Uniquely Wanamaker

I was spending the evening at home with the family when a stormed rolled into the Topeka area. I passively ignored it until a Facebook post from Shawn Martin saying he wished he had his camera with him as the lighting was amazing. At that, I jumped into my van and headed to the nearest high open spot I could – The old Menninger Grounds.

Since it was raining / sleeting / hailing I popped open the back hatch and sat in the cargo area with tripod at the ready. I missed minor 2 flashes of lighting, then it was over. Yep. I waited about 30 mins for a good shot and nothing presented itself. I climbed back to the front seat and headed south, as I came down the hill, the image below was in front of me. I turned around (to point the tail of my van toward Wanamaker) and climbed into the back again and popped the hatch.

The wet asphalt down Topeka’s main corridor of commerce was great as headlights reflected off the fresh moisture.  I snapped a few shots, but really was not really happy with any of them. I decided to throw on my 400mm lens before heading home – suddenly this boring corridor had a fun life to it. The lens really pulled in the entirety of Wanamaker from 10th to 29th street. I was located 600 feet north of 6th street. The foreground of this shot is the BP & Phillips 66 (Kelly Express) signs at 10th street. I did no cropping of this image.

Due to the lighting storm, my main computer at home is disabled, so I was looking at these this morning at work. (and the reason for the delay in this posting) An aspect I could not see on the camera’s on-board screen was how short Wanamaker looks. From my shooting location to the far McDonald’s archs on the upper right-hand corner (29th St) is about 17,424 feet – or 3.3 miles. Since the only way to traverse this distance is through stop lights and congestion, we have a perepective of much greater distance than really exists.

If your from Topeka, take a few moments to expand the picture and really look at the relationship of signs and buildings, they almost look like I photoshopped things into the picture. It all seems wrong. I promise, I did no editing aside from color correction.

Nikon D7000 | 1/80 | ISO 1000  | 400mm prime | f/5.6 | Flash - Not used.



  1. Bloom

    Cool! I would like to try that sometime at ISO-100 with a 5-10 sec shutter speed.

  2. Wyatt (Post author)

    I tried a much higher f/stop and lower ISO, but the wind was buffeting my Van (where I was to stay dry) so much that the slower shutter speeds were causing alot of blur. I shot an HD video of this same shot, but at 400mm the image was moving alot with the van shaking

  3. Cory Zipperle

    Nice pic!

  4. Shelly Zipperle

    That is ridiculous. I have only used super zooms (300mm) to eliminate backgrounds, not to condense everything into one! How cool!


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