Entries in twilight (26)
- Inquire about fine art prints and commercial license usage for these St. Petersburg skyline photographs
Each time I go out to the top of The Pier to make waterfront skyline images like this of downtown St. Petersburg Florida, I think it may be my last since The Pier is scheduled to close in May 2013. As you can see, its closing will be a great loss for photographers and anyone who enjoys a great vantage point for looking at the sunset over a cityscape.
The Pier is five stories tall with an open roof allowing for the making of clean shots (i.e. not shooting through window glass). It is often a quiet spot, especially on a weeknight, providing an opportunity to watch the sunset in peace as twilight then night takes over.
- Inquire about fine art prints and commercial license usage for this St. Petersburg skyline photograph
This was an image I made quickly while taking Kiki for an extended walk around the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront on a recent Saturday evening. I was traveling light, just my Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens on my Nikon D300, but even with that lens on was still looking for a possible landscape shot. With Kiki always in constant motion and having no tripod, I knew my best bet of getting a usable shot was to go for a silhouette of the skyline, which is done by using a fast shutter speed I could easily handhold, even with Kiki always trying to sniff something just out of reach. The fast shutter speed exposed the bright sky well, but put the foreground buildings and boat into silhouette.
And to think, making this photograph will not even be possible in a year's time because the location I shot this from, the roof of The Pier, will be demolished. I certainly hope the structure that replaces it will offer similar or better views of the downtown St. Petersburg, Florida waterfront, otherwise there will be no more photos showing its beauty at dusk, twilight and sunset.
I had the opportunity to make these photos only because I was teaching a DSLR Photography Lesson focusing on tripod usage. Otherwise, I would have been home and never witnessed this amazing view. In fact, both my student and I had just earlier remarked how gray the sky was and how we would not be able to get any keepers this lesson, but at least I was able to teach him the technical aspects of using a tripod for long exposure photography. I told him since there is so little color that I would shoot thinking to convert the images to black & white!
Then all of a sudden a hint of orange light appeared reflected off the low clouds, as the sun had already actually set. We took immediate notice and thought, at least we got to see a touch of color. Then as the sun slipped further to the other side of the Earth, the dusk sky started to explode in color and as we adjusted the length of the shutter speed on our DSLRs, we were able to pull more and more color back over the horizon and into our lenses. The photographs above are actually posted in reverse chronological order, with the above orange image the first I took. Each was made almost exactly five minutes after the other. That is the power of putting your DSLR on a tripod and using shutter speed to create an amazing long exposure image finding light and color the naked eye cannot see.
Before I went to bed last Thursday, I set the alarm on my iPhone 4 for 2:55am. This was not because I have a new paper route or decided to follow in my grandfather's footsteps and be a milkman, but because I want to insure I was able to get one of the first preorders in for the new iPhone 5 that here on the coast would be first available at 3am Friday morning. So I rumbled out of bed and began refreshing the iPhone 5 page on apple.com. Another reason to be one of the first was that I had already secured in my buy-back price for my 2-yeard old iPhone 4 on the great site gazelle.com for a whopping $146! That's right, it basically meant that the new iPhone 5 would only be $54 out of pocket, if I could get one before October 1st.
Well, my early rising paid off as my iPhone 5 (white, 16GB, AT&T) was delivered on the first available date (Friday the 21st). It took almost four hours to sync all my backup data to it, so I did not have much opportunity to test the new iOS 6 panorama feature until yesterday (Saturday). I was walking Kiki around Crescent Lake Park, a common Saturday evening activity and with the wide open views from the lakeside, I had my first chance to test the panorama function.
I saw a video of how it works so I knew you do not take five or six separate shots in a row, but rather turn the panorama feature on and then glide the camera over the area you want to photograph. There are visual guides to keep your framing on track, and I must admit I was rather wobbly in my first attempt as you can see in the unedited image above.
Still, there was a large portion of the image that was usable. I cropped out the left, right and bottom edges and found a decent remaining image. The exposure was a little off and there was a lot of noise in the sky, but overall I thought the new panorama feature in iOS 6 on first impression seems to be very usable. I look forward to trying it again with a more steady hand and in different light.
Have you made any panoramas with iOS 6 yet? Post your examples in the comments below.
My goal when making this photograph was to just show the part of the sailboat that inspires dreams. A sailboat docked in a marina is not going anywhere, so the collection of hulls is not the part I find inspiring. My eyes focused on the masts and in particular the long row of masts, allowing one to pick out their own particular sailboat to build a dream on.
This composition also utilized repeating patterns and leading lines. I chose HDR for the exposure so that detail could be seen in the masts as well as the background sky maximizing the color gradient as twilight approached.