I’ve been working on a project for a client based out of Seattle since early June. Each week, I’ve been flying out on Sunday to Seattle, and then flying back to Dallas on Friday. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I’ve been working on the project with two other guys from my company and they’ve put us up at the Washington Athletic Club. And, yeah, even though that probably sounds like a Gym Extravaganza or the like, it is actually a regular hotel (though it does include a couple floors of exercise equipment, natch). The hotel has been generally pleasant and that staff has been very nice. (I think I’ve learned most of their names by now.)
What’s interesting or peculiar — depending on your point of view — is the decor. It kinda looks like the hotel was built several decades ago. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean, everything is clean and well maintained. It’s just that the fixtures, the lighting, and even the carpet makes me feel like I’m stepping into another era. I mean, their uneven hallway lighting kinda makes their interiors a little gloomier than they really need to be. Well, no matter — wonky lighting aside, the hotel is generally fine.
Other than some shots of the hotel, I also included some pics from a recent photowalk around the area after dinner one evening. If you happen to be the type that peers into Exif data, you might notice that all my exterior shots were taken in shutter priority at 1/100 sec. “So”, you might be thinking, “why take exterior landscape-type shots in shutter priority rather than aperture priority?”
Well, as is turned out, I didn’t have my tripod with me at the time, and especially with the setting sun, I knew that I didn’t have that might light to spare. I also only had my 50mm f/1.4 lens with me at the time and I knew that I could safely hand-hold shots at that focal length down to maybe 1/80 sec. So that’s why I chose to force my camera to take shots at 1/100 sec. Pleasantly enough, that strategy seemed to have worked — though not every single one of my shots was a keeper, none of the shots that I tossed aside were due to camera shake.
Last but not least, I’d also like to give a shout-out to a little gizmo from Manfrotto, their Hot Shoe Bubble Level. Yeah, just like the name implies, it’s a tiny level that fits in the hot shoe mount of your camera. It’s not exactly cheap — it’s about $30 — but the thing works marvelously. When it comes to hand-held landscape-type photos, a level shot can sometimes make all the difference.
For instance, this hand-held sunset shot may look perfectly level, but that?’s because it is. I measured the waterline in Photoshop (so that I could minutely rotate shot, if needed), but the shot was dead-level right out of the camera. For anyone that takes hand-held landscape-type shots (or other shots that need to be level), I can heartily recommend Manfrotto’s Hot Shoe Bubble Level.