Capitol Star

Star in the Capitol Gate

I always liked the stars that adorn the gates and fences on the Texas Capitol grounds.  I played with variations of this shot for a while but couldn’t seem to capture what I really had in mind — both the star and the Capitol in focus, with this perspective.  The formula may exist but I didn’t figure it out.  The wide-angle lens (used for this shot) gave a perfect perspective but I had to use a focus distance which precluded a deep depth-of-field.   Stepping back with the wide lens pulled in some out-of-balance elements (IMO) of the gate unless I centered the star (blocking the Capitol building). Tried the 24-70mm but the bit of added compression in perspective wasn’t quite to my liking.  That compression does help square up the star and Capitol relative to each other but again, it wasn’t what I was after.

I decided to post the shot anyway — still an interesting shot IMO and I hope you enjoy it.  It’s interesting how the tonemapping process turns the background blur into a somewhat dreamy scene while keeping the star a nice, realistic focus point.  I might experiment with this shot again someday.

6 responses

  1. yycofee

    This is an interesting shot for sure. Despite the prominent place the star has in the foreground, I found my gaze following the lights and the street back towards the Capitol in the background. Very cool shot.

    April 6, 2010 at 8:19 am

  2. Personally, I think it ROCKS! If I hadn’t read what you were going for, I would have thought this was it. I really like how it has a double POV…the star and then the lights leading to the Capitol. Can view it two ways. I also like the slight bur of the Capitol behind. Just enough blur but can def still tell what it is. Awesome Shot!! (When I grow up, I wanna be like you 🙂 – although I’m probably older than you now – LOL!)

    April 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

  3. Thanks! I took this shot back in January or so and finally got around to processing it. I’m glad you all like it as-is 🙂

    April 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm

  4. I like the shot! I like the angle on the star against the squared up capital building.

    Reading you post about perspective one thing I’ve experimented with is taking multiple brackets at different focal points and then letting photoshop merge the results to get an image that is focused in more than one plane. You have to be careful because if you don’t take enough shots the out of focus areas become more obvious. What I tend to do is put it in manual and turn the focus just a bit and take a bracketed series. Then turn the focus just a bit and take another one. Once I’ve done that then I make sure the prominent points are in focus in a series. That way when I get home I’ll have plenty of images to work with. Probably the shot I’ve used it most successfully on (and my favorite) was this shot:

    Anyway, thanks for the comments and I enjoy reading your posts!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm

  5. that came out great buddy

    April 7, 2010 at 11:12 am

  6. Chris,

    That sounds like a good idea — I never though about it and will have to try it out. The bridge shot is great!


    April 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm

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