A fiery sunset behind one of the bridge towers in downtown Wichita. Some people think the design of this pedestrian suspension bridge was overdone, overpowering the site with it’s tall dual towers. I find it pleasing and a favorite photographic subject that I am drawn to again and again. If nothing else, I know it looks very interesting in the fog, or with a spectacular sunset behind it.
You are looking at the very end of the Little Arkansas river in the heart of Wichita, where it flows into the Arkansas (sometimes called the Big Arkansas) river. There is a small elevation drop you can see on the left side of the frame as the little river drops into the main river. The ducks and geese were happy this particular evening because they got to enjoy a rain shower. Blackbear Bosin’s Keeper of The Plains can be seen here, viewed head on. This is a three exposure HDR processed in Photomatix Pro and Lightroom.
Here’s another clearing storm HDR image, taken closer to sunset than the one I posted last week. This one has a more ominous feel to it I think, again showing the lower than normal Arkansas river and the Exploration Place science building. It was a waiting game, killing time as the sun slowly moved behind the last line of clouds. There’s some crepuscular ray action going on here, and that figure just below the sun is the well known Keeper of the Plains sculpture by Blackbear Bosin.
Nothing says Wichita like Exploration Place and the Arkansas River. A brief and welcome rain shower had just passed, and the clouds were breaking up as sunset approached. The part of the puzzle usually missing, which is me actually being there with camera and tripod ready, was miraculously present on this occasion and much feverish HDR bracketing mayhem ensued. The river is extremely low at the moment, so sandbars normally under water are now visible. I’m not sure if a full river would have improved this image or not.
By the way, would it be a mistake to admit that Clearing Storm #1 through #51 do not actually exist?
While standing along the riverbank during the seemingly endless wait for Wichita Riverfest closing night fireworks, I amused myself by monitoring the sunset. I swung the camera around (didn’t want to lose my fireworks spot by moving), and fired off a bracketed set of exposures. Combined in Photomatix, I thought the result makes for a fairly pleasing little informal landscape. The sunset itself never developed into anything more spectacular than this, but it was a welcome diversion during my wait.
One of my first blog posts was an HDR photo of the Bass Harbor Lighthouse at sunset. Now that I have learned more, read more, seen more, I’ve come to cringe a little over that early, over-the-top saturated version. This time I went back and started from the original bracketed exposures and gave it another go, trying to achieve something more realistic. I’ve toned down the saturation, and eliminated most of the halos.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse is just a great location, even if you end up shooting the same shot 1,000 other photographers have gotten. Like I did. At least the sky is different every sunset!
Here’s that earlier version for comparison.
One of the favorite places I have had the pleasure photographing is the Bass Harbor Lighthouse in Maine. Admittedly, it is one of the most photographed lighthouses on the planet – but as they say, it isn’t a cliche if you haven’t shot it yet. Lighthouses hold a particular appeal to me, probably because they are in short supply here in Kansas. In 2008 I was lucky enough to visit Acadia National Park and surrounding areas, including this lighthouse. There are two main places to shoot from, one on the west side looking back east (good for sunrise), and one to the east looking west (good for sunset). We were there for sunset on this occasion, so east it was.