Pictures from Seattle Snowpocalypse 2010

It rarely snows in Seattle, but when it does, everyone immediately freaks out.  Partly it is because this is a very hilly city with few backup modes of transportation.  All it takes is a little ice (which usually accompanies even the mildest snowstorms) to turn many major streets into car-sized pinball games.  The other reason is that we’re just not used to it, and even in the best conditions, Seattlites are horrible drivers.  Nice people, horrible drivers.

As such, every snowstorm up here is a Snowpocalypse.  Here are a few pictures from the one currently gripping the city.

How it starts:

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Full snow accumulation.  Sorry about the blur – taken from my steamy living room:

Probably my favorite picture.  Mental note – things that are safe from the rain are not necessarily safe from blowing snow:

One last photo-note for everyone out there.  When you’re taking pictures in the snow, you want to over-expose.  In film, it really mattered.  With RAW, you can do it later, as I did here, but if you’re shooting JPGs and you want them to come out well, overexpose by at least one stop.  If you don’t do it all the time it might take some fiddling to figure it out, but unless you want dark pictures, you should take the time.

The theory behind it is simple.  Cameras are trying to make the scene average out to 18% gray.  If you fill the frame with something very bright (like snow, sand, or reflected sunlight), the camera will underexpose it to make it less bright.  If you actually want it to look the way it should, you need to have the camera over-expose.

Make Your Own Planet

It’s been a while since I posted any nifty little Photoshop trickery, but there has been something I’ve wanted to try out for a while – I just needed the right picture.  Your ingredients here are a panorama with level edgeswhere both the fore and background are pretty plain.  After getting this night shot at Greenlake a little while back, I thought I might have the raw materials:

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It’s really not too hard!  Hit the jump for the whole walkthrough!

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