What a Eureka Moment!

Carson Mansion and the Pink Lady

The Pink Lady and the Carson Mansion. Click to enlarge. [Photo by David Wilson]

The Pink Lady and the Carson Mansion shine in this photo by David Wilson. He tells us that he took the photo last night, March 8, 2018. He explained,

For some time I have been wanting to catch the Carson Mansion between rains to photograph it with the glisten of freshly wet surfaces… it’s just a matter of actually doing it. Fortunately I have my little voice always reminding me that if I don’t go out, I won’t bring anything back. Last night I listened to the voice. I’m glad I did. I didn’t know that there was going to be any kind of to-do at the Carson Mansion, but the lights were on, the gate open, and even valet parking offered. Lucky night for me!

Lucky capture for us…



  • Wonderland with the blues skies. David Wilson, sir you are very special.

  • Very lovely.

  • Very nice. This could be the view on many other Eureka streets jamb-packed with beautiful Victorians easily as pretty as the Pink Lady. I’m seeing the tourist brochure in my mind’s eye right now. A Victorian town, cleaned up, no needle kiosks, parks sprinkled on weird random city owned lots here and there. A stay in a Victorian B&B, carriage rides. Trails to the waterfront. We could really clean up here folks.

  • Only a matter of time ( and temperature) before ppl realize what a jewel by the Bay we have…and Arcata, complete with a University! Even McKinlyville is amazing, with the Hammond Trail and beaches all the way to Trinidad. And talk about sunsets!

  • Nice photo broski!

  • I’m offended tear it down. Do you know How many helpless trees had to be killed by the white man to build that sexist monument. (Satire) (its a beautiful photo very talented)

  • Are David’s photos elsewhere on the net?

  • Has that fake look that is popular these days.

  • Thank you for sharing this image, Kym. And thank you everyone for your comments, I appreciate them!

    Yes, there is a lot of beauty in Humboldt, both natural (of course) and human-made.

    A camera sees the world differently from the eye. It’s usually not so noticeable in daylight when there is plenty of light, but in lower light the differences between the way it sees and our eyes see is dramatic — particularly when you have opposing light sources at opposite ends of the color wheel — the complementary colors here of orange from the orange lights, and cyan from the remaining blue sky above the clouds. To correct for one, you have to add the other.

    With such dramatically differently-colored light sources, there is no way to balance both sky and ground normally with a single photograph*. To make the clouds gray would make the ground ridiculously red/orange; while to make the ground a normal color (while being illuminated by orange lights) would make the sky out-of-control blue. When I saw it with my eyes, the difference was there, but much less noticeable. This is because my brain is in there doing color correction in real time. The camera can’t color balance for different areas the way our brains can; instead, it records the colors as they come in: The clouds were illuminated by the last light of the blue/cyan sky above them, while the ground was orange from the orange lights.

    It was 30 minutes after sunset, too. In lower light, our eyes’ light receptors are less sensitive to colors, and our eyes only gather light moment-by-moment. But the camera shutter was open for between 3 and 8 seconds for this image, giving it a lot more ability to collect light and color. Our eye is moment by moment, the shutter was 3-8 seconds. It picked up more light and color than I saw at the time. For instance, the lights weren’t glaringly bright to my eye. I could look at them and see detail. Here they are blasted out. Here we can see detail in the shadows that I couldn’t see with my eyes.

    So a lot of detail and color that our eyes can’t see in real time can come out in the image in some areas (shadows and midtones), and in others the detail is blasted out (the lights). The road glistening from a fresh rain shower is bouncing additional color off of the road and sidewalk, which otherwise would have been the grays of asphalt and concrete, giving the image a lot of additional sheen, color, contrast and detail than if things had been dry.

    *One could go through the hoops of making a careful selection of the sky or ground, and editing them separately. But that’s going pretty far in terms of editing. This balance shows the redness of the terrestrial elements due to the color of the lights, and the blueness of the clouds due to the blue sky above them. Every photograph is an interpretation. If the photographer didn’t edit it, the camera did (cameras apply tone curves, color balance, and saturation algorithms to your photos if you don’t shoot in RAW).

  • That view never looked that good. Beautiful work. As a long time film guy I am blown away by the whole new world of digital. I don’t think I ever had greater understanding of all the elements involved in the dramatic photo image. The fact that people are taking pictures with a phone that compare to stuff I took with a serious camera is pretty exciting. The whole world is getting more hi-def.

  • David Wilson is not only a magician with a camera, he is also a very talented poet. Mighty nice work!!

  • David, your pictures are awesome!

  • Thank you again everyone, and Kym for the chance to share.

    Here is another photograph from that night. For this one I was a couple blocks away at K street. The wet surface of the street glows powerfully gold, gilded by the orange glancing light of the street lamps.

    I’ve heard the Carson Mansion is one of the most photographed buildings in the state. I guess I’ve added mine to vast collection. Still, night light is so unusual that I found the Mansion a fascinating subject.

    One of my favorite parts of this is the little sign for the “Pacific Coast Bike Route”. That is a cool thing to have in Eureka.

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