On a recent trip to St Louis, MO while shooting The Gateway Arch, the new Cardinals Stadium and Downtown St Louis in general I walked several times across this highway. It was one of those submerged areas, green parks were all around, but somehow in this one spot, it seemed very desolate to me. On one of those back and forth trips there was this odd magenta hue to the sky and the entire concrete wasteland was bathed in a color that, to me made it feel even more detached. We build these things for convenience, for transportation, for speed, but how impersonal they are, how inhospitable, how so like the end of the world they feel.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
While in downtown St. Louis, Pamela and I made it a point to walk down by the new Cardinals Stadium in Downtown St. Louis. The new stadium is right next door to the old one, there is a big empty field now where the old stadium once stood. I didn’t get what I wanted of the front. The sun was going down behind me as I shot the front of the ball park. I think the real excitement would be a morning shot from home plate with zero people in the stadium. If anyone knows someone that can make this happen, let me know, but I did get this shot of the sunset while walking along the Left Field Wall that came out very nicely.
I noticed something working today I have never before realized. Using automatic Reduce Ghosting Artifacts in Photomatix REALLY seems to increase the noise in your HDR TIFF output. I still need to do some more testing, but here is the short of it. I created my first HDR without Reduce Ghosting Artifacts. I realized I had that funny black blob effect in the cars headlights that sometimes happens. No problem. I started again with Reduce Ghosting Artifacts on Auto High. BAMMIE WHAM (shout out to FilmRiot)…NOISE out the Wazoo! I have long sense though my images were too noisy. I thought it was mostly due to how hard I push my files…perhaps with more testing I will prove myself wrong!
Less an Abstract Arch
The first photo I published from the St Louis Arch was a bit on the abstract side. I took a number of photos really close up on the arch, they still feel like the arch to me, but they also don’t scream out ARCH! With this photo I wanted to bring a more concrete feel, but still give a different perspective then we usually see. I tried to frame the arch so it feels different with a strong and different graphic flow. I have more of this series I would like to work on…the sky that day had a wonderful cloud system overhead and a deep blue feel.
This is a three bracket (-2, 0, 2) shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a Really Right Stuff Tripod, combined in Photomatix, processed quite a bit in Photoshop and the Nik suite, finished in Lightroom 4.
I am a sucker for a good sunset (and a good sunrise really). We were by the St Louis Arch doing some photographing of the arch, when it turned all pink. I turned around when Pamela said…”Woah, look at that!” The sky over downtown St Louis had gone all…awesome! I and several other photographers setup shots quickly (you never know how long these things will last). I think I missed the peak color by a few minutes, but you wouldn’t know from the shot.
This is a three shot HDR (-2, 0, +2) combined in Photomatix. It was edited in Photoshop, Nik Color EFX Pro, Sharpener Pro and Lightroom 4.
An Abstract Gateway
We recently took a trip to St Louis, Missouri where we visited the downtown area and Gateway Arch or as some say, The Gateway to the West. I chuckled as I straddled the mid-point stepping back and forth saying to my wife…I am in the west, no the east, no the west. I took a good deal of photos of the arch, many of them abstract. There are so many people milling around the arch at sunset that most of my full scope shots ended up feeling cluttered. It was however good to see so many photographers down there near sunset trying to get some interesting shots. I think perhaps the best shot may have been across the river, but as Chimney Man says to Jelly (see Jelly’s Last Jam):
Ever hear of East St. Louis? Piss me off again n’ you gonna be giggin’ in ole West Hell. Even the devil doesn’t go there after dark.