Brooklyn On My Mind

f/8, 36mm, ISO 100, 25 seconds – 9 stitched panorama – 6 X 18 cropped – 54 Mega Pixels

Two weeks ago me, my wife and my 8 year old kiddo went to visit New York to photograph the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Big mistake, it was a Friday afternoon and going to Brooklyn from Philadelphia through Verrazano bridge was a nightmare, we already drove 90 miles but decided to go back to Philadelphia because we could not bear the traffic.
So today on a Saturday we drove again to New York and man what a relief, there was no traffic at all! Awesome! I was excited!

There was no problem for parking in the area near the bridge. It was still 4:30PM so we decided to cross the bridge on foot together with other tourists. It was a very sunny day at 70F, pretty cool! I don’t shoot at this time of day usually and the sunset was scheduled at 7:30PM according to The Photographer’s Ephemeris. I already have pre-visualized where am I gonna position my camera to be able to capture both the Brooklyn Bridge & Manhattan Bridge in one panoramic frame. After the walk we went to Brooklyn Bridge Park to scout the area and OMG there were so many people, but it’s New York what do I expect? There were two wedding photography sessions and a batch of people doing workshop. Flashes were everywhere.

In this first shot, I used f/8 which was all I need, ISO 100 for maximum sharpness, 36mm for straight verticals and metered the scene to 25 seconds. The scene had an even illumination so metering was not a problem. I used matrix or evaluative metering for the camera to evenly expose the frames. Also I used my Nodal Ninja panoramic tripod head to my Manfrotto tripod and remote shutter release cord to avoid camera shake. When the sun was out I took 9 vertical shots panning from left to right. There were ferries passing by so I avoided them, they would create a light streak in long exposures like these.

This second photo was shot to the left of my first location with the same settings and converted it to black and white to add drama I guess, lol.
f/8, 36mm, ISO 100, 25 seconds – 8 stitched panorama – 6 X 18 cropped – 51 Mega Pixels

Okay here is the color version. I don’t know which one do you like best. Taken 20 minutes after the first photo.

The frames were stitched using Photomerge in Adobe Photoshop CS5 and saved as TIFF 16-bit and exported to Adobe Lightroom 4 to adjust sharpness, clarity, white balance etc etc. Pretty easy processing with no over the top corrections. I don’t do it like that.

This place looks ordinary during the day but what a big difference when the lights were on at night. I heart New York!!

Hope you enjoy it,



38 thoughts on “Brooklyn On My Mind

  1. I think all things considered, I still prefer the first shot. Good point with avoiding the ferries – I shot a panorama from Battery Park a couple of months ago, and ended up making a mess of it because I entirely forgot about it!

  2. Fantastic images Abe, I prefer the composition of the first shot with the gravel beach in the forefront, it almost creates the illusion you can walk right into the frame.
    Great work and a fine example of patience and thought rather than just spray and pray!

  3. Nice to meet you Abe, and thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I look forward to learning so many wonderful photo tips that you are willing to demonstrate and share here on your blog. Thank you so much and hope to see you back soon.

    Oh, my vote goes for pic #1

  4. The mono shot wins out for me – I find the colours distracting somehow, as my eye more readily travels through the scene in the b&w shot…

  5. Great shots Abe! I like the first photo’s composition but I like the third photo with the effects of the lights. Maybe because the night is darker already than the first one. It is more dramatic but nevertheless, well done on all shots! Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  6. Love both color shots and I’m not sure that I like one better than the other. Color almost always appeals to me more than B/W, but that’s just me.

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