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May 15, 2016

Portland International Airport Skybridge

by Jim

This view is from one of the skybridges at the Portland International Airport.

(Click here to view the interactive picture in a new tab. When it opens, click and drag to look around.)

This is at the Portland Interntional Airport, taken on one of the the sky bridges between the parking garage and the main terminal. This picture was taken fairly late at night (around 11pm), while waiting for some family to arrive on a flight. Had this been taken earlier in the day, it would have been a lot busier, like most airports. Even at this hour, it was more crowded than expected, and it took several shots to capture empty scenes.

This picture was taken for the World Wide Panorama “Travel” theme. Although not terribly imaginative, it seemed a fitting subject. I’d wanted to take a VR here for some time, and this gave the perfect opportunity.

Fortunately, the Port authorities had no problem with taking the photo, so long as it wasn’t used professionally. I did get official permission to take this picture, and even had a copy of the email printed out in case security had any concerns. They did come by several times, but weren’t concerned.

This airport sits at the entrance of the Columbia River Gorge, and often experiences interesting weather because of that. In this case, a strong wind came up just before I set up my tripod. Didn’t seem to cause any problems (I use a heavier tripod when taking VRs, for just this reason), although it made the session significantly less comfortable (brrr).

Photography Notes
Because of the unusual lights, I used a Whibal to try white-balancing the scene. However, there were too many other light sources, and I had to do some tweaking to make it look real.

I took a bracketed set of exposures, but ended up only using a single one. Having a bunch was useful, as it was possible to choose one that had the best coverage.

The nadir (looking down) was a little challenging with this picture. Because of the shadows and highlights from lighting, I couldn’t really Photoshop the nadir. Instead, I took a shot off-angle and used some special software features to blend it in. Maybe could have taken one from the nodal point looking down, but that involves cantilevering the camera out on a jury-rigged boom, which probably wouldn’t have worked so well in the wind. This seemed to come out ok.

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