An HDR image of Interstate 5 cutting through the north side of Seattle. Shot with my Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens.
Usually Photomatix does a fine job of giving me the HDR effect that I like — surrealistic enough to make you wonder how it’s done, but not enough to make you question the scene’s existence. This time, I blended two tonemapped versions of this photo, one of the sky and background separately, with another of the traffic to get the prefect balance I wanted.
I saw a lot of this country on my drive from Massachusetts to Washington, but overall, I’d have to say that the Badlands were the most significant. They brought me to tears.
Badlands National Park was the first nature-related stop we made on our drive across the country (Check out the map at the end of the post.) After the urban decay in Detroit, metropolis of Chicago and Toronto, and hanging out with friends in Milwaukee, we were ready to leave some things behind and do some introspection. States like the ones we had yet to cover — South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana — were just the thing we needed.
When you tell people you’re going on a drive across the country, one of the first things they tell you is that you’re going to get bored with the scenery around the Great Plains. “There’s a who bunch of nothing,” they say. Well, the nothing was beautiful.
South Dakota was full of green rolling hills dotted with cows and entertaining billboards. We took the main interstate the whole way through, something we didn’t do in any other state. That day, we crossed most of the state under grey skies with looming dark clouds that we were trying to stay well ahead of. As we got closer and closer to the Badlands, the edge of the clouds became clear, and as soon as we reached the park, the sun had set low enough to shine what looked to be all the way down the road we had traveled.
The golden light washed the rocks over as we meandered through the park, seeing goats, deer, and other animals. Tons of photographers were out that evening, including myself. I think we hit the jackpot.
A planet view of the Smith Memorial Arch in Philadelphia.
More of my planet photos here: http://aeroartist.deviantart.com/gallery/39738882
Philadelphia is much, much more than old brick and cheese steak.
This week, I took my first trip to the Cradle of Liberty; Birthplace of America; Brotherly Love; etc. This was the last major city on the eastern seaboard I hadn’t been to, and I was pretty excited to photograph all the ordinary yet beautiful things in the city that make it a little different than D.C. and Boston, but little did I know how different my view would be.
The Philadelphia Coal Piers, according to Gjfoto, were used to refill ships’ supplies of coal. The ruins are covered in graffiti and progress in a staggered linear fashion, making for a disorienting and beautiful find, right off the highway.
A break in the labyrinth, halfway through.
Sunlight seeps in through breaks in the concrete walls.
Some areas are murals, plastered in detailed works of urban art.
The pier goes on for quite a ways, leading into new corridors and hallways.
Dark tunnels through the pier are covered in bright spray paint.
Secondary secession: the process by which nature reclaims spaces.
The front of the coal pier ruins. Dirt pathways run past this place, where four-wheelers and dirt bikes speed back and forth, leaving tire marks through the trash and graffiti-covered tunnels.