Is This a Calendar Shot?

Seattle had its first (and probably only) snowstorm of the season this weekend, so I set out take photographic advantage of it. I’m intrigued by Ralph Nordstrom’s proposed exercise, in which you try to match the technical and aesthetic polish of a calendar photo. I found a nice Seattle calendar on after-Christmas discount, so I have reference photos for comparison, and I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to photograph. An obvious choice is the old Space Needle and Seattle skyline shot, and I thought the storm might provide a unique twist.

I took the bus to Seattle Center (who wants to drive Seattle hills in a snowstorm?), which is a moderate walk from Kerry Park. Kerry Park is halfway up Queen Anne hill and is where everybody bags their Space Needle and skyline and/or Mt. Rainier and/or moon shots. I imagine the tripods get three deep on days with nice sunsets. But when I reached Seattle Center it was snowing hard, and I got distracted with the possibilities right in front of me.

The photo here is of the side wall of EMP. I stood under the monorail tracks to get out of the snow while I set up the tripod and put the camera in a plastic-bag-like sleeve, then carried the whole rig out in the open to make the photo. Snow piled up on and in the lens hood, and I got a couple of drops on the lens, but they don’t seem to have caused a problem. (The dumpsters were gone, by the way. I checked.)

So, what do you think? Could you see this on a calendar, presumably for January? I think I could.

Oh, and I did eventually walk up to Kerry Park after the snow stopped, but while I spent an hour there and greatly enjoyed the views, I don’t think any of those photos ended up being of calendar quality. I probably would have to wait until sunset like everybody else, and I wanted to get back home. Plus I probably need a longer lens if I’m after the classic shot.

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5 responses

  1. Wow, it’s gorgeous, I love it!

    And meh… does the world really need any more pics from Kerry Park? I lived a few blocks uphill from that park, for two years when I first moved to Seattle. It’s gorgeous, but I agree, it practically counts as “cliche.”

    January 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    • Thanks, I was beginning to worry that nobody liked it. And I’d say that Kerry Park photos are well into cliche-hood. Long ago I went to a talk by Lee Mann (a famous NW Washington photographer), and he mentioned being up there to take yet another picture of “Mount Rainier and the Space Needle.” He said it with a sigh and practically through gritted teeth. And this by a guy who sells posters of Mt. Baker above the tulip fields.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      • But anyway, the point of the calendar exercise is not originality, it’s polish. It’s worth reading Ralph Nordstrom’s description. And I forgot to mention something important above: a major part of the exercise is to produce a print that looks calendar-worthy, so I’m only partly done so far.

        January 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

  2. Gorgeous! Front cover of the calendar!
    Greetings from north of the Arctic Circle.

    February 14, 2012 at 5:47 am

  3. Pingback: Experience Music Project « Franz Amador's Photoblog

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