Monday, September 8, 2008

Special Effects

I love the angles and textures of the historic Rialto Theater and I tend to take a lot of pictures of sections of it. But whenever I do, my camera almost always captures an impossibly blue sky. It happened again yesterday when I shot this.

Really, now. We have lovely blue skies here in Southern California but this is preposterous. This is an exaggerated, unreal, electric koolaid blue sky. If the sky were really this blue, people around here would never go to work. We’d just spend long days lolling on the grass looking up.

So why is the sky so blue over the Rialto? Is it because I get lucky with camera settings and just happen to shoot during the right time of day? Probably. But that’s way too tedious and pedestrian an explanation for a place as mysterious and wonderful as this old theater. Me? I’m going to keep an open mind that there are extraordinary forces here. Who knows… some say the place is haunted…

19 comments:

Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eki Akhwan said...

It seems like we are like-minded, Laurie. :) I too love to explore and take pictures of architectural geometry. Texture element is definitely a plus. Would love to see other angles of this building.

Jutilda said...

Oh sh*t!!! That is wonderful. The tight shot, the angles, the shadow and light. This may vie for my "favorite" spot, with the other one with the staircase. YAY

Trish said...

Great shot!

The only way I've ever gotten such a blue sky shot in SoCal is to have my circular polarizing filter cranked correctly and have the light *juuuust* so.

Yes, word is the theatre is haunted. No sense in letting that stop you from seeing a show tho!

Yak Pate said...

If this building were gray, the juxtaposed blue sky might lose some of it's koolaid intensity. But, especially in the sunlight as shown, it is a glowing yellow-gold, opposite on the color wheel and thus making the blue sky pop.

Plus, the ghosts that haunt the theater are especially fond of the first technicolor movies, when every color was super saturated!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Pasadena Adjacent
Have you read the book? My mom thinks the place is haunted by bed bugs. I wish I had bothered to see the Rockey Horror Picture show (that played weekly). It was one of those "to do" things that I didn't do (like climbing Mount Whitney).

altadenahiker said...

Well, Mount Whitney is still there PA. Laurie, oh yes, lean towards the extravagent. I miss this place AND they had real popcorn.

Sharon said...

I know what you mean about the sky. I have the same situation here in Phoenix. We get excited when we see a few clouds for a change.
I forgot to answer your question about Mexican food. We have mostly what is called Sonoran style. It's different than Tex-Mex and probably not as much fish as you get in California.

Knoxville Girl said...

Is this on the national register of haunted places? Maybe that blue is the result of a reaction with ectoplasm. Or maybe you just have good weather. I like the angle of the angles.

Wayne said...

I can't explain it either. I've had these ridiculously blue skies show up in my photos too.

My ratio is about approximately one cerulean sky for every 1000 hazy, washed out, white glare skies.

And it's worth it.

Mister Earl said...

Great shot, Laurie. Looks like a Moorish castle or fortress. Maybe that's what it's supposed to look like. I took a bunch of shots of the detail on the front last week. Clearly the centerpiece of South Pasadena.

ken mac said...

what's your camera? Wow, I love the light and the Rialto

babooshka said...

I made a nice little salary out of these shots last week, with a dreary blue sky. I want it to be a ghostly lady draping her blue gossamer cloak over the sky. On the boring side was this a manual shot? Really low ISO can intensify a colour like red/green blue and as you say electrify it.ime for bed this side of the pond. I will have to check back on this and see if we can crack it.

Petrea said...

I get that blue sometimes, but only when shooting straight up, not sideways.

I love the link to the haunting. I only saw one movie at the Rialto. No ghosts. No bugs.

Mike said...

My fav walk-in theater of the moment is the Vroman's Lamele-and I'm not even much of a sit in front a screen for 2-3 hrs eating junk food type of human.

I've also wondered about those pre-20th century deep blue skies in your pics 4 a long time. I rarely see it that deep blue...

And, then all those b/w shots. I'm thinkin, "i've been there, i've seem that, it never looked b/w to me! GeeeezLaurieeeeees, what's up with that???"

Spooky.

Webradio said...

Hello Laurie !

L'effet est surprenant oui...

La photo penchée rend le bâtiment très haut...

Laurie said...

Hi folks! Thanks for visiting my world of the hyperreal blue sky.

Trish, back in my film SLR days, I would have used my polarizing filter to maaaaaybe get something this blue. Oh, who am I kidding. I never got anything this blue.


Yak Pate, I love your theory about ghosts liking the old technicolor movies!

Pasadena Adjacent... you did NOT say bed bugs. Shudder. (I'll take ghosts.)

Babooshka, I did have it set to a low ISO -- forget how low now -- but oddly the shots of the sky across the street, shot from a similar angle and in the same direction were not nearly this intense. (Cue Twilight Zone music right about now...)

Ken, thanks -- I'm using the world's most excellent one step up from basic point and shoot. It's a Fujifilm E900 which came out a few years ago. It's my favorite digital camera that I've played with so far, mostly because it's super fast for street photography and small enough to be unobtrusive for shooting people.

It has a really nice lens for this price range (I think it was around $350 new) though not enough zoom. It has a great macro. Night shots are amazing with this thing, too. The fixed settings are surprisingly good but you can also adjust manually. Oh, and it was at the time one of the first 10 megapixel cameras. I'm surprised at what it can do since it's basically a souped-up digicam and not an SLR. I've played around with a fancy Canon and Nikon but I'm happy to keep playing around with this one because it continues to surprise me. (Like this crazy sky!)

Mike, pre-20th century skies? Were the skies bluer in the 19th century? :-)

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. I have several more Rialto pics to share soon -- though none of them turned up with apparitions or flashes of light. Oh well...

Petrea said...

More Rialto's always good, especially the way you do it. I enjoy your camera instructions and information. You're more well-versed than I am and I learn!

Dixie Jane said...

Laurie, I love everything about this picture.....color, contrast, texture, angles and SKY. That blue is right out of the tube. It borders on unreal. Speaking of ghosts and bedbugs, in the little town where I grew up we had a Rialto Theatre. There were rats there so we sat on our feet.