Today was a fantastic day!  I had the day off work and everyone in the family had something on (school for the kids and work for Lisa) so I was left to my own devices.  So this morning I got up as they left the house and headed out with my camera gear on my own.  I spent time in Pike Place Market, the Seattle Public Library (yes I went back), and Gasworks Park.

Gasworks Park is a 20 acre public park on the north shore of Lake Union overlooking downtown Seattle.  It’s the former site of the Seattle Gas Light company’s “Gasification Plant” (and no I didn’t make that up).  The park still has a number of old machines left from when the plant shut down.  Some of it is fenced off, but there’s a play barn and picnic shelter that has loads of old machines that have been painted bright colors.

This is a really cool park, they even have a man-made kite flying hill to help you get loads of wind.  While I was there a woman was at the top of the hill flying her stunt kite.

Anyhow, hopefully you can see from the picture below just how cool the play barn is.  The best bit was that as today was a work day, nobody was there!  I had the place completely to myself and got the chance to take loads of really cool pictures.  As I’ve posted some “right out of the camera” shots over the last couple of days, I thought I’d go in the other direction.  This is a 5 shot HDR image.  For those that don’t know, that stands for High Dynamic Range and allows me to photograph subjects that have very dark and very light areas.

(Here is the technical bit – stop reading if you want) Now the human eye can take in around 14 stops of light, but a digital camera can only do high single digits.  This is why when you see something cool and take a picture it doesn’t always look the same.  Using multiple images, each of which is taken with a different exposure (i.e. some are dark and some are light), you can mix them together in special software to get a composite image the shows you the dark shadows without “blowing out” the highlights.  This is HDR.  I won’t lie I really love this process, I find I can better reproduce what I actually saw, and usually even make it better.

I know I said no more tulips, but our Halo heroes felt they didn’t get their chance to pay homage to spring and the tulip extravaganza I’ve been on for the last couple of weeks.  Here is their one and only tulip image.

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