Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Turning green into gold at Spokane's Riverfront Park

Sure, it is a place that everyone in Spokane has seen before. And, sure, it is something almost anyone with a camera has taken a photo of. Yet, tonight there was something different.

I had taken about 200 or so images at a variety of locations, and was headed back another mile to where I parked my vehicle for the evenings photo shoot. I walked eastbound, on the walking path just south of the US Pavilion. I noticed the hole in the side of the south side roof, which apparently allows rain/water runoff from the Pavilions roof area. I had stomped around on top of the roof surface for a couple hours during a security survey I had done of Riverfront Park a few years ago. It was obvious that people were using the holes access to the Pavilion roof area for their own pleasures, during the security survey. So, tonight I walked back over to the hole in the wall with two cameras and a tripod.

When I got close to the wall, I noticed what I had been unable to see from the Riverfront Park walking path. The entire roof area was in color, which came from the lights straight up in the air above the Pavilion. Those lights were in the process of changing colors, and the entire roof area was lit up in the colors coming from above.

I set up one of the cameras (Canon 400D), and leaned the tripod in to freeze its position against the Pavilion wall. There were so many wires above running one way or the other, and the only way to eliminate them from the shot even slightly was to lean up against the wall for the shot. The lights were green, and began to transition to gold…and it was beginning to look amazing on the surface of the roof as well as the colors from above. Wires or not, I had to take the shots. I shot as often as I could (RAW+JPEG), in the frozen position of the camera, as the light on the roof changed from gold to almost completely green. Wow, it wasn’t something I had seen before, even when I was stomping around on the Pavilion roof during my last Park security survey.

In post photo editing, I combined the lightest image that I could, with two images that were substantially darker, so I could lighten up the darkest spots on the roof, as well as tone down the bright lights from above. I shot images at ¼, through 8 seconds of exposure, using ISO 100, at F 11 (wireless remote). I could do nothing about all of the overhanging wires, but what you see is what the site revealed that evening. I thought about spending a day or two trying to remove all of the wires, but I got what I was after that night, some great colors.

It is always amazing, when you can capture green as it turns into gold. Yep, absolutely amazing.