Light of Guangzhao





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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in Chengdu Sichuan Province China. It was on a romantic walk by the river with my then fiance (now happily married) and despite not having my tripod handy I could not resist trying to capture the beautiful lights reflecting off the water.
We had just finished a wonderful meal in a local restaurant and had set off some time around 10pm so I think approx time of this shot would be 11pm.
I wanted to capture the reflections of the bridge lights in the water as well as get that silky effect in the water and with a lot of background light pollution from the city lights, it was difficult to get the right angle for a long exposure. The challenge of finding the right place to shoot from is what led me to find this great angle also. Using a small brick pillar nearby to steady myself (I had no tripod) I held my breath hoping to stay steady and snapped off about 6-8 shots before finally getting 2 that were acceptable.
Shot on Canon 50D with 17-185 USM lens at f/4, 1600 ISO, 1/40 17mm focal length
The night was a very romantic evening with my then fiance and the lighting and mood of the entire scene just fit perfectly.
Very little post is done here, a simple push of the brightness and slight contrast boost was all that was done with this shot.
In my camera bag
I was a bit of a gear hound in years gone by so was often caught lugging around a back pack and trolley with a mountain of gear to cover almost any situation. Now I realise that most of the stuff I had was unnecessary so normally just take out my Canon 50D with 17-185mm glass (covers just about everything I need) and my trusty old 420ex speedlight, the Velbon tripod is an option but not always carried . I will also carry my little Olympus Pen because it is so light and small I barely notice it and it is a decent little backup if something went wrong with the SLR plus it can do nice little videos.
Use a tripod lol. Actually doing this without a tripod is quite challenging and rewarding when you get the shot. I guess the best advice would be to spend time getting your framing right before taking any shots. It was the time I spent looking at the shot from many angles that allowed me to finally find that space where I could capture the best of the lights and also not have the light pollution from the city interrupting the shot too much.

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