"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." Ansel Adams


Well went into Chicago yesterday afternoon for that cityscape photo shoot. The problem with shooting Chicago city from the East is that you have the sun setting behind the buildings leaving them in shadows. So the only real time to shoot here was after the sun was most the way down. I did have a look at one with great cloud cover but the buildings are just shadows.

This is the same photo with a different crop. Each exposure for this stitch was at 50 secs at f11. I knew what would be possible on this shot as it was an overcast day with some flat clouds rolling through. When you have such bright city lights and such a long shutter speed you pick up all the light on the clouds that are being lit up by the city. Usually you can see a red tinge in the clouds but the camera sees it like this. This red is also picked up by the buildings and can blow out the lighter coloured buildings.

The reds were brought back in PS to get a nicer golden hue, the blacks were enhanced in the buildings and a vignette was added to the 3:1 image.

There was a bunch of Asian tourists gathered around watching my monitor as I released the shutter and the image showed up.

I am not sure which crop I prefer. Although the 4:1 ratio has a very dark area I feel it helps composition and intensifies the buildings (that are pretty damn bright already anyway).

Not jaw dropping photos but interesting none the less…

Happy Shooting!


7 responses

  1. Good cityscape shots and really you should keep them both, they both work for me. The 3:1 is probably my favourite though.
    It’s maybe a bit overexposed. Long exposures on cityscapes at night are great at picking up light reflected on clouds like in your shot and it looks super. Problem is it also completely blows out the light reflections in the water, I feel the reflections on the left are too blown out.

    August 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm

  2. Thanks Flemming! I thought it would be a thumbs down from you! It’s good to hear you think they are keepers!!!!
    Yeah the problem is that the exposure kinda had to be this long but it does blow out some highlights. I think I will be able to bring those reflections down a little.

    Had to start packing for australia today and for NY tomorrow!

    August 16, 2008 at 12:32 am

  3. There is a way you can avoid this Dylan. Take a shot earlier on for the reflection and sky, then wait for the city lights and take your second shot. WHile some may consider this HDR, I do not. Its just bracketing using time and nature to dictate the stops, not the camera.

    August 16, 2008 at 8:15 pm

  4. hmmm deep dish Chicago Style … damn its been just too long 😦

    Nice shots but a little orange and bright, may need my sunnies if this was a large print. But great POV ….

    August 16, 2008 at 8:17 pm

  5. tonymiddleton

    Nice shots Dylan – I think the 4:1 works a bit better for me – maybe as it is a touch darker so not too bright ? As Flemming said both are definitely keepers though.
    happy travelling !

    August 17, 2008 at 7:17 am

  6. I was going to try that Neal but it started raining so I had to move.

    Cheers Tony.

    I got into NY today at 10am and went site seeing all day and finished off with a night shoot of Brooklyn Bridge! Will be seeing Cirque De Solei and a play on broadway tomorrow. We tried to get tickets to Letterman show but there are no shows on atm.


    August 17, 2008 at 11:19 am

  7. kirkhille

    Nice shot mate ,
    city looks huge Melbourne is the biggest city iv seen so far . Cant wait to travel over there .
    I personaly like the 4:1 ratio as well , Love the reflection .

    August 19, 2008 at 12:04 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s