bellzax PRO
bellzax

Sunset Walkway



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3 Comments | Report
greglinck
 
greglinck April 15, 2014
I love the way it lead you to the lake
bellzax PRO
bellzax April 17, 2014
Thank you! And just so you know, it is actaully an Inlet or intercoastal harbor.
ntgreen
 
ntgreen December 07, 2014
Stunning ... love the perspective on this ... would love to know where it is?
bellzax PRO
bellzax August 04, 2015
Thank you so much! It is Boca Ciega Millennium Park on the West Coast of Florida.
JoanLoBo PRO+
 
JoanLoBo August 04, 2015
The high viewpoint really makes this image. wall hanger for sure
bellzax PRO
bellzax August 04, 2015
Wow! Thank you very much!

Behind The Lens

Location
I took this photo at Boca Ciega Millennium Park in the city of St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. I have always loved the West coast of Florida when you sunset begins to set, it creates some amazing views.
Time
I had been walking around this park waiting for sunset to start and got distracted taking pictures of other things. When I looked up and saw the sunset had already started I grabbed my gear and sprinted to the other end of the park where this tower was. I got there just in time to take this picture exactly when the sun started to drop below the visible horizon. It was taken on June 2, 2014 at 7:19PM.
Lighting
The lightning that whole day had been a beautiful and when the sun begin to drop it truly became the golden hour. The problem was when I got set up to take this picture, the sun was just dropping behind the horizon. This means the lightning was prefect for the human eye but for my camera at the time, there was too much contrast for one shot. So I decided to take 3 shots at different exposures and to make this one HDR photo. This one of the biggest struggles I have as a realistic landscape photographer, I am always fighting changing obstacles to show exactly the beauty I see in nature.
Equipment
I took these 3 shots using a Panasonic DMC-GF5 interchange lens camera on a locked off Vivitar VPT-1200 tripod with my school back hanging from the bottom for added support, all while standing very still on top of a lookout tower above the boardwalk.
Inspiration
This photo actually came out of a lot of planning, but it was completely worth it. This was the first time I had ever driven over to west coast of Florida on my own so I wanted to make sure I had some good locations to hit first. Ultimately I was spending the day there to find a location to shoot the sunset setting over the water. So I used google the night before to find a website (sunearthtools.com) that shows exactly the angle the sun will set in any location. Using that information I traveled the beach of St. Pete on google maps and street view looking for spots that you would be able to see the sunset. During that process I found this location and it already had pictures attached to the point on google maps. Looking through them I saw an image that had the boardwalk and sunset but it was take with a phone. I instantly knew this was an incredible spot that would be facing the sunset, and I wanted to do it justice. So the next day when I got to this spot and saw the sunset, I just knew I had to share this moment with others, it was so incredibly beautiful.
Editing
The nature of the lighting that night meant I had to take 3 separate raw photos at f3.5. One at 1/500th -2 comp, 1/160th 0 comp, and finally 1/60th +2 comp. Once I got home I took the 3 images and used Photoshop’s “Merge for HDR Pro” tool. I always try my best when using HDR to not overdo it, my goal every time is to make the final image look as if you were standing there next to me when I took the photo. I want every viewer of my photos see the beauty of nature like I saw it when I snapped the shutter.
In my camera bag
I have since upgraded my bag and the gear in it, but I still carry similar items. Since I do a lot of hiking to get my shots I carry everything in my Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW hiking style backpack. I make sure I always have my camera body, which is a Sony A7s now and then my trusty Zeiss 55mm 1.8 Prime Lens, the low light ability of these two in combination is absolutely mind blowing. Then I make sure I have my Vivitar VPT-1200 tripod and then also my mini Joby tripod for spots where the big boy won’t fit. Being an Eagle Scout and living in Florida all my life, I know the next most important things are water in the form of my Camelbak bladder in my pack, bug spray, sunscreen, and finally my head light for those night hikes. Besides the critical stuff I always have an extra battery, SD card, compass, whistle, poncho, and snacks.
Feedback
I think in any photography trip that you are planning to make you should not be afraid to prepare and use the resources around you. That doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous when you see the right time, but if that is type of person you are then you should always have your gear packed and ready to go. For this trip I randomly decided the night before I wanted to go because I saw it was going to be a beautiful day and my plans had fallen through. I was able to use google as a major resource and with my gear already packed was able to leave early the next morning with no problems. “Be Prepared” is the Boy Scout motto and I have truly taken it to heart when dealing with photography too. You should know where you’re going and what you might encounter while there, and then pack/plan accordingly. Finally you should get to know your gear the best you can so you know how to push it to capture what you see in front of you. I took this shot with a cheap camera, lens, and tripod, carried all day in a school backpack. So don’t ever think your gear is not good enough because you as the photographer have the ability to overcome any limitations

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