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A Long Bays End

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Behind The Lens


I took this photo while walking downtown on a foggy winter evening in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It features one of the most iconic buildings in the city The Hudson's Bay building, which is located on the historic Stephen Avenue.


The photo was taken during blue hour on a cloudy evening. At first it was a promising sunset, but the weather is so unpredictable here and a storm ended up rolling in.


During the sunset, a storm rolled in bringing the fog with it which in turn made the sunset a bit of a flop. Though my evening of photography didn't pan out how I thought, I decided to keep shooting. When blue hour came along the fog really ended up adding to the overall moodiness of the capture. Just goes to show that even when the light is unfavorable you can still capture amazing photos.


Taken on my Nikon D7500 with a Sigma 10-20mm lens at (or near) 20mm. No tripods or flashes were used for the photo and the long exposure was done hand held. I will admit that because I was doing a hand held long expsoure, it took a few tries to get a photo with acceptable clarity.


I was born and raised in Calgary and have such a love for this city. It's that feeling that constantly inspires me to go out and try to show this city off to the world. In this particular case I also wanted to show a contrast between the older part of downtown and newer skyscrapers behind it.


Some post processing was required as I usually underexpose in order to bring out more details and also needed to do some colour corrections as the original image was more of a cool tone. So, I imported the photo into Lightroom, increased the brightness, the sharpness (using the masking feature so that only the lines would be sharpened), and warmed the tones up. I then transformed the perspective to give the buildings more of an angular look and finished off with some noise reduction. Nothing was photoshopped in or out of the photo.

In my camera bag

Normally I carry two camera bodies, the Nikon D3400 and D7500. Usually the 3400 has a Sigma 10-20mm lens and the 7500 has a Nikon 35mm prime lens. I started doing this in an effort to swap lenses less (keeping the sensors clean) and works out nicely as both bodies have similar image quality. I also carry a Nikon 55-200mm lens in my bag as sometimes its just nice to have that extra reach. On top of that I usually have a Manfrotto Monopod as well as a Gorillapod and will usually take one or the other with me, but most of the time don't use either. Lastly, I have a mount for my phone so that I can do Hyperlapses.


Despite what everyone says, you do not need a tripod in order to do long exposure photography. Don't get me wrong, for anything longer than half a second you will 100% need to have your camera on something. However, this photo was taken hand held at 1/4 of a second and If you practice you'll be able to do the same thing. Control your breathing, hold the camera close to your body and/or create tension with your neck strap. While using this method remember to always "double tap". Do this by using the burst shot mode on your camera. Normally the 2nd or 3rd photo in the set will have significantly less camera shake than the 1st photo.

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