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― Scapes CritiqueWisconsin State Capitol, Madison, across Lake Monona

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Charles Haacker
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Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison, across Lake Monona

Post by Charles Haacker » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:04 pm

So it's nearly a year since lost my right arm :( so I managed to saddle up and drive the ~500 miles to Madison and back to spend a few days with Daphne's sister and BIL (they are mine as well but yeah, well...). This is the awesome view they have had for some 30 years across Lake Monona to the capitol and downtown on the isthmus between lakes Monona and the big lake, Mendota. I've lost count of the number of times I've made this view, never using more than 200mm equivalent 'cuz that's what I gots. I made all three of these handheld, including the sunrise shot (third below) owing to despising the backup tripod I always carry in the car just in case but, um, despising. (If I'd tried to use it the sun would have been well up before I even got the legs opened so, yeah....)

This first one obviously was a not-great time of day, pretty monochrome, but what caught my attention was the reflection since Monona is hardly ever flat calm during daylight as you can see by the roiled water in the foreground. I had little time to make it and the reflection had been better before I made it out the door. I used a graduated filter top and bottom to darken both sky and foreground to keep attention on the subject.
ImageReflections, Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison by Charles Haacker, on Flickr

A couple of days later I look out the winder and see this. That sky is real, not pasted in, but I will confess that some enhancement with the graduated filter has been applied for, ah, drAAAHmatic effect. This one is at 200 mm equivalent with the Mighty Zeiss! :yay:
ImageWisconsin State Capitol, Madison by Charles Haacker, on Flickr

So the morning I'm getting ready to leave at oh-dark-hundred I see THIS! It's not really sunrise. It's more blue hour with red highlights. The sun is still down but rising over my right shoulder -ish providing the pink glow on the buildings, and there is not a breath of wind to roil the lake and spoil the reflection. But if I lunge for the car and my tripod I will lose the light! Ack! So I locks the ISO at 800 at ƒ/4.0, 125 mm (equivalent) hand held at 1/40 second. I held the ISO down to try to minimize noise but still allow a halfway sharp handheld shot. It's not wire sharp like I like 'em, but I think it has a certain dreaminess.
ImageSunrise Reflected, Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison by Charles Haacker, on Flickr
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Post by Psjunkie » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:30 pm

All interesting takes of the same subject Chuck, well done.....each having it's own feel.

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Post by LindaShorey » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:48 pm

Wowsa, if I were living there I might actually invest in a tripod, and leave it standing at all times :) What strikes me most about this series is how terrific it would be for newbies to study. It's all about the light, my children!

Beautifully captured and presented, Chuck.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:20 pm

Psjunkie wrote:All interesting takes of the same subject Chuck, well done.....each having it's own feel.

Thank you, Frank. We lived there for 22 years and the main Madison farmers' market was held every Saturday all around the capitol square. We went often, went inside often, but now I want to go back and do another photo essay on it. I have dozens of pictures inside and out through several cameras and many years.
LindaShorey wrote:Wowsa, if I were living there I might actually invest in a tripod, and leave it standing at all times :) What strikes me most about this series is how terrific it would be for newbies to study. It's all about the light, my children!

Beautifully captured and presented, Chuck.

Thank you, LInda. I told Frank above that I want to make a return trip (now that I know I can do it) and rework the capitol. I'm cobbling together an album that I just started with a handful of existing pictures but I am gonna go back and rework a bunch going all the way back to 2007 and the tiny Nikon L12.
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Post by Duck » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:15 pm

Gorgeous images, Chuck. Personally I love the look of that first image. Very striking.

Are these a single frame capture or a stitched panorama?
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Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:15 am

Duck wrote:Gorgeous images, Chuck. Personally I love the look of that first image. Very striking.

Are these a single frame capture or a stitched panorama?

Thanks Duck! They are single frame. Daphne's sister's house is sited right on the bluff on the edge of Lake Monona almost exactly two miles from the opposite shore. With a 200 mm equivalent I can't get real tight on the capitol but the middle picture shows its reach. The other two were zoomed back a little. The frame thus usually has a lot of lake and sky so I typically crop to 16:9. Some of them I like to use for wallpapers.

Here's one made on the Fabulous Fourth in 2016. It was my first ever "Explore" on Flickr with over 4,000 views :yay: :
ImageShake the Lake 2016, Grand Finale (EXPLORE!) by Charles Haacker, on Flickr
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Post by Duck » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:38 am

That's a fantastic image! Thanks for posting that.
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Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:15 pm

Thank YOU, Duck. That means a lot! :thanks:
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:57 am

I love the first and wonder if a black and white conversion, maybe even sepia, would do it an justice. Love that reflection! The second is amazing with that weather and really gives a strong sense of place. The third though is my favorite, dreamy and all. I really love the fireworks shot, but that light in the third, beautiful!

I hope you make time for a project this year and let us know if we can help! Thank you for sharing these! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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