to avoid any camera shake.

Seattle, WA

[/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.