Monday, May 03, 2010

They Like Me! (Bragging)

Well, no... they like this:

Sunrise From The B

I had finished putting away groceries and playing some Guitar Hero when I checked Twitter for the first time that day. I had few @'s waiting for me, and all were along the lines of "Congrats Astin!"

Huh? Lost in my tweets was this one from Scott Bourne:

ScottBourne: Congrats to Astin who won our Spring Flickr contest - see his winning picture here. More contests coming -

Wha? I had heard about the contest last week, joined the Flickr group and submitted the popular sunrise shot from December's WPBT trip. You were allowed one addition per week, and I forgot to add another before the deadline.

Turns out I didn't need to.

I love the shot, but was shocked that it won. I'm under no illusions about my ability with a camera. I take enough pictures that I occasionally get a good one. See: blind squirrel, nut. That one turned out great, but I figured the HDR aspect of it and unusual dimensions would work against me.

From the announcement post:

Note the horizon doesn’t cut through the center of the frame, which would be distracting. The fountain center and the tower at the Paris hotel are both just slightly off kilter to each other which creates a nice balance.

The horizon is actually exactly where I wanted it. The photo has obviously been cropped (side and bottom taken off). Part of that was because the Bellagio centre column was in the right side of the shot (my room was adjacent to it). But the top/bottom was cropped to get the horizon and road roughly straddling the middle of the picture. Ideally, I'd have liked them both to be on the thirds, but opted for the horizon to be closer to that goal.

The fountain centre and Eiffel tower being off-kilter was purely a function of location. The room is where it is, and the table in front of the window is where it is. That table was necessary to set up my mini-tripod to get the shots. I'd have to check, but I believe I used 4 (maybe 5) exposures for the HDR.

Of course, this has now taken the most popular photo on my Flickr account and trebled its views. If nothing else, it's motivation to keep at this photography hobby, especially as I work through older shots and am reminded how much crap I end up with.


MorningThunder said...

well deserved. Awesome photo.

Memphis MOJO said...

Amazing shot, of course, but thanks for explaining how you tweaked it.

Mike Heffner said...

for amusement, I'm sure you've already seen this...

nice frame.

Unknown said...

Amazing photo! love HDr shots like this! Can i get your permission to print a personal copy? I would like to display this at my house--no commercial use obv.



Dawn Summers said...

Hmm, you're right about the third column horizon kilter balance thing. AT first, I was like "picture pretty," but now, now I see it all so much clearly with the shutter split horizon blance...picture pretty. Congrats!

DrChako said...

Congrats. It's now my desktop photo too.


OhCaptain said...

Aren't we all blind squirrels? This is one of my favorite HDR shots, which says a lot considering my opinion of most of the worlds HDR shots. (Yes, I'm suffering from HDR fatigue)

But, many congrats, again.

Wolfshead said...

Nice photo and congrats on the win but have to say the explanation made me think of my ex (she was a pro photog once) and that I didn't need

Unknown said...

Outstanding shot Astin. Well deserved.

Astin said...

Champ - no problem.