With my business trip ending, I took a chance to visit Kerry Park. The composition from Kerry Park would offer a prominent shot of the Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the background above the tops of smaller buildings. This location is referred to as the postcard shot and it is ever bit of that reference. The advice in the web blog Your Guide to Iconic Seattle Photo Spots was to get there early and that is true. There isn’t much parking and the location’s popularity makes getting a “close by” parking spot even more challenging, especially at sunset. The somewhat good news is that many visitors linger till they get their Instagram shot, then leave, except at sunset. Then they linger often past blue hour into night to capture a similar composition with the city lights. I followed their guidance and arrived early. I was lucky to get a close by parking spot and to find a sweet spot to capture this image. That sweet spot in my estimation is along the West stone wall on the Southern side from the statue where you see a gap between the trees to frame up the city skyline. I was lucky on my visit to experience the sun breaking through the stratocumulus clouds that set the conditions in this image, which is a blend of four images that captured the light shinning on the the space needle and a few other Northwest facing buildings. This expanding of the dynamic range helped to adjust for the brighter light on the buildings and area around Mount Rainier. The shutter speed range with these images was 1/20 to 1/100. For this shot, I knew beforehand that I would be using my Sony FE 24-240mm F3.5-6.3 OSS lens verses my often preferred Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM. I knew up front this would be a telephoto required lens situation if I wanted Mount Rainier to show up in a noticeable size. PhotoPills was suggesting a 75mm shot to bring in the stadium and Space Needle, as illustrated below. When I set up the shot, I actually noticed I could get 80mm, which was the focal length used. For this shot, I wanted to apply as much as possible an Analogous color theory scheme as shown in the color wheel image below.
What I like about the shot is the layers of light that starts at the bottom and alternates between dark and light contrasty locations in the photo. Similarly the clouds ironically mirrors a light pocket just like what is seen in the cityscape. All of this was luck on the lighting and the availability of the shooting spot’s availability.