Thursday, August 27, 2009
This is, of course, Seattle. This is the view from Kerry Park, which is on the southern slope of Queen Anne Hill. It’s the place you go to get this stereotypical Seattle view, with the Space Needle and downtown (which aren’t really that close to each other) and all that.
Earlier in the day that this picture comes from, I had gotten a new tripod in the mail. I had ordered the cheapest, lightest tripod I could find, with the idea that I could take it backpacking, and use it to take pictures at twilight or very early in the morning, when there’s otherwise not enough light to take hand-held pictures. It definitely fulfilled both of those requirements. Unfortunately, the old adage that you get what you pay for definitely held true. The thing was really flimsy. Definitely usable for the purpose, but I can see why you’d want to spend more than 20 bucks on one. As long as the shutter speed was less than a couple seconds, it usually came out okay. But any longer than that, and even the tiny little breezes that blow by would shake the camera enough that the end result would be a bit blurry. (In fact, if you look closely enough, you can see some of that going on here.)
Kerry Park is a great spot to take pictures though. Every time I’ve been there, there’s been at least 5 or 6 other folks out with cameras and tripods. But if you wait long enough, the rest of them go home. Actually, it was really fascinating when I was there this time. I got there very late in the afternoon, about an hour before sunset proper. There were probably 5 or 6 distinct phases that the view went through, as the amount of natural light changes and the artificial lights start to become visible. To the human eye, waiting 20 minutes doesn’t seem to make a drastic difference, but you can tell it really does when you have to change from shutter speeds of half a second or so to shutter speeds of 20 or 30 seconds. Fun stuff. If you’ve got the right tripod.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 8.0 seconds, f/8.0, ISO 100. Focal length: 55mm.