Last week the weather was unseasonably gorgeous in Seattle. Then again in February this city always fakes us out with 60 degrees and warm sun. It's like she's trying to remind us that the world isn't completely grey all the time and if we just hang in there a little longer, it'll be fabulous once again. I stopped by the cliche Seattle landscape shot, Kerry Park's overlook. I managed to get a beautiful panorama and played with my new love of HDR. In case you're not familiar, it's a technique in post-shoot editing that allows you to take several photos of the same composition but with different camera settings to capture the best possible lighting for image that wasn't naturally possible (there will be shadows and dark spots with such bright sunlight but i can take really dark images and really bright images, combine them and make something beautiful). It was especially helpful with the bright reflection off Rainier's snowcaps.
You can see the rest of this set with shots at the Ballard Locks, graffiti around town and generally sunny shots of the city here. It was a really great day of exploration and shooting. Now on to capturing more people, landscapes are great but it's time I start getting into moving, thinking, feeling subjects again.
I grew up in the country. Not the whitewashed fences, ruffled dresses, drinking sun tea on the porch kind of country... the dusty, long, unpaved roads, no movie theater for 50 miles, one restaurant where everyone met on Sundays kind of country in Kentucky. I ran around barefoot ninety percent of the time, spent most of my time outside, helped my dad cut wood and may have even had a cow as a pet for a while. I love the city, Seattle is a fantastic metropolis where any and everything is available, but I also love the feeling of quiet solitude and genuine kindness that comes from knowing every single person in the town where you reside.
I visited my family for the holidays as most people do, but this time was a much longer stay than normal, so I decided to take a trek out of the big city (Louisville) where my parents now live and out to the country in search of some uninhabited farms where nature had taken over and begun to take back what we had stripped from the land for so long. What I found were beautiful disasters and powerful emotions. Two places that grabbed my attention happened to be burned out houses. Strangely, the second had still been smoldering as I came upon it, but no one was in sight. I wanted to capture emotional destruction in my photographs this time, not just capture a moment. I want to start telling a story with the photos I take whether they're of people, animals, landscapes or buildings. The most powerful images are the ones that speak to you, tell you their story. I think these will weave a little tale that may just stick with you.
I've gone to a lot of live music this year, a lot. Actually I go to a lot of live music every year and I never seem to get tired of it. You'd think after 5+ years of running into venues last minute, getting nasty looks from die-hard fans that just want you out of the way, getting elbowed in the general admission pit, pushed around in the photo pit, horrible lighting, and even the occasional horrible show that I'd want to throw in the towel. It's glamorous, yes... there's no two ways about it; but it's also lots of work for no pay (quite literally), hard and exhausting. Then again, you find bonds of friendship with those in the "trenches" see new music nearly every week, have the best seat in the house (at least for the first three songs) and come away with once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Just like anything else, it's all in how you look at the balance.
Last night at Key Arena (Seattle, WA) with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis I just had fun. It was all about being a part of the experience. I have seen them perform many times before but any hometown group that's been gone on a long tour and has an especially tight relationship with the fans... it's a powerful experience to see them "come home again". That's what I got out of last night's performance and it was spectacular.