A Seattle Night Revealing Mt Rainier

This image is a continuation of my time at Kerry Park.  Just like my earlier captured golden hour image, this composition was from that exact camera position, which offered a prominent shot of the Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the background above the tops of smaller buildings.   From golden hour through blue hour into a transition to the night time sky, I worked to keep Mount Rainier visible in that background to retain that postcard notable composition.  Though faintly visible, I was able to retain the mountain.  

This location was mentioned in the web blog Your Guide to Iconic Seattle Photo Spots.  The challenge here was to minimize over exposure from the city lights while retaining visibility of a much darker cityscape.  This meant I would shoot manually to take the multiple photos needed to expand the dynamic range.  This helped to adjust for the most of the cityscape lighting.  The shutter speed range used covered five images ranging from 3.2 sec to 13 sec.  However, it wasn’t until post production that I noticed another exposure was needed at a shutter speed image faster than the 3.2 sec to retain the white light to the right of the stadium.  That little pocket of light in that area appears to be overexposed.  My luminance masking didn’t compensate.  

Since this was a continuation of my earlier shooting composition, this image was shot using my Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens verses my often preferred Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM.  Though PhotoPills was planned with 75mm focal length, I adjusted it to 83 mm after sunset.

For this shot, I wanted to apply as much as possible a Complementary color theory scheme, which is a common scheme associated with twilight shots like this as discussed by Jess Santos in her enlightening B&H Optic presentation, Color Theory for Landscape Photography.  But it appears that the green lights atop the canopy of the Climate Pledge Arena affected the outcome.  At least that is what Adobe Color indicated after uploading the image to get analyzed and shown below.  Here is where I should of used the smartphone app Adobe Capture.  If I had checked the color theme on site, I might of been able to limit the impact of that green light from the area as shown in the color wheel image below.

What I like about the shot is the complementary tones for the most part from the warm tungsten lighting throughout the cityscape to the night time hues in the sky.  I believe what really makes the image is the ever so faint revealing of Mount Rainier and how overall the light emitting from windows and the architectural lighting are properly exposed.  Seeing the outcome after processing these images using the Photoshop layer blending algorithm is reinforcing my preference to use this technique over a HDR option.

Picture Info
Aug 4, 2022
9:20 PM
Sony ILCE-7RM3
FE 24-240mm
83 mm
8 sec
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