In New York

MANHATTAN-BRIDGE-01-FB-FLCKR-36MP-2Heavy Metal – F/8, 30 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

Ever since I got my 36MP FX camera I began the lazy journey of not doing much stitching. But I will be back. I just just got my panoramic leveler that I need to use. Also I have just acquired a new 50mm lens for the sole purpose of stitching. My go to lens which is a prime 24mm is pretty wide in full frame but not too wide compared to using stitch. Sometimes, you just don’t need to stitch everything up, some stitched photos are too busy. Some elements need not be included in the photo for the sake of stitching.

We were in Tampa for a quite two weeks, we enjoyed the humidity over there. And right now we are back in the East Coast. The company that I worked for afforded me to fly anywhere in the country just for work. I work as a telecom field engineer. Sometimes, I asked my boss when are we gonna have Utah projects because I want to stay there for like two months straight to take photos in my spare time. My boss is pretty cool, he knows I shoot landscape.

MANHATTAN-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPBusiness District At Night – F/8, 6 secs, 24mm, ISO 320

When we were in New York, we walked through Manhattan Bridge to have good vantage point of lower Manhattan. The walk way have a fence but at the first pillar when you are coming from Manhattan, there is a hole in the fence. A DSLR would just fit right into the hole and you’d be ready to shoot long exposure. The only problem was too much vibration because of incoming trains. There were trains every 2 minutes. I had to lower my shutter and timing them when there is no trains coming. Took 20 6-second photos and stacked them in Photoshop to get some trail lights.

BROOKLYN-BRIDGE-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPUnder The Bridge – F/8, 30 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

Under the Brooklyn bridge downtown was our destination the next day. To our dismay, there was an on going construction near the big pylons and they closed the access. I would have used the pylons as foreground but what can you do? You just have to shoot what you can shoot at the moment or else you will go home empty handed.

Until next time…

To all the piers I’ve shot before

REDINGTON-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPBait & Tackle, Redington, FL – F/22, 258 secs, 50mm, ISO 100

If you are a landscape photographer in Utah, obviously your subject will be big rock formations, mountains with snowcaps, all the good stuff mother nature can offer. But, if you are in Florida there are only piers, LOL.
To add more drama to these simple subjects, you must have a good combination of light and composition. All of these added result to a good photo out of simple or ordinary subjects.

BALLAST POINT-TAMPA-02-ZEN-FAA-36MP-2Ballast Point Sunrise, Tampa, FL – F/11, 130 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

I have used either a 6-stop or a 10-stop ND filters in these photos to have very long exposures. These are essential tools for a landscape photographer. Don’t you know that they have now a 15-stop ND filter?

DUNEDIN-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPReckless Abandon, Dunedin, FL – F/22, 300 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

BALLAST POINT-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPBallast Point Twilight, Tampa, FL – F/8, 306 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

BALLAST POINT-TAMPA-03-ZEN-FAA-36MP-2Ballast Point At Dawn, Tampa, FL – F/6.3, 307 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

Stitching limitation 02: Very long exposures

DUNEDIN-TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPReckless Abandon – F/10, 258 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

One of the limitations of digital panoramic stitching is very long exposures. I have mentioned this in the past that it is very difficult to stitch images in Photoshop 100 seconds apart. Ideally, stitching is not really meant for very long exposures specially when the light is dynamic; sunrises and sunsets. The stitches will be very visible and it will just look like crap and it’s very difficult to correct in POST.

TAMPA-01-FB-FLCKR-36MPTampa Skyline – F/18, 194 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

But why do very long exposures? Because it adds drama to photographs and for me it is the opposite of a snapshot. I don’t like snapshots personally, photos taken effortlessly with no passion. Drama is capturing motion like slow moving waves or slow moving clouds. With the aid of neutral density filters these are possible. The first photo is with the help of 6-stop ND at 258 second exposure and the second photo with 10-stop ND at 194 seconds.

In stitch, I would just limit it to 30 seconds per frame. As an example below, 5 frames at 30 seconds each. These were stitch seamlessly in Photoshop.
BRICKELL KEY MIAMI-02-FB-54MPBrickell Key – F/9, 30 secs, 24mm, ISO 100

All shots were taken from the beautiful state of Florida. Until next time…

Abe

Non-stitched because sometimes I don’t need to

PHILADELPHIA-07042015-02-FB-FLCKR-36MPPhiladelphia – Birthplace of American Democracy – F/8 @ 30 secs, 50mm, ISO 100, 36MP

JERSEY CITY-NYC-02-FB-FLCKR-36MPDark Part of Twilight – WTC – F/9 @ 30 secs, 24mm, ISO 100, 36MP

JERSEY CITY-NYC-01-FB-36MPCloudy With A Chance of Rain – WTC – F/9 @ 85 secs, 24mm, ISO 100, 6-stop filter, 36MP

Hope you enjoyed your 4th of July celebration!

Abe

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

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