Monday, January 7, 2013

Downtown Raleigh from 25 meters

I've been hoping to get my 2013 photo projects going with some wintery atmosphere. To this point, the NC Piedmont has had slightly warm to close to average seasonal temperatures, which means any precipitation has been rain. It's hard not to "expect" a snow covered landscape (or cityscape) when thinking about winter, but there are also characteristics of the daylight that go with the season.

Yesterday, late afternoon, I drove to downtown Raleigh with the aim of making some images of the performing arts center in "golden hour" light. I found myself on a roof at an eye level of maybe 80 feet above the surrounding streets. I did this as an establishing shot, to kind of get my bearings. The light never developed as I'd anticipated, or at least not from this vantage, so I ended up looking at other things.

I realized I had found a good lookout post (atop a parking deck). While waiting for the clouds to develop and daylight to drop to levels similar to the city's artificial lights, I explored the abstract shapes around me. There is almost always some gritty texture to be found in concrete structures.

A narrow angle of view (telephoto lens) renders a kind of compression of distance (we don't have many cues for depth perception), making two dimensional shapes out of three dimensional objects.

A look over the edge of the roof gave a good view of the long approach from the south (McDowell Street).

I managed to time the shutter release well enough to catch this pulsing warning beacon atop a radio tower.

The stair well/elevator housing is an odd looking structure when isolated against the sky.

I heard some thumping, and looked down in time to see a man looking up at the basketball he'd thrown after dribbling.

I've long wanted to find a viewpoint to photograph this plant, and stumbled on it from my garage roof hideaway.

I try not to overdo fisheye shots, but once in a while the extremely wide view is useful. In this case, I think the curved lines worked okay for the shapes of the roof and sky, and the leading lines of the wall and curb.

Another view over the edge.

 We're accustomed to seeing these buildings from street level. I tried composing things with just the roof of the convention center as a base for the upper portion of the BB&T tower.

This shot gives an idea of my lonely surroundings as I worked (this is looking ESE, away from the sunset).

At this point, I had some vantage points and directions scoped out, so I watched the development of the sky, and tried to catch it in as many interesting ways as I could in a short time.

I turned away again to catch this.

Then back for the final trails of light.


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