johnphillips PRO

night falls

night falls

night falls
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Contest Finalist in Boardwalks Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Night Lights Photo Contest
Peer Award
trondstrand CharlesEDavid billmartin_2615 ARUNASPINIGIS diegoscaglione Tshepiso aliceforrallies +98
Superb Composition
GuilPhotographie steveangelakis Radiantphotography jimbillups Cruiser48 kiwiamber laurenmorrill +38
Top Choice
bryanlwilliams aaronstramiello Sdonion johnnapier Fotozap alexeatough_6714 xikoandrade +23
Absolute Masterpiece
MichaelMorse julianwaugh M_Metodiev Svenergy72 Dagem kaimdilekeno yvonnechristinebannister +12
All Star
IMIKEMEDIA Miguel_Sequeira Cre8iveXpressions LucyCMorr maryhale9534 Gubeshte Jeannetteny7 +6
Magnificent Capture
timbrown_2748 KewlDallas Paul-Stapleton darylchamlee digger12 BFountain
Superior Skill
akphotographystudio leonhugo DonnaPGrindley Brianimages ivanfurman Nataliorion
Outstanding Creativity
DebbieLawson48 Marialredvel Lamasmoon Kksgram Hugechoonz

Top ClassTM

Boardwalks Photo ContestTop 10 class
Boardwalks Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Boardwalks Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
Full Focus Photo ContestTop 20 class
Full Focus Photo ContestTop 20 class week 1
Night Lights Photo ContestTop 10 class
Night Lights Photo ContestTop 10 class week 2
Night Lights Photo ContestTop 10 class week 1
2 Comments | Report
jaycohen PRO+
jaycohen April 27, 2015
Where is this? Great shot!
ovosphotography July 19, 2015
well done!

Behind The Lens

I took the photo from the floating boardwalk beneath Louis Vuitton in Singapore's Marina Bay. The city seems to have reserved this spot for us to contemplate its activities from a safe distance.
7.15 pm: The light changes constantly behind the buildings of the central business district and between 6.30 and 7.30 in the evening the lights in the buildings become more and more pronounced. Photographers in Singapore love this view and there are many wonderful photographs in existence. It's best between 7.15 and 7.35 as the evening sky becomes rapidly darker and bluer and the reflections in the bay shimmer more brightly. This is best captured on a weekday when the office lights continue to burn late into the evening.
Images of this skyline are all about light. This photograph captures the balance and tension between the light from the sky, the lights directly from the city and the reflected light in the bay itself. The sky forms the "ground" of the image, against which the lights from and around the buildings make the "image." The reflections normally help to add interest to the foreground but here they also balance the sky. The boardwalk and cleat add a further very slightly incongruous foreground feature that adds distance to the main image yet draws us into it.
I shot this with a Canon 5d mark II using the Canon EF 16-35 1:2.8 L. The Sirui tripod allows the camera to be placed extremely low to the deck. It's a six second exposure at F20 (to keep everything in focus).
You can follow the Singapore River from its beginnings as a canal to the bay itself on any given evening and this time of evening provides the right light conditions. I am constantly looking for vantages I've not discovered or really experimented with. The Louis Vuitton floating boardwalk was a first for me and a challenge. The boardwalk moves so the long exposures (and the bracketed shots) can be afflicted with all kinds of blurring and ghosting. You have to find a moment between the waves caused by passing boats--this one was a rare six seconds of relative calm.
Mostly I process the RAW image in Adobe Lightroom. There are immense and for me still untapped resources in this software that can really help bring out the correct tonal contrasts and colours while keeping the changes subtle. Lightroom offers quite radical treatments too but mostly I work as closely to the captured light as possible. For a shot like this: contrast 34; Highlights (brought right down) -83; Shadows (brought right up) 81-82. Small tweaks with vibrance (11) and clarity (11); a subtly adjusted curve; and some additional work with split toning (very mild here).
In my camera bag
I always take a Fujifilm X100S and often that's it. A more serious shoot will require the Canon 5d mark II with two lenses: the EF 24-105m L and the EF 16-35 1:2.8 L and a range of lens filters. I normally take either the Sirui tripod or the Manfrotto 732cy (designed for travel) and the canon remote. If I need additional lighting: two canon Speedlights with some softboxes and reflectors.
I'm still learning but some things I've discovered make a difference. Find the ideal spot in advance and then stick to it for the session. The light changes so fast that you want to make sure you capture every nuance. You can choose the best one later. Find the "blue hour" in the region you're in (there are dedicated sites for this). In Singapore it's considerably less than an hour, from about 7.15 to 7.35. Shoot continuously from before the light begins to change to when it's become entirely dark. Adjust the exposure with each shot. Keep the camera on a tripod, operate it by remote, and use a small aperture (16-22). Bracket your shots if possible. You achieve the correct balance when the sky is bright and the artificial city lights are detailed and not blown out.

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