Emerald City- dramatic Seattle city skyline

On the way home to West Seattle from a shoot last week I took a detour so I could get some shots of downtown, after spotting the stormy dramatic sky above me on my drive. (I actually had my Mark III in my right hand, trying to shoot through my windshield as I drove and realized that was a bad idea, ha!)  I may complain about the weather here, but one thing I absolutely love is the incredible skies and accompanying clouds that create pretty spectacular scenery. Makes for some awesome photographic opportunities. If I weren’t a pet photographer I think I’d really enjoy being a landscape photographer, especially here in the PNW.

f/14, 1/500, ISO 400, 160mm, 70-200 4.0 L IS lens, manual, AWB, partial metering

f/13, 1/640, ISO 400, 57mm, 24-70 2.8L lens, manual exposure, custom WB (5800K), partial metering

f/11, 1/1250, ISO 250, 70mm, 24-70mm 2.8L lens, manual exposure, AWB, partial metering

That last shot was tricky because the sun was just off the left side of the frame, and very bright, which made it easy to clip the highlights. I still wanted the brightness in the top of the clouds, but didn’t want to overexpose the stormy skies below the clouds, so I used partial metering and metered off a mid-tone in the center part of the frame where there weren’t too many bright highlights. I took several shots, manually ‘bracketing’ and shifting my position until I got the exposure I wanted. Focusing was also a little tricky with my Mark III because initially I was just using a few center focus points, but the center area of the clouds lakced enough contrast or sharpness to lock in the focus. I had to experiment with different focusing settings and moved the focus points around until I could lock in the focus. Of course, I was doing all of this while saying “wow….” the whole time. Gorgeous. BTW, that’s Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountain range way off in the distance. This shot was taken facing northwest.

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  1. Aaron King posted the following on June 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm.

    Hey photographer.. I think you enjoyed the snapping images…!!!!!!!
    is it ?????

  2. Cathy posted the following on June 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm.

    That last pic of the clouds is amazing, love it. Good work.

  3. Joanna Reichert posted the following on July 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm.

    Love how you explain your process, as if you’re a regular photographer! ;) Really though, it’s a real treat to see your work and explanations.

  4. Jamie 'Cowbelly' posted the following on July 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm.

    Thanks everyone! :-) Joanna- usually when I point my camera at things that aren’t covered with fur, the images turn out pretty bad. But I’ve been pushing my boundaries lately! LOL.


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