Smokestacks and Lines and Shapes

I posted a picture of the bridge of the ferry Hyak a while back.  The huge and almost universally outdated ferries that ply the waters of the Puget Sound are a constant symbol of life in the North West, but unless you actually live on an island or commute to one, it’s not something you actually ride every day.  Grey’s Anatomy not withstanding, these are things seen from afar, so when I do get a chance to ride one, it’s a lot of fun.  Here is another picture I took on the same trip.  Since the maximum capacity for most of these ships is based around cars, they usually have capacious passenger decks with few people on them.  Getting a few shots of the uncrowded lines of the upper area and smokestack isn’t that hard, but I always love the mix of simple colors and shapes.

Smoke Stack of the Ferry Hyak

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Up In Smoke

UW Powerplant Smokestack HDR

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The UW has a power plant.  I suppose it’s pretty obvious when you look at the massive smokestack, constantly billowing… well… smoke, I guess.  I’ve looked at it a million times, but it wasn’t until I was lurking around campus the other day, trying to find an innocuous place to illegally park while driving the afternoon impromptu shuttle run that I realized how close you can get to it.  Even though it still produces 40% of the campus emissions (coal to natural gas switchover in the 80’s not withstanding), I’ve always loved looking at it.  A massive symbol of industry, hiding in plain view next to Montlake boulevard.

I took this picture with my wonderful Tokina 12-24 wide angle lens.  Although I was a little worried about how long I could hang around taking pictures of university infrastructure before someone ran me off, I got up as close as possible to the base of the stack and shot almost straight up.  In a more documentary picture, especially shooting from corner to corner of the frame, I might have used Photoshop to straighten out some lines, but I liked the effect of all the angles in this picture.  Using my standard HDR setup (handheld, but tight against my wonderful R-Strap, burst mode, AEB) I shot three shots and used Photomatix to combine them, but I dialled down the insanity a bit as I didn’t think this picture needed the glowing lights treatment.  I really like this shot in general – having a good subject means you don’t need to work nearly as hard to make the final product something you like.