Manhattan Rooftop 2016-06





Creative Winter Award
Contest Finalist in Dusk Or Dawn Photo Contest
Peer Award
Superb Composition
PaulRuffyDalalo shaundavis65 aathitya Matjaz70 jmeierphoto DevilishImagery VictorHawk +10
Absolute Masterpiece
markkennethposiongapate jboulais annegoldman Sarah8235 skippy4280 v_moreen Svenergy72 +8
Top Choice
gabrieleballerini KenBrakefield heatheroneill myerscreativephotography knightog florinhorhat Fotos12 +5
Outstanding Creativity
andrearomero kjetilstenslandvilnes chrisrossouw darylchamlee wendyroske_9600 Kreingkrai stephenbraunginn +4
Magnificent Capture
iliamargalitadze KristinaOers Macpwm TomasTar donaldgbrown georgepohrib livioferrari +1

Top Ranks

The Talent AwardsTop 10 rank
Compositions 101 Photo Contest vol3Top 20 rank
Compositions 101 Photo Contest vol3Top 20 rank week 2
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Dusk Or Dawn Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
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Behind The Lens

This scene was captured from the rooftop, level 36 of where I reside at present in Manhattan, which is near the East River. From this rooftop, there are clear views of iconic edifices, including Freedom Tower, Empire State Building and Chrysler Building, plus structures such as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge. I went to take a picture and the picture took me…to a scenario I never contemplated before, “chairs can be beautiful 2”.
It was 7:41 p.m. The sun was setting and my wait from around 5:00 p.m. was worth the patience. Trying to chase a sunset may make you lose opportunities for capturing eye-catching images two ways. One way relates to the haste required to set up tripod and camera. You may configure an ISO, f stop, horizon alignment or composition that is less than ideal. The other issue is the rapidly changing light, cloud movement and other atmospheric dynamics when the sun is setting. Your camera almost seems to love you when you give yourself the time latitude to properly evaluate a scene and take advantage of unexpected elements or influences. For example, the contrail that is a significant element of this composition, dissipated within minutes. My camera loves me so much, as with other relationships, we frequently get into arguments; but with my camera they are about exposure (during winter and rain), horizon alignment (when I try to go down too low for a shot and fall flat on my face) and f stop (an euphemism for what the camera says to me when the battery starts running low).
I had to tread a narrow path between unwanted dead space and welcomed negative space in this scenario. I did not want silhouettes in front the sun nor dead space occupying significant areas of the foreground. I wanted a hint of detail in the buildings highlighted by the setting sun and also certain components of the foreground. This necessitated walking the fine technical line indicated. The masking feature in Camera Raw was utilized to a certain extent in lighting the way.
I used the Canon 5D Mark II camera which entered the market circa 2007 as a trail blazer in terms of dynamic range, ISO versatility and noise control, but which in 2017 is regarded as having certain limitations related to the same aforesaid features. The lens used was the Canon 24-70 mm, f 2.8 series L USM, a capable workhorse for landscape and event photography. My camera (and sometimes me) rely on the Manfrotto 055 tripod with the Manfrotto MHXPRO-3W head. The tripod is made of aluminum and weighs 5.5 lbs. Its legs can be spread almost parallel to the ground, permitting shots from a very, very low angle.
From childhood, I was fascinated by what I perceived as the glamour of the Manhattan skyline. Though I rarely imbibe alcohol, for some reason, the image that staggers into my mind as an association of the Manhattan skyline is one of a glass of champagne, an olive and red lipstick on the rim of the glass. Drunk with the illusion of becoming a great photographer, I ventured onto the rooftop to try to capture an image of the skyline from a different perspective while relegating it and its affiliated concept to the background rather than the foreground. I must say, it was a sobering experience; I am still not a great photographer.
I used Camera Raw to process the image and the masking feature was utilized to tweak lead-in lines to the skyline, such as the contrail, railing, lounge chairs’ construction slats and construction artifacts of the structure at the right.
In my camera bag
I have different bags, so I pack to suit the occasion or event. Carrying all your gear, especially for long distances, is not a good idea, despite the fact that you may miss certain shots. If there is a place that you frequent, limit yourself to one lens and one body at a time. Carrying a different lens on each occasion forces you to explore possibilities that you would not otherwise have considered. This actually develops your creativity (oops I just revealed why I lack creativity).
For those of you who are interested in a similar perspective; it would cost you too much for me to take up on the roof, but if you have a friend or relation in Manhattan, try to ingratiate yourself with that person and they make take you up to their rooftop. Just ensure that the building has at least 24 levels.

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