Friday, 17 July 2015

Night out on the Town

To look at the weather today, you would not have believed how nice and cool and clear it was last night. As they say Calm before the storm.
Myself and Will Mays headed out into the city to locate a few hot spots which provide good vantage points for capturing our city at night.
As mentioned the weather conditions could not have been better, although we did need to wrap up as the temperature dropped to 8c around 11:00pm.

So rather than spend to much time on building up the story lets get straight into the photos.

Camera Gear
Canon 7D, Tripod (a must), Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 Lens, gloves, Woolly hat and thermal shirt.

Tripod is a must for night shooting or any low light photography, mainly because the bulk of the exposure times exceeded 20 seconds. 
I also opted to go with AEB (Bracketing) shots so that I could capture a wide range of colours and lights.
As I only have the 7D mark I, you only get 3 per shot.
I tended to go mainly with  +/-2 to provide a good range.

First up North Shore looking back to the city (our special spot must remain a secret), as it took us a good 15minutes and a few wrong turns before we found our sweet spot :)

In terms of focusing this is all Manual. I used the Live view to provide me with feedback and zoomed inn (x10) to a specific area and manually focused until I got a decent result.

First shot 3 images (-2, -1,0) Focal range at 17mm with using F7. Exposure time 22 seconds.
f7, 17mm 20sec, (3 shots)
 
Just a small amount of Photoshop work to adjust a few highlights then used Luminosity layer blends between the images with an adjustment layer across the main area of the city for minor tweaks.
Otherwise pretty much straight from the camera.

Next another shot following pretty much the same process

Auckland City
 
and lastly the Harbour Bridge and Westhaven Marina.
Again bracketing shots but using a much wider spread -3, 0 , +3.
It was a great evening and very enjoyable, and I hope to get out again when the weather clears to refine and improve my night photography.
 
f11, 30mm, (3 shots)
 
Auckland Harbour Bridge