PortrartCreations
PortrartCreations

Pier 7



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Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken on Pier 7 in San Francisco.
Time
It was taken early morning shortly after sunrise.
Lighting
The light was beautiful that morning. I remember it was Father's Day weekend and my wife and I were out of town in San Francisco for the weekend...leaving our kids for the first time (although we did come home on Father's Day Sunday to be with them). The weather was nice, not much fog that time of year so I took advantage of the early morning colors, but was really hoping for some clouds (hoping to capture their motion in a long exposure)...but ended up with this shot instead.
Equipment
I shot this with an 18-300mm lens mounted on my Nikon D50 (I think it is one of their first DSLRs). Also used a Vanguard tripod.
Inspiration
Back then I was focused on landscape photography and have always wanted to capture the city of San Francisco. So given the opportunity for a weekend, I started out early (before sunrise) and walked all around SF taking as many sites as possible (the usual iconic, touristy spots). But for this particular shot, I wanted to capture the rhythmic leading lines of the gas lamps. I was hoping for some clouds to shoot a long exposure, and I also wanted to get there before the gas lamp lights turned off...but I was a little too late (or maybe they don't turn on early morning)...who knows. Regardless...I was pleased with the result, even though the shot ended up very different than what was in my mind.
Editing
Yes...I used Lightroom in my post processing. The original RAW file was a little underexposed so I increased it a little as well as the typical sharpening/noise reduction/contrast...etc.
In my camera bag
Well, I have upgraded since taking that shot, but back then...I carried my 10 year old Nikon D50 body w/18-300mm (all purpose kit lens) and a 10mm wide angle (for most landscapes). I have some graduated ND filters that I don't use much, but I do have regular 9 stop, 6 stop, and 3 stop ND filters that I use often when it's too bright outside.
Feedback
I think slowing down, taking your time and thinking your shot through makes a difference. I tend to rush things (not sure why)...maybe I'm afraid I will lose the light if I take too much time. I should take my own advice! Also, knowing your gear is crucial because if you don't have much time, the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around and trying to figure out which buttons do what as the light changes before your eyes.

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