Commercial Photography License downtown St. Petersburg Florida skyline by Free Art Friday DTSP

I was contacted this week by Free Art Friday DTSP about licensing one of my many downtown St. Petersburg skyline panorama images for use on their new Facebook page.  After the client finalized their choice for what photo, since it is for a Facebook cover image, which needs to be 851x315 (crazy, I know) a specific crop of the image had to be decided upon.  I then provided the client with the image in exact resolution to fit neatly into their Facebook cover image space.  Of course, unfortunately, for some unknown reason Facebook remains the only major website to reduce image quality of images uploaded to it.  Still, the image chosen holds up well and works complimentary with the standard Facebook background color.

Be sure and visit and "like" support this new project to showcase and promote local St. Petersburg art and culture.

St. Petersburg Florida Skyline at Twilight Fine Art Photography

St. Petersburg Florida waterfront skyline in vivid twilight - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 5 sec tripod mounted with cable release

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.

Finding the last light left over St. Petersburg Florida fine art photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 5 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseThe 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.

St. Petersburg Florida Silhouette Dusk Twilight Fine Art Landscape Cityscape Waterfront

The downtown St. Petersburg Florida waterfront in Silhouette at vivd dusk - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/4 ISO 200 1/200th handheld

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.  

St. Petersburg Downtown Waterfront Skyline at Twilight

St. Petersburg Florida waterfront at Twilight, this image available for fine art print & commercial license - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 10 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseThe waterfront of St. Petersburg, Florida is home to the third largest continuous waterfront park in North America (behind Vancouver and Chicago).  This is why at the very edge where the city meets Tampa Bay as viewed from the water the first thing you will see are trees.  This long park system is my favorite part of the entire city.  

I made this photograph from a secret-ish spot on The Pier allowing for a low near water-level viewpoint of the St. Petersburg skyline.  The ten second exposure allowed for some motion blur on the surface of the water and for pulling out the last remaining light in the twilight sky. 

Vivid St. Petersburg Florida Downtown Skyline at Night

St. Petersburg Florida downtown skyline at night from The Pier - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 20 sec mounted on Induro CT214 tripod with Nikon MC-30 cable releaseIt is easy to make photography all about handheld daytime shots.  After all, one is outside more during the day than at night and cameras are mostly conveniently held in hand.  This is all the more reason to venture out at night, and all the more reason to buy a good tripod.  Want to do something radical with your photography?  Go out at night.  Put your DSLR on your tripod and leave it there.  These two actions will have dramatic effects on both how you make photographs and the photographs you produce.

Photography tip:  shoot at night; shoot on a tripod

Things are calmer at night, at least in St. Petersburg.  Making a photograph using a tripod is a calmer way of producing a shot than handholding the camera.  Night photography requires very long shutter speeds.  For the above image I kept the shutter open 20 seconds.  You cannot just go around shooting willy nilly when just one shot takes 20 seconds.  This is a good thing.  

Working at night on a tripod requires a lot of setup and previsualization before pushing the shutter.  I have not shot at night much in the past myself, but am really liking it and plan on doing it more, especially since earlier this year I bought a "no compromises" tripod that is simply a pleasure to use.  This kind of tripod just plain makes photography more fun.  Does it cost $600 for such a tripod?  Yes, it does.  Are there any cheaper "no compromises" tripods out there?  No, I could not find one.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.

Please link to your night photography images in the comments below. 

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