Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Pic(k) of the week 31: AUCKLAND DURING BLUE HOUR

My travels as an airline pilot take me to all corners of the world. Such was the case last week when I was able to spend a few days in a city that I hadn't visited for several years; Auckland, New Zealand.  

Beside photographing the Dubai skyline, over the years I've collected quite a few of images from skylines all over the globe; New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, to name just a few. 

While Auckland is not a very large city, its skyline has some interesting features; the 328 m high Sky Tower, which is the largest freestanding building in the Southern hemisphere, being the most iconic landmark. One of the best places to shoot the Auckland skyline is next to the Devonport Ferry terminal, to the Northeast of the city center. 

Luckily the winter sunset produced dramatic light the night I was there. An opportunity I couldn't miss!


Image details:
  • Fujifilm X-T2 with XF 50-140 f2.8 lens
  • ISO 200, f11, two shots 1/7s (for sky), 5.6 sec (for skyline)
  • RAW developed in Lightroom CC
  • Photoshop CC to blend the image of the sky taken at sunset and the skyline image, taken 20 mins after sunset. 
  • Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 for optimal contrast 
For a shoot like this, I typically set up a specific composition about 20 mins before sunset. Using the built in intervalometer, I then start shooting one image every 2 min. For locations closer to the equator, where typically the best light is gone in a matter of minutes, I reduce the shooting interval to 1 min. I stop shooting after the peak of the blue hour light is over, in this case about 20-25 min after sunset. 

In post-processing I then select a handful of images of which I want to use certain parts; at least one for the sky and one for the skyline with the buildings lit up. In the case above only two images were used on a 10 min image blending job. 

Remember: "The city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo" - Desmond Morris




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