Tag Archives: cityscape

What Am I Seeing? Three Very Different Black and White Photographs

This week I wanted to take a look at three very different black and white photographs and tell you what I see.

As I have mentioned in my posts, I shoot everything in Raw format which means I shoot digitally capturing tremendous detail. It does take up memory and believe me my portfolio and archives have their own hard drive because of it. The reason I shoot with that much definition is that it allows me to “play’ with the end picture more.

The first picture is a cityscape of downtown Seattle with the Space Needle featured front and center. What do I see? I see the downtown towers and Space Needle sharply defined…very bold straight edges. I see the architecture dominating the capture because of that factor. As an additional element, I see the sharp contrast of the cloud formations from the high level clouds to the puffy cumulous in the background.  I see an architectural statement of Seattle with the subtle element of weather which Seattle is known for.

From a cityscape to a farm. What do I see? I see a mood created from an abandoned farm highlighted by showing it in black and white. I see barren tree branches and collapsing buildings that have a lonely element with no life. The black and white presentation allows this mood to be front and center without getting distracted by pops of color.

From the farm to Old Point Loma Lighthouse sitting on the entrance to San Diego Bay in Cabrillo National Monument. What do I see? I see the top of a lighthouse where the simple architecture of the structure points your eye upward to the light. I see what is a deep blue sky not taking center stage because the presentation in black and white makes it a supporting gray backdrop to the white structure and the intricate architecture of the top of the lighthouse.


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A Photo Shoot: The Seattle Great Wheel

My photo shoot this week took me to downtown Seattle. It  occurred to me that I had not done a photo shoot in downtown for a couple of years and the last time would have been before the Seattle Great Wheel (ferris wheel) had been built at the end of one of the piers along the water front. Some facts: The Seattle Great Wheel was built in less than a year, but its story goes back much further than that. Seattle businessman Hal Griffith had envisioned a Ferris wheel in the city for nearly 30 years, but it wasn’t until he realized he could build one on his own pier that his dream became a reality. The Seattle Great Wheel opened to the public on June 29, 2012. Since then, it has become an icon of the city and a destination for tourists and locals alike. Here are some fun facts about the Seattle Great Wheel:

  • The Seattle Great Wheel is the largest observation wheel on the west coast, standing 175 feet tall.
  • The wheel has 42 fully-enclosed gondolas. Each gondola seats up to eight people, meaning the wheel can hold over 300 passengers at any given time.
  • The wheel was manufactured in various parts of Europe and the United States, and assembled right at the end of the pier.
  • The wheel extends nearly 40 feet beyond the end of the pier, over Elliott Bay.
  • The Seattle Great Wheel is open year round. With fully-enclosed gondolas and a covered waiting area, the rain can’t stop the wheel from spinning!
  • The Wheel weighs 280,300 pounds.
  • 550 tons of concrete were poured to create the foundation for the wheel.

My shots are from the view-point of a photographer/artist, so I always look for unique angles and composition. The first picture is of the city skyline and the beginning of the pier. I framed this shot to highlight the fall colors of the trees against the city back drop. The ferris wheel is at the end of the pier past Miners Landing. Ferris Wheel Skyline Please note, it doesn’t always rain in Seattle…nice sunny day!! The next picture is of the Seattle Great Wheel sitting at the end of the pier!

Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

The next shots are clearly “artistic” in nature, but I like some of the elements and composition, so I wanted to share the originals before I start playing with them. This one is from beneath the wheel looking up…Ferris Wheel Looking up From the SideThe next one is standing beneath the wheel looking up one of the support structures..

Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

And the final shot a look at the gondolas……..

Seattle Great Wheel

Seattle Great Wheel

As I work through the shoot and evaluate what I have, some of the shots will find themselves transformed into paintings and black and white photography, while others will stay color photographs. Thoughts? Comments? Please visit my main gallery: TheWalllGallery … and follow my work on my Facebook page – TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!) Thanks!