In my previous blog entry, I talked about a pano that I’ve shot several times over the years. By contrast, the shot above is one I’ve been meaning to get for years, but one way and another, it has just never happened. In March last year, for instance, I was in NYC and completely forgot to pack my tripod before flying out (duh …). However, on my most recent visit, I finally found the opportunity to get out in the evening down to Brooklyn Bridge Park. There is a well-known set of the remains of pilings that once supported a pier at the southern end of Pier 1. The pilings make a fantastic, almost surreal, set of leading lines pointing towards south Manhattan. From the angle that leads across the East River, the sun sets behind the office towers giving a spectacular view as the sun goes down.
I arrived about half an hour before sunset (which was about 20:20). The waterfront has large rocks piled up, and these make fine solid bases for tripods overlooking the piles. I got there really too late: although I arrived well enough before the sun went down, most of the available space on the rocks had been taken. Nevertheless, I managed to squeeze in between two other photographers, being careful not to disturb their own tripod set-ups.
For reference, the GPS coordinates of where I set up are about 40.700920,-73.996807.
I ended up taking a lot of exposures as the light changed. I wanted to get long exposures to give the milky effect on the water, and to turn the clouds, as they moved in the wind, into streaks. An advantage of the D810 is that the ISO setting Low 1 is equivalent to ISO32 (Panatomic-X speed!); stopping down to get the depth of field I wanted meant a nice slow exposure, that got slower as the sun went down. The wind was in my face, meaning that the clouds appeared to streak across the sky.
The only trouble was that there was a large lump of white expanded polystyrene floating on the water, trapped among the pilings, just bobbing back and forth. However, having taken a bunch of different exposures, I found I was able to mask out the white blob in my base image using the portion of another image where the blob had moved to another point. I don’t think you’d know if I hadn’t told you!
I’ve printed this at A3 and it looks fantastic! It also made Explore on Flickr, which I was really pleased about.