30 sec, 14mm, iso200, f9
The Reason For This Trip
July 2020 will be our 10 year wedding anniversary and as a treat to ourselves, we thought we would book a few days away in New York City, just the two of us. The Big Apple is a place that was on both of our bucket lists and I’m glad to say that it didn’t disappoint.
I Am Not Rambo
Now, obviously I was always going to take my camera with me on this trip as I couldn’t possibly travel all that way and leave it behind. That said, I must remember this is not a photography trip and under no circumstances am I to get carried away clicking that shutter button and acting like the photography equivalent of Rambo, firing off shot after shot capturing everything that catches my eye as this could become annoying for my wife. However, there was an agreement in place that I could go and take this one photograph without consequence, the shot of the Lower Manhattan Skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Its an image I’ve seen many times before and is probably one of the classics, but no matter how many times I see it, my reaction is always the same…..WOW! So for this reason If I only had one shot left in my camera, this would be the one!
I wanted to capture this scene at sunset by using a long exposure just as the city lights started to illuminate. This would allow me to add extra interest to the buildings in the form of lit office windows whilst still capturing the hopefully colourful sunset sky, also smoothing out the water and adding movement to the clouds.
The groines in the foreground are, I’m led to believe, the remains of the old Pier One which once stood proudly on the river bank and are a perfect addition to this image.
Having taken a very easy tube ride from Times Square in Manhattan to Brooklyn. We arrived around 3 hours before sunset and immediately headed for the local beverage establishment. Not for an alcoholic drink but for a warm coffee as it was starting to get cold. This was expensive! and too posh for us but no matter, we were determined to get this image…….when i say we, what I actually meant was me.
1/500sec, 12mm, iso 800, f8
Our route would take us past the very popular Dumbo instagram shot of the cobble stone street with the Manhattan Bridge in the background framing the Empire State Building. This location is even listed on Google Maps as ‘Insta gold’ believe it or not.
Take a look…….Manhattan Bridge Instagold, 15 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States https://maps.app.goo.gl/7aeci1FZ4ybKMaXY6
It was packed! Trying to get a clean shot was difficult but with patience, I managed to get one or two that I was happy with.
1/250sec, 40mm, iso 800, f8
The location I wanted to shoot from was in the Brooklyn Bridge Park, or more specifically, Pier one. It’s right on the banks of the East River offering excellent views of Lower Manhattan and the Manhattan Bridge. You can also see the Statue of liberty from here too.
60sec, 13mm, iso 640, f10
Although I knew what image I wanted to go home with, this didn’t stop me trying to capture something different from what I had seen before and I think I achieved it with this next image. The huge boulders made a great base for the image whilst the long piece of driftwood made a fantastic leading line towards the groines, then onto the buildings in the background. The only thing lacking was a decent sky. It was very dull and overcast with the threat of rain but no matter, I was still enjoying myself and I was just very grateful for having the opportunity just to stand there.
60sec, 13mm, iso 640, f10
How I Captured This Image
So, I as I illuded to earlier, a long exposure was the way I wanted to go with this image. Firstly, I attached my camera to the tripod and framed up my shot being careful not to cut the tops of the buildingsout of the image. I then switched to manual focus and focused on the buildings in the background as these would be the main subject of my image. I use manual focus to make sure that the camera doesn’t change focus points between shots. I then screwed my trusty 10 Stop Hoya Pro ND Filter on the front of my Olympus 12-40mm lens therefore extending my shutter speed to 30-60 seconds which would give me the smooth water I desired. Then It would just be a case of setting the shutter on a 2 second timer to eliminate any camera shake when pressing the shutter button, which could blur the image, and take shots as the light changes.
Printing My Image
I’m very pleased with the images I came away with that night, yes, I would have liked a better sky but sometimes you just have to take what your given and at least it didn’t rain.
Weirdly, it was the earlier image taken an hour or so before sunset which was my favourite and this is the one I decided to hang on my wall. I’m not sure why I preferred this one when I had my heart set on the sunset image but photography can be a funny thing sometimes.
I had recently bought a Canon IP8750 printer and this would be the first image that I would print at home. My paper of choice was a sheet of A4 lustre, a middle of the road conventional size and finish and because I didn’t want anything to fancy or expensive for my first round of prints incase I made any mistakes.
It now hangs proudly on my wall and brings back great memories of a fantastic trip.