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Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Scenic Riverwalk View

Today's photo could have been titled "An Exercise in Patience" because I waited nearly an hour in one spot to get the "perfect" shot. It is also another shot that I found completely by accident. I was walking around downtown and ended up going back to my car, which was parked in the parking garage at the Grand Hyatt (it is only $9.00 a day to park there, MUCH cheaper than anywhere else that I have found downtown). I crossed Commerce Street in front of the RiverCenter Mall and while crossing this small walkway I noticed how perfectly the trees along the Riverwalk framed the Tower Life Building from this location, so I decided to take some shots shortly after sunset.

The reason I waited so long for this shot was I misjudged how long it would take the remaining light from the sunset to diminish enough to get the sky the way that I wanted it. I didn't want it to be too dark, as I wanted the sky to look blue-ish (I am told this is called "Blue Hour"). I ended up waiting about 45 minutes for the sky to darken enough to get the color that I wanted, but at least I know that for the next time I want to take a photo in the direction of the setting sun.

My patience paid off though, because during the brackets I managed to capture two of the River Taxi's passing in opposite directions, which led to the lights on the river. Because I waited so long I had several shots of a "clean" river, but I like the way the lights looked so I decided to keep them in the photo. In fact, I actually went back and processed the photo again from the very beginning to ensure the lights stood out and were as clean as possible, then blended that with the rest of the photo. I also used some new techniques to try to make the lighting on the Tower Life Building look more "realistic", as on longer exposures the lighting tended to be blown out slightly. It took a while and several different layer masks, but I was finally able to get the result that I was hoping for. I am planning to retake this shot later in the year as the trees and vegetation start to fill in, so it should look much greener the next time I take a run at getting this shot!

Please feel free to leave any comments, and remember clicking on the photo takes you to my online gallery hosted over at smugmug where you can view this (and my other photos) in various sizes. Thanks for stopping by!

A Scenic Riverwalk View

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