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The Curve of Spaceship Earth

by Matthew Cooper
The Curve of Spaceship Earth

Having shot in the parks for several years now, Spaceship Earth continues to offer some of my favorite photo opportunities. It seems as though the possibilities of shooting it are almost limitless with all the different angles you can shoot it from. Also being a sphere allows you to shoot weird and crazy angles and still have it look awesome. I’ve done plenty of those over the years too. When I saw the beautiful reflections on the fountain from the rain I knew I needed to revisit this shot and I’m glad I did. The colored reflection on the fountain edge really makes this shot for me. Previous shots I’ve done where it was dry were nice but you didn’t get really any color reflection at all so it was all a kind of boring stone color. Having the colors from Spaceship Earth reflecting really helps that area pop and help bring some focus to it before leading your eye along the fountain and to Spaceship Earth. I also really liked the purplish skies I was getting this night around Spaceship Earth due to the light seemingly reflecting off the low clouds.

Shooting/Editing Details

I shot this with the Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24 2.8. It was a 5 exposure bracket which I blended in Photomatix. I then did some additional highlight masking in Photoshop to bring all the highlights in line. I had to do a bit of manual correction to fix distortion on Spaceship Earth as it was looking quite a bit like an egg from the ultra wide vertical angle even after profile correction. Editing was pretty straight forward with some minor levels adjustments using luminosity masks, 2 separate color balancing layers, saturation adjustments and a bit of Nik Color Efex Pro Contrast to add some pop. I finished it off with my signature sharpening method and masked out the water to keep it nice and smooth.

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