P161H – Seattle Skyline at Dusk – Seattle, WA

On the evening of September 10th, 2001, I was given permission to photograph the city of Seattle from the top of a building in Queen Anne. It was the perfect location to observe the city, Space Needle and Mt. Rainier without obstructions. The night was clear with only a thin layer of high cloud. This particular image was taken way after sunset when the sky begins to display a more purplish color from the earth’s shadow on the atmosphere. The sky was actually considerably darker in real life than as it appears here, but because I performed an 80 second time exposure on the scene to illuminate the city lights, the sky became lighter as well from the increase in exposure. Many feel I used a filter or some sort of post processing trick to show the sky this color. Well, actually if they thought about it, it couldn’t be a filter, otherwise the lights would be filtered the same color and as you can see they are white. As for post processing, I’ll be happy to show you the original piece of film.

Of course we all know what happened the following morning in New York, so in a sense, this is probably the last known peaceful U.S. mainland sunset.

I returned to this same spot the next night (September 11th, 2001) to capture the city again. I was lucky that I was still able to access the roof after all that had happened that day. You can view a couple additional images on my website. One of the images was taken at sunset with the U.S. flag at half mast and the other was taken considerably later when the beacons that were installed on top of the Space Needle displayed their best on the U.S. flag.

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