All posts tagged “symmetry

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St. Johns Bridge

St Johns Bridge II

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF-S 15–85mm f/3.5–5.6
Exposure: 30 seconds
Aperture: f/14
Focal Length: 40mm
ISO Speed: 100

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A combination of a perfect gradient sky and some lovely light trails from traffic on the extremely photogenic) bridge through the 30-second exposure make this one of my favourite photos ever.

The shot was made possible by the use of a 6x neutral density filter, which allowed me to extend the exposure time, even in pretty decent evening light. The 30 second time is what allows the light trails to build up so nicely, although there were a lot of discarded shots where the trails weren’t anywhere near as nice – orange turn indicator lights blink on and off, creating a dotted line, rather than the smooth, flowing lights in this shot.

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Across The Gate

Across The Gate

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF 70–300mm f/4–5.6
Exposure: 1/200
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 235mm
ISO Speed: 400

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One of my favourite photos, and one that always gets a positive reaction from viewers. The combination of the monumental size of the bridge compared to the traffic below and the softening effect of the fog really work well together.

People often ask how and where I took this photo: it’s actually not that hard to replicate. I was at the Vista Point lookout on the Marin side of the bridge, and just moved around carefully until I was looking directly down the bridge’s length. A long zoom lens (I used a 70-300mm at 235mm) allowed me to really get in close to the pylon of the bridge, even from this distance.

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Recursive

Recursive

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF-S 17–85mm f/4–5.6
Exposure: 1/4
Aperture: f/10
Focal Length: 20mm
ISO Speed: 800

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A view along the length of the old officers’ quarters at Fort Point, San Francisco. I’ve tried a lot of different processing methods on this picture since I took it way back in 2006, and this is really the first time I’ve been truly happy with the result.

As you can tell from the EXIF metadata, shooting conditions were challenging. It was gloomy inside the building, and no tripods were allowed. So I pumped up the ISO (800 was about as far as I ever liked to go on the ol’ Digital Rebel, as noise just got too noticeable after that), set the aperture for some decent depth of field and braced the camera against myself as best I could. With an exposure length of 1/4 of a second, this really shouldn’t have come out anywhere near this  sharp, but it somehow worked. The new 2012 processing algorithms in Lightroom 5 definitely do a much better job than the old ones, while the straightening and lens distortion tools took care of my slightly off-kilter framing.

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Early Morning, Amsterdam

Early Morning, Amsterdam

Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT (EOS 350)
Lens: Canon EF-S 17–85mm f/4–5.6
Exposure: 1/60
Aperture: f/7.1
Focal Length: 17mm
ISO Speed: 100

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Amsterdam’s Red Light District likes to party hard most of the way through the night, which means that you have the area pretty much to yourself if you get up early enough in the morning.

Exploring the beautiful canals in the soft morning light was a peaceful experience and allowed me the time to find and compose shots like this without hordes of people crossing my view.

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Pier, North Topsail Beach

Pier, Topsail Beach

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 10 seconds
Aperture: f/22
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO Speed: 100
Other: Exposure Bias +1.33 EV

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The old SeaView Pier in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina is extremely photogenic, and photography businesses do a roaring trade in the summer months by taking family portraits underneath it. The good photographers do it right, and time their sessions for the hour or so before sunset, when the light is at its absolute filtered best.

This photo was taken in a quiet minute when the pier was actually empty, and uses the beautiful low light and my trusty neutral density filter to great effect. The exposure time of 10 seconds has a fantastic softening effect on the crashing waves, and also allows the colours captured to become more saturated and rich.

A final word of advice: when shooting on the beach, make sure your tripod is firmly positioned in the sand to prevent any chance of movement throughout a long exposure.

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Fog, St. Johns Bridge

St Johns Fog

Camera: Canon 7D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6
Exposure: 2.5 seconds
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 44mm
ISO Speed: 100
Other: Exposure Bias +1EV

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Society6 – Prints from $16

The beautifully Gothic St. Johns Bridge in Portland has always been a photographic magnet for me, particularly from this viewpoint at the eastern end. This photo was taken on a bitterly cold, foggy morning in January 2013: the sun was trying its hardest to break through, which made for some lovely, subtle lighting.

My 6x ND filter allowed me to extend the exposure time and blur out the cars crossing the bridge, which always adds an extra ethereal quality to a photo. I also added an extra stop of exposure to compensate for the dark filter, which you often have to do in low light situations or the filter will give you underexposed shots.