Saturday, August 2, 2008

White Sky

While on the Colorado Street Bridge for the July 19th festival I took this photo of the Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals Building, another Pasadena icon everyone loves to photograph. The building originally opened in 1903 as the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel, thus beginning its fascinating history.

I'm not sure if the rooftops in the foreground are of condos or a private home. We called it "Casa de Escher." Click on the shot below to enlarge it and get a better idea of why.

None of this explains the color of the sky.
While on vacation I might not be able to respond to comments as quickly as I'd like to, so please bear with me, or bear without me, or just bear.


Jim said...

Thats a US Courts building? Its awesome and unique, nothing I would expect to see being built today. I love the courtyard in the smaller pic also.

Knoxville Girl said...

Escher - convex and concave - makes my head explode - in a good way, mind you.
Could your white sky be the result of the metering used in your shot?

Coltrane_lives said...

I like the rooftops. Have a great trip!

Laurie said...

Petrea, I am no photography expert but some of these tips may help. The white sky can be avoided by metering the sky, instead of the subject. This can make your subject too dark but you can experiment. I'm still learning how digital differs from film. (I always used filters when I shot bright days with my old Canon 35mm SLR.)

Also, if you are shooting on a bright day, point at the sun with your finger and then put out your thumb to make a 90 degree angle and then shoot THAT direction. That doesn't always work if your subjecct isnt' that direction but it's a good rule to remember.

You can in general shoot with smaller apertures to avoid the sky blowout. My Fujifilm is a great point-and-shoot because on Auto I can one-click the shutter to meter something, it sets that reading and then I can move the camera around or down to shoot my subject. It is second nature to me now and nice not to manually have to adjust settings.

BTW, I remember studying Edward Burtynsky. He was famous for his white skies.

Ben Wideman said...

I've been getting a lot of white sky phenomenon lately too. Maybe the summer haze of LA County??? Your tip is helpful Laurie, I'm going to have to try that out.

Laurie said...

I wish I could remember what my old photography teacher in college taught us about haze. I'm sure one of the pros here will fill us in.

Also, you can meter the sky and then add a flash fill if your subject is close enough. That wouldn't have worked for this shot, though.

Oh, and try adjusting the exposure in post. I know a lot of digital photographers use Photoshop to change sky color either by playing with the exposure like a darkroom or just flat-out coloring the sky. I'm kind of a purist, though, and want it to come out of my camera correctly exposed.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, you're one of the PRO's! Only you don't charge for your tips. Thanks.

I now know what kinda kamera 2 buy: one I can tell it what I want & it listens & automatically adjusts itself. I think it's a "talk pt & shoot", with no questions need be asked later.

Christie said...

It reminds me a little of the Hollywood Hotel, I'm not sure why...

White sky..looks like that when we have a clouds, but no rain here in Michigan, which is quite often!

Have a great day!

Petrea said...

Hi everyone, thanks for stopping by! I've got a free minute and found a computer with internet access. (Haven't been near any free wifi, I guess.)

I didn't make it clear: that's what color the sky was! It wasn't my camera or metering (I'm too much of an amateur to have a meter). It's an accurate shot of how the sky looked.

However, I love your advice Laurie, and I will use it. Thank you!

Big party tonight, class reunion, and I'm already tired. Wish me luck.

Coltrane_lives said...

Petrea...back in the land of Lincoln?

Irredento Urbanita said...

Petrea, I get surprisedto know you you are actress and writer. It would be great to make an interviewabout you.

Regards from Barcelona


Barcelona Daily Photo

Petrea said...

Coltrane, I was there for the fun stuff. Took a while to get back.

Thanks Valery, email me if you like.

CASE said...

Who cares about the Escher staircase... CHECK OUT THAT WILD FOUNTAIN ! Not that noticable at first look, but when you see that the watter is going down the steps WITH YOU as you descend them, ( Would be Sooooo COOL if I Could.... Teleport me now, Mr. Wizzard !) It just blews Mi mind, don'cha know ? ! LoL !

Petrea said...

Check out today's post, Case. It's for you.