Chicago

CHICAGO-007-FBChicago Skyline -F/6.3, 30 sec, 24mm, ISO 50, 4-stitch

These are the photos I took during our visit to Chicago. I have been to big cities in the US and I gotta say that Chicago is up there, first class city. Anyway the best place to shoot Chicago skyline is at Adler Planetarium. In this location beside the lake you will have full view of the skyline plus water reflection. Two days ago we went there but it’s too foggy, cold and windy. We had to go back last night which was perfect conditions.

I only have one lens with me my trusty Roki 24mm F/1.4 and this lens is so wide in full frame camera. I had to use the DX crop mode of my camera to have a close up stitch because the distance from Planetarium to the skyline is quite far. The skyscrapers and buildings became too small looking from the live view of my camera. The best lens to use in this situation for stitching is a telephoto, perhaps a 70-200mm lens.

CLOUD-GATE-002-FB-77MPFoggy Cloud Gate – F/22, 20 sec, 24mm, ISO 50, 7-stitch

The second and third images were taken form Millennium Park.

CLOUD-GATE-001-FB-36MPMillennium Bean – F/10, 30 sec, 24mm, ISO 50, single photo

Stitching limitation 01: Image stacking

PHILLY-02-STACKED-FAA-ZEN-FB-35MPPhiladelphia – F/18, 6 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, 30 image stack, 36MP

These are 30 shots stacked in Photoshop. The purpose here is to really capture as much trail lights my camera can, spaced at 6 seconds each frame. The exposure must be the same all through out.

Image stacking is also used in photos like star trails you see in photosharing sites. Some are like 500 images stacked together. If you have the patience, this Photoshop technique is really fun. Of course you are going to need Photoshop software and high capacity RAM computer. My 8GB RAM computer could barely make it, LOL.

Compare it to 30 seconds, 10 image stack. I used a ND filter here you can see a little bit of vignetting.
PHILLY-04-STACKED-FB

My point really about this post is that, these two above, are the limitations of stitch panorama, which I normally do. I think it would be very difficult to image stack with long exposures and stitch them. I do not think the result would be good specially when the light is changing, e.g golden hour, sunrise or sunset. The white balance will be messed up as well.

Have a good week end everyone and all.

Abe

Reflections

BOATHOUSE-ROW-PHILLY-03-2Boathouse Row Reflections – F/8, 30 s, 50mm, ISO 100, 97MP

There is a photography quote from Vernon Trent, ..amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light, I just take pictures… In photography forums, you can see people spending too much time talking about gears and doing less time photographing. It’s about who’s got the best tripods and lenses.

BOATHOUSE-ROW-PHILLY-01-FB-91MPBoathouse Row – F/8, 30 s, 50mm, ISO 100, 97MP

Do people or clients really care about the gear you used to take that photo? The answer is no. If it looks good in their living room or kitchen they will buy it. I have been in this location a couple of times in Philadelphia, the famous Boathouse Row. I’ve sold three photos from this location using not so expensive lenses. My point really is you to go out there and shoot!

NIKKOR50MM
The above pictures were photographed with a Nikkor 50mm F/1.8 I bought for 80 bucks off Craigslist, stitched in PS and post-processed in Lightroom.

Abe

Walking to Canada

NIAGARA-ONTARIO-01-FB-FLCKR-46MPHorseshoe Falls – F/20, 2 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, ND64

I’ve been busy lately, my vacation leave that I filed 1.5 months before was denied. My plan during the peak foliage was to drive and take photos in Maine, New Hampshire, cross Canada to Quebec and drive down to Toronto and meet a friend and then go to Niagara Falls. Only the last part was materialized because I was in the Upstate New York area doing work.

It’s been 8 years that I never stepped out of American soil. Today was my first time. I crossed Canada via Rainbow bridge in Niagara Falls. Wow, that was easy. I was very early before the sun was out and head right to Canadian Horseshoe falls. This waterfalls is just right to the edge of where people could stand and take photos.

NIAGARA-ONTARIO-02-FB-FLCKR-94MPMorning Mist – F/20, 5 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, ND64

On my way back while the sun was still low in the horizon, I took a 180-degree panorama of Rainbow bridge, American falls and the Canadian falls. 9-stitch total of 94 Mega pixels! The weather cooperated and of course I got timing because the foliage is at its peak in Ontario.

Hope you enjoy it!

Tribute In Light

TRIBUTE-IN-LIGHT-WTC-01-FB-32MP
Tribute In Light – F/10 @ 30 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, click for L

In the year 2000, the company I worked with in the Philippines sent me with 3 other guys for satellite communications training in Phoenix, AZ. The host there took us to the Grand Canyon, my first shock and awe of American landscape.

Early 2001 my visa was approved to work in the US, great, until September 11 happened. We were glued to the TV watching what was going on and witnessed the horrible things in New York. My flight to the US was delayed because of it. I was able to fly New Years day 2002. That was very exciting for me to be here in the US for the second time and I said I was gonna stay a little bit longer. Now it’s been almost 13 years and I am forever grateful to America. I am able to provide for my family and the freedom, convenience of living here in the US.

Well anyway, me and my friend was working in Maine and when it was time to go home we decided to drop by New York to photograph the tribute light for the anniversary of 911. We went to our favorite spot and of course there were gazillions of tripods. Everything was cool though, we got a decent light and nice weather.

It was a bit of a challenge to stitch panorama the scene because of the amount of people that was in my frame and the ferry boats messing up the water. I metered in the buildings that got me F/10 at 30 seconds. That was all my setting in the 7-frames I took.

Never forget!

Cascade Falls in Virginia

CASCADES-FALL-02-FB-WEB-97MPCascade Falls – F/7.1 @ 1/2 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, ND8, 97MP

We were in Virginia/West Virginia area and from google it says that Cascade Falls is the best waterfall in Virginia! We decided to drop by and take a look. We chose the more difficult 2 mile hike route because we were tough, so I thought. Man, I am out of shape. My friend and I used to trail run 5 miles before, but since January I have been on and off with my fitness regimen. I am just too occupied with my work, that’s my excuse, LOL.

Cascade Falls is a 66-foot drop waterfall that can be found in Jefferson National Forest in Pembroke, VA. It is just about north of Blacksburg.

CASCADES-FALL-01-FB-WEB-93MPThe Cascade – F/22 @ 1 sec, 24mm, ISO 100, ND8, 93MP

The most important thing when shooting waterfalls is the shutter speed. I look at how big the waterfall is and its speed. The faster it is the slower the shutter speed I use in my camera. Here I used 1/2 to 1 second. You need to meter to the water falls and then compose.

For those who like to shoot waterfalls, hold it until the fall season. Your photos will look better with all the colors in the fall foliage. And also you can’t be lazy because most waterfalls are hidden and hiking is needed, for real! :)

A Dawn with Honest Abe

WASHINGTONDC-01-FB-WEB-96MPLincoln Memorial – F/11 @ 30 secs, 24mm, ISO 100, 96MP

I have been to Washington DC so many times in the past but never at dawn. Here is a panoramic shot inside the Lincoln Memorial.

We went back to the car and drove near the Capitol building to catch the sunrise. You would think that you’d be alone. There was an early bird there occupying the center most part of the reflecting pool. LOL.

WASHINGTONDC-04-FB-WEB-59MPDawn At The Capital – F/22 @ 25 secs, 24mm, ISO 100, ND8, 59MP

The sun was just about to get out from hiding…

WASHINGTONDC-03-2The Capitol Sunrise – F/22 @ 2.5 secs, 24mm, ISO 100, ND8, 56MP

All my photos here are stitched panorama. In the second and third photo a 3-stop ND filter was used.

Even at dawn this place is full of people; joggers, photographers etc etc. Well, it was a good trip nonetheless.

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