Street / Seattle

Although my first big-city living experience was Boston, Seattle is nearest to family and where I now call home. The natural beauty of the area is so diverse, and the city itself is unique among its counterparts and beckons to be photographed. It may not be the biggest metropolis, have the most amazing this-or-that, but I think Seattle ranks right up there with the best of them.

If you’re wondering, my other favorite cities include Vancouver (BC), Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan, and the aforementioned Boston.

The City Panorama Project: Installed!

It’s “Bachmann”. I’ll try not to vent too much, since it’s totally thrilling to have my panoramic artwork (‘Dancers’, ‘Traffic’ (or ‘Walkway’) and ‘Half the Bike, Twice the Rider’) now viewable in public, especially in downtown Seattle, but how is it possible to spell my last name three different ways? I mean, I KNOW how it’s possible; I grew up with this name! But I’m pretty sure when I submitted my digital files they were all labeled the same way: FIRSTNAME_LASTNAME_ID_TITLE_YEAR.jpg

On the off chance that someone sees my artwork and wants to find me online, do I need to optimize my site for “Christopher Bachman” and “Christopher Backmann” as well as “Christopher Bachmann”? Google does a better job with “Backmann” than Bing or Yahoo, but at least they all manage “Bachman” pretty well. To be fair, I don’t think this was a King County Metro issue. They didn’t handle the template overlays.

‘Traffic’, ‘Half the Bike, Twice the Rider’

Find them in downtown Seattle!

Find it in Kent, WA!

Rat City Rollergirls Birthday

Everyone gets older, but that doesn’t mean we have to act like it! Well, sometimes that’s exactly what it means, but hopefully not on your birthday….

For the most recent celebration of my annual existence and survival, I fulfilled a lifelong dream. No, not to compete in a roller derby. I’ll leave that to the Rat City Rollergirls. But I did get to go watch a “bout” with 20 friends, and what a spectacle it was! I tried to capture some of the action, and here are a few long-distance snaps:

As you might imagine, Seattle has a roller derby league that is the envy of the country, breaking attendance records while playing at KeyArena, and fielding a barnstorming All-Star team. On this night, the Rose City Rollers were in town from Portland, and the two leagues battled to a 2-2 draw. Afterwards, I think we dropped in on the afterparty, although my recollection gets a bit fuzzy. Like I said, just because we get older doesn’t mean we have to act like it. Just ask the Rollergirls.

The City Panorama Project: ‘Horse and Carriage’

It’s probably not too difficult to determine my inspiration for “Horse and Carriage” (view it larger here). I was strolling through downtown Seattle looking for panoramic subjects when I came upon the — wait for it — a horse and carriage!

I thought, “Wow this will make for a perfect panoramic image!” so I snapped off four quick shots as I passed beside it. By this point, I’d had a fair amount of practice with my photo-stitching process in Photoshop, and I was sure it would turn out. But as a matter of fact, it didn’t. I had some gaps and some perspective issues that were not going to be solved by only having four images to work with.

So I put those images aside for a while, worked on other ideas, and finally came back to them with a new concept. It seemed like every one of my panoramas up to that point had been created with somewhat different processes. Why couldn’t I take these horse and carriage images in a totally new direction? One other person in our class had played with interspersing slices of two images together, and I was somewhat inspired by that, but I finally settled on just shifting my image order around to make an interesting juxtaposition.

Head before arse, carriage split into pieces (and in one case flipped!), and I liked lining up the distant corners of the buildings on Pike Street, which I thought gave the image back some of the continuity I’d taken away by breaking it apart. A black and white finish to give it a more timeless look, and I had another panorama I was satisfied with.