NEW COURSE: MATT K’s Guide to Bird Photography… Now On Sale

It’s late and I just landed in Houston for my Lightroom seminar later this morning. Having finished the same seminar yesterday in Boston (Thanks! You guys were awesome!), I thought I’d share one of the photos I took while there (click the photo above to see it larger).

The Sun Rises WAY Too Early in Boston
I never realized how much further east Boston is than Tampa, FL. The sun rises there nearly an hour and half before it does in Tampa (5am vs 6:30am). Needless to say I got myself up way too early to catch sunrise. I’ve always liked this view of Boston though. It’s kinda the “gimmee” shot for people who visit there, but I thought I could make my own version of the photo unique. One of the ways I figured I’d do it, was to get there for sunrise. You typically see this view at sunset or at night. I noticed the sun sets behind the buildings though. So I asked one of the security guards in the area if he knew which direction the sun rose and he pointed out over the water behind me and to my right. So I knew that (at the right time) the sun would just light up those buildings, and make ’em glow.

My Camera Settings
I borrowed Scott Kelby’s Nikon D800 once again. I’m probably going to break down and buy one sooner or later because I just love this camera. The detail is amazing. I never knew I wanted this much detail until I saw it. I also rented a Nikon 16-35mm lens from LensProToGo.com. It’s the second time I’ve rented the lens and I really like it for my wide angle work (more so than the revered Nikon 14-24, but more on that in another post). Camera settings were:

    • Focal Length: 19mm
    • Aperture: f/16
    • Shutter Speed: 4 minutes
    • ISO: 100

Did You Say 4 Minutes?
Yup, you read that right. I used my Lee Big Stopper 10-stop ND again here (read about my previous time out with it here). That was another way I thought I could put my own spin on the scene. See, the sun was going in and out behind some clouds – and the clouds behind the buildings were nothing great. Plus, the water was choppy. But the long exposure lets all of that smooth out. It almost looks as if there’s a reflection in the water. To me, the long exposure gives some movement to an otherwise still photo. Plus, the long exposure effect in the sky and water, really tend to make any other details in the photo (like the skyline) pop out. I gotta say, I’m digging’ the long exposure stuff.

I Did Take the Night Shot Too
I figured I was there so I took a night time version of the photo. This one was shot at f/22 and a 70 second shutter speed.
(click for a larger version)

So there’s a little bit of the story behind my fun (but really quick) trip to Boston. I was barely there for 24-hours but the fun and engaged crowd at my seminar TOTALLY made it worth it. Now… on to Houston. Sadly, I’ll be there even less time. I don’t even think my camera (sorry, Scott’s camera) will make it out of the bag, other than at the seminar. Have a good one, and if you’re in Houston today make sure you come up and say hi!

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