the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Waiting 3 Years


Washington State Capital BuildingI first thought of this photograph 3 years ago. When driving through Olympia one spring day in 2009, I saw cherry trees losing their blossoms and thought, “A shot of the Capital with the cherry trees in bloom would sure look nice.” But, it was too late for that spring.

A year later, I remembered the idea, but never seemed to find the time during the short cherry blooming season. “Next year,” I vowed, ” I will make time to get to Olympia and get the shot.”

Well, next year came, and it was do it now or wait yet another year. I’ve been watching some cherry trees near my house in Tacoma, waiting for the peak bloom. I was also waiting for the skies to be anything other than blah gray. For those of you that live in western Washington, you know how gray the skies have been this spring. I put the extra restriction that I wanted to do the shoot on a weekend, because the State legislature is in session and the Capital has a lot of people running around it during the week.

Finally, after waiting several weeks, on April 9th, the skies looked like they may cooperate – at least it wasn’t raining! (In hindsight, maybe I should have waited a week, the weather was much better this weekend; but then, maybe not as the cherry trees are starting to drop their pedals). So I hightailed it down to Olympia the early morning. The skies were marginal, and there were still quite a few people around. I set up this shot and had to wait for pedestrians to vacant the walkway. But with a bit of patience, I was able to snap a few frames. The sky was very light, at least compare to the grassy area below the trees. So I planned on doing a high dynamic range image (HDR). So I shot sequences of three shots, 2  f-stops apart. Still I worried I wouldn’t get much definition and interest in the sky.

This week I was finally able to process the images. The one here is one of the results. The HDR worked well, and I was (with a little processing in Photoshop) able to get the sky looking pretty good. Overall, the image still needs some work; I probably need to go back and play with the HDR processing, and I will do so sometime soon. But for now, it looks pretty good. What do you think? Was it worth waiting 3 years for the shot?

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3 responses

  1. Wow, this is HDR done right for sure. You seem to have managed the tones perfectly. Amazing image!

    April 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm

  2. -yoNa-

    This is awesome!

    September 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

  3. Pingback: RN Calendar 2016 – the Story behind the Photos | Robinson Noble

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