Very Green Ferris Wheel
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Wheel and Bridge -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 75 mm — 1/50 sec handheld, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Wheel and Bridge

On our way back from our short day trip to Awaji Island last week (about which I posted lotsa' flower pictures here and here), we stopped by the highway rest stop just south of the big Akashi-Straights bridge. I wrote about the rest stop before in Heavy Lifting: Supporting the Longest Suspension Bridge in the World.

This time it was dark, and the Ferris wheel (“the largest at a highway rest stop in Japan! if not the world!”) was lit up with pure green floodlights that made a dizzying sight...

Ultra-Wide Angle -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm — 1/60 sec handheld, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Ultra-Wide Angle

The “dizzying” came not from its height (it's not really very tall), but from the plethora of green photons flooding your retina. Our brains aren't set up to handle this situation well, and it was somewhat disorienting and surreal.

Entrance -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm — 1/60 sec handheld, f/5, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance

Unfortunately, cameras aren't set up to handle this situation, either. As I lamented in Why Does “Brightness” Wash Colors to White?, colors start to get washed out to white as their intensity increases. Other than the lights illuminating the sign and entrance area, there wasn't anything at all white about the light in the pictures above. The Ferris wheel was intense, absolutely pure green without any hint of “washing out” or fading or white. As such, these pictures (which are pathetic on a photographic plane to begin with) give no real sense for the experience.

Starting the 11-Minute Ride -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm — 1/20 sec handheld, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting the 11-Minute Ride
, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos Picture Through a Dirty Plastic Window the lights on the bridge are a beautiful purple, but show up here as white )-: -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/5 sec handheld, braced, f/5, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Picture Through a Dirty Plastic Window
the lights on the bridge are a beautiful purple, but show up here as white )-:

For the same reason that photos of the green Ferris wheel don't come out pure, intense green, the lights on the bridge don't come out in their proper colors. I run into this problem often, and I don't understand why tools like Lightroom can't address it. For example, consider the “Extremely Blue Light Display” that I posted a year ago. The pure blue got “blown out” to white, but spending some time in Photoshop, I was able to finagle a more realistic representation, as seen in the first image on this post.

Wider View -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27 mm — 1/8 sec handheld, braced, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Wider View
, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos Looking for our Car -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/8 sec handheld, f/5, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
Looking for our Car

I continue to be impressed by the low-light capabilities of the Nikon D700, and surprised by the low-shutter-speed abilities of my hands. The picture above was handheld, freestanding, in a moving, swinging Ferris-wheel car. Anthony's head is fuzzy because he moved during the glacial 1/8-second exposure. Nothing is really sharp and photographically speaking the picture is as bad as the others, but I think it adds to the story, and that it can even exist is an amazing part of the story.

When we were done with the ride, I tried taking a shot of the bridge from the ground...

Akashi-Straights Bridge -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66 mm — 1/25 sec handheld, braced, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Akashi-Straights Bridge

The lights on the bridge often changed, and were not necessarily always the same across the whole length. But I never actually saw the lights change.... we would just suddenly realize that they were different. The lights likely slowly morphed, making for an interesting effect over time. Unfortunately, whatever colors they were, they come out as white in a photograph.

Still Green -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27 mm — 1/60 sec handheld, f/8, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Green

After being around the intense green for a while, I found it interesting to realize that it started to not feel so intense. As our brain got used to it, it started to inch toward doing what it does for most ambient light: interpret it as being white.

Before I left, I tried taking some shots that might be good for a “What am I?” Quiz, but as yesterday's quiz made clear, I didn't come up with anything challenging. (It was even less challenging if you clicked on the “nearby photos” link under the picture, and saw the big Ferris wheel pop up.)

Another Contender -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/320 sec handheld, f/2.8, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Contender

While Fumie ran into the rest-stop stores for some shopping, Anthony and I played catch a bit. When Mommy returned, he was apparently still in a baseball mood, and showed Mommy his moves...

— 1 / 40 sec handheld , f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos And the Windup... -- Highway Oasis highway rest stop -- Awaji, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm1/40 sec handheld, f/2.8, ISO 6400map & image datanearby photos
And the Windup...

Those familiar with baseball will see that stance as a first class pitcher's windup. In this case it's entirely (and unexpectedly) coincidental. He has no idea what he's doing, which makes this snapshot all the more precious.

As for the look of the picture, that picture happened to be up on the screen when Fumie asked me about a photographer she'd seen on TV whose style she really liked, and so I started futzing with the controls and presets in Lightroom to show how that style could be mimicked digitally. The style here is not one she asked about, but is one I happened upon that I like for an otherwise drab presentation.


All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

nice ride (last pic)!
Kind regards from Germany! 🙂

— comment by christof on April 18th, 2009 at 3:15pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

The dearth of other riders- is was that due to the late hour or the economy

Perhaps both, but certainly the late hour had a lot to do with it. One couple came on after we got off, and then they closed. They left the lights on, though, as it was quite stunning from a distance. —Jeffrey

— comment by Bob on April 18th, 2009 at 5:58pm JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I would expect a lot more noise from a photo taken with 6400 ISO (Wheel and Bridge). It’s really impressive, considering I try to avoid 1600 on my Rebel.

— comment by Brandon on April 19th, 2009 at 4:26am JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hey Jeffrey– what kind of monitor do you use for your photo proofing. I assume you’ve calibrated it? I ask because when viewing your pics in this entry, I’m not seeing as much of the blowing out to white as you seem to imply you’re having (on my Samsung Syncmaster 305T). For example, the last picture of the bridge is very obviously purple. I do see some minor washing out to white on the specular highlights of the ferris wheel pictures (and the point lights themselves), though. Anyway, interesting pics. I have a similar shot of the large Ferris wheel at the Osaka aquarium that I really like.

I use a mid-level Eizo monitor. You’re not seeing much clipping because I spent considerable time in Lightroom lowering the exposure and doing other adjustments to try to keep the chromaticity (the green) while not losing the overall feel that was there to begin with. This proved to be impossible, as the overall feeling while there was “overwhelming, all-encompassing, bright green”, and the chromaticity was “pure green” and not the increasingly washed out (but not yet clipped) green you see in many parts of the pictures. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ash on April 20th, 2009 at 2:29am JST (8 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I suspect the tool that Martin Evening uses in this video tutorial might go a long way towards explaning what’s happening with your highly saturated colors. I don’t know anything about it other than what Martin says and demonstrates here, but it looks pretty useful…

— comment by Mark Sirota on May 6th, 2009 at 2:35am JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink
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