St_Micca PRO+

Chicago Skyline

While I was on my way to set up for 4th of July fireworks shot, I caught this scene, and it turned out much better!

While I was on my way to set up for 4th of July fireworks shot, I caught this scene, and it turned out much better!
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Honorable Mention in Warm Colors Photo Contest
Winner in We Built This City Photo Challenge
Peer Award
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Top ClassTM

The Light Behind Photo ContestTop 10 class
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A Concrete Jungle Photo ContestTop 20 class
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2 Comments | Report
Pamelabole PRO+
Pamelabole Mar 26
Beautiful!! Congrats on your challenge win!! : )
PeteSavagePhotos PRO
Awesome image. Loves the tones you have captured. Well done!
St_Micca PRO+
St_Micca Aug 07
Thank you very much!

Behind The Lens

I took this photo of Chicago skyline, from Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk, which is one of the most popular places in the city for such shots.
During sunset time, I was on my way to set up for 4th of July fireworks, held every year on Navy Pier, which is to the right from this frame. And while everyone around me was thinking only about that, I found a moment to look back at the city ans saw this incredible scene.
Shooting into the light, is very challenging by itself. The city looked pretty dark and looking at the sun was, of course, blinding. I had to use every advantage of my equipment to properly expose this shot, so I would be able to raise the shadows in post production and show the details in the buildings.
I shoot with Sony a7RIII, camera with amazing dynamic range, and I had 24-105mm F4 lens. I was at aperture f/16, ISO 250 and shutter 1/40s.
While I was going to set up for fireworks shot, I looked back at the city and saw the sun dropping fast behind buildings. I'm a sucker for starburst, so I saw a wonderful opportunity to play with composition here, because it seemed that the sun will be in perfect position. I immediately had a vision of the shot in my head, so I just grabbed my camera, set the aperture to F16 (to get the strong starburst), kept the shutter at 1/40s (which is probably the lowest I can go handheld to make sure there is no handshake), and adjusted the ISO to properly expose the scene. I guess I was lucky that I was at that place in that moment, and that I had those amazing clouds in the sky, with the sun just dropping below.
I edited the photo in Lightroom and Photoshop. I had to raise shadows significantly, but somehow managed to recover the details and I had to enhance the colors a bit. Other than that, not much editing was needed.
In my camera bag
I like to shoot anything. Photography is my passion, and it doesn't matter if it is an urban scene, nature, people, animals, I'm always ready to shoot. I have a few lenses, for most scenarios, and depending of the purpose I might bring all or just one. My favorite lately is Sony 100-400mm, which I use on my many hikes for nature, travel, wildlife or street photography. Sony 24-105mm F4 is the second, it is all round lens, that is perfect for landscapes, street or even portraits in some cases. For portraits, I usually use Sony 85mm f1.8, which gives you amazing bokeh, and the last one I have is Samyang 14mm F2.8 manual lens, that I use for night skies and architecture.
Always be ready to shoot! It doesn't matter if you have your best camera and lens with you, or just a phone, you can always catch something interesting. Look at the pictures online, check out contest winners, trending photos, discuss them with your friends, you will find inspiration in those and you will start seeing a whole different world! You will notice details that you were missing before, you will see a potential of a scene beside the scene itself. That will help you improve and stand out some day.

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