Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photo: Portland Nightscape

Love that blue hour just after sunset. The longer exposure times combined with that lighting really help to reveal some incredible sky color that is not immediately apparent to the eye in real life. It's one of the rare times where differences in the camera's vision compared to your own can work wonderfully in your favor. Combine the quality of this lighting with some water reflections, and it's hard to go wrong. :) 

Portland Nightscape
Copyright Laura A Knauth, All rights reserved.
Please contact me for any usage or licensing options.

At the time I took this photo, I didn't know about the six stop ND filter (which I now use for most water-related shots), but the naturally low lighting just after sunset naturally allowed for a surface blur across the water and helped reveal long colorful reflections. (I hadn't expected the blurred boats near the dock (they were barely moving to my eyes), but love that it adds a subtle impression of movement in the scene.

Downtown Portland, Oregon
Hawthorne Bridge reflection in the Willamette River

Technical Info
18-200mm Lens, 24mm
f/5.6, 83s, ISO 100
Circular Polarizer + 3 Stop ND Grad

This was actualy one of my first shots with my Canon 50d camera, and seeing it reminded me of a particular quirk I had to learn about the camera at the time in order to get this shot. In order to leave the shutter open beyond 30 seconds (the limit of my camera in Aperture or Shutter priority modes), I set the camera shutter time to 'bulb' and use a cable release to manually hold the shutter open. I had to play around with the exposure to find an aperture/time combination that worked well. But on Canon cameras, just switching the camera 'on' isn't sufficient to enable the 'bulb' shutter setting. There's an additional tick on the power dial which is a required setting before the camera can be set to bulb shutter mode.

Hope this helps!

Blog Post by Laura A Knauth

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