Tag Archives: timwattsphotography

Follow the Bridge to the Glow of the Sunset by tawatts

It’s not often I stay in the city and shoot cityscape scenes. Last night was an exception. I was out driving around, I could see that the clouds were forming nicely, it was going to be another lovely sunset. Problem was I was too far away from any of my usual locations to be able to make it in time to shoot it. I recalled seeing a bridge south of the city of Ottawa that had been recently built. (I used to live in a house about a block north of this a few years ago before the building even started). I knew it would be facing towards the sunset, so I thought I would give it a try and also try to incorporate some long exposure shots to incorporate light trails from the traffic flow going over the bridge.

As soon as I saw the first shot I took show up on the screen on the back of my Nikon D800E, I knew this was going to be a GREAT night! I was not disappointed. I was surprised at the quality of the lighting once nightfall hit. I really like how clean and bright the lighting is on the bridge. It’s a beautiful sharp and start contrast to the warm colours of the sky and the sunset. This scene was captured about 30 minutes after sunset, getting me nicely into the blue hour. (Yes, I know, … I’m still a little bit fixated on the blue hour after my vacation! lol) wink emoticon

As the traffic was flowing back and forth around me, I made sure to leave the shutter open long enough to capture good traffic flow going in both directions across the bridge. I had the camera set in full manual mode, I had focused the camera on a section of the bridge before the sun had set when I first arrived, and I never moved the tripod while I was there. Once the light drops it’s hard to have a pin sharp focus, so I set it to manual and never moved it.

Once I got home, I didn’t really need to do much to this scene at all in post processing. I brought down the highlights, brought the shadows up ever so slightly and added a slight vignette to the over all image. I adjusted the lighting by using three horizontal gradients. First across the very bottom to darken the section closest to me, as it was not very visually interesting. Second I added another gradient to increase the exposure in the sky just above the bridge. Finally, I added a gradient at the very top to drop the exposure, yet bring out the highlights. White-balance was set to daytime for the image. It helped a little bit with the blues, and warmed up the bridge lighting slightly.

via http://ift.tt/1LyaTCb

Follow the Bridge to the Glow of the Sunset by tawatts

It’s not often I stay in the city and shoot cityscape scenes. Last night was an exception. I was out driving around, I could see that the clouds were forming nicely, it was going to be another lovely sunset. Problem was I was too far away from any of my usual locations to be able to make it in time to shoot it. I recalled seeing a bridge south of the city of Ottawa that had been recently built. (I used to live in a house about a block north of this a few years ago before the building even started). I knew it would be facing towards the sunset, so I thought I would give it a try and also try to incorporate some long exposure shots to incorporate light trails from the traffic flow going over the bridge.

As soon as I saw the first shot I took show up on the screen on the back of my Nikon D800E, I knew this was going to be a GREAT night! I was not disappointed. I was surprised at the quality of the lighting once nightfall hit. I really like how clean and bright the lighting is on the bridge. It’s a beautiful sharp and start contrast to the warm colours of the sky and the sunset. This scene was captured about 30 minutes after sunset, getting me nicely into the blue hour. (Yes, I know, … I’m still a little bit fixated on the blue hour after my vacation! lol) wink emoticon

As the traffic was flowing back and forth around me, I made sure to leave the shutter open long enough to capture good traffic flow going in both directions across the bridge. I had the camera set in full manual mode, I had focused the camera on a section of the bridge before the sun had set when I first arrived, and I never moved the tripod while I was there. Once the light drops it’s hard to have a pin sharp focus, so I set it to manual and never moved it.

Once I got home, I didn’t really need to do much to this scene at all in post processing. I brought down the highlights, brought the shadows up ever so slightly and added a slight vignette to the over all image. I adjusted the lighting by using three horizontal gradients. First across the very bottom to darken the section closest to me, as it was not very visually interesting. Second I added another gradient to increase the exposure in the sky just above the bridge. Finally, I added a gradient at the very top to drop the exposure, yet bring out the highlights. White-balance was set to daytime for the image. It helped a little bit with the blues, and warmed up the bridge lighting slightly.

via http://ift.tt/1LyaTCb

“Looking down over the locks” – Chateau Laurier by tawatts

I took this shot last night while wandering around with a number of other photographers. Another of the active photographers, Roland posted in a local Facebook group about just a casual get together to wander around and take some shots.

It was fun to be wandering around in a small group chatting about photography, and of course very safe as well. I’m looking forward to another night of this in the coming weeks.

I like the way this shot turned out, but I am going to revisit to take it again. The dock that I have to stand on to take the scene is floating, so the image is not as sharp as I would like it to be. It looked good in camera, but I’m not completely happy with it.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: No
Exposure level used: +1EV, 2000 iso
Exposure Length: 25 seconds
Panoramic Shot: No
Camera Orientation: Landscape
Camera Mode: Manual, f/11
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Date Captured: August 7, 2015
Location: Rideau Locks, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

via http://bit.ly/1T5iYDp

It’s ALIVE … “Maman” The National Gallery by tawatts

Last night I was bored and although the skies were not looking like they would be lighting up for any amazing scenes, it was a nice summer evening and I thought I would take my gear and wander around down town near the Market Area in Ottawa and see what I could find.

I have walked past “Maman”, the very large spider sculpture out front of the National Gallery of Canada on many occasions but had not taken it’s photograph. Normally there is a continual flow of people and cameras directly pointed at and shooting Maman no matter what time of day or night you walk past the Gallery. So, last night I decided to put on my 6 stop ND filter to slow down the exposure in an effort to have all of the people milling about in the shot “disappear”. It worked perfectly. I was shooting at 5 and 10 second exposures. It was long enough to have all of the people moving within the scene so that they completely disappeared.

The down side of that was that I ended up with portions of the sky behind Maman that were completely blown out. I used that to my advantage as I went about to process the scene. This ended up being an 8 shot panoramic, stitched in LR6. I had dropped my camera down as low and close to the ground as I could get it to add to the perspective of Maman being so large. I also wanted to be able to look up and see the white marble” Babies” in her sac together with the patterns in the brick pavers and show off the patterns they created. Because of the blown out sky, I decided to process the scene with a slight apocalyptic or Alien Invasion dramatic effect. What can I say, I was feeling artistic last night. 😉

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
ND Filter Used: Yes, B+W 6 stop
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 5-10 seconds
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

via http://ift.tt/1LkQEF4

John G. Diefenbaker Building – LE Night Scene by tawatts

While I was down in the area of the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial, I decided to wander back to the Old City Hall and give it another try from a different angle and long after the sun had set.

What’s interesting about doing long exposure shots (LE) is that what I am seeing and experiencing disappears from the shot, and the captured scene can be completely different than what anyone would see with their own eye. So, while I was taking the photos to stitch into the resulting panoramic shot, there was a flurry of seagulls skimming and circling over the water in front of me. Every now and then they would drop to the water and attempt to catch something on or just below the surface of the water.

Thinking about it now, it would have made for an interesting shot if I had taken some fast shots (1/500 of a sec) to be able to capture the seagull activity to blend back into the final image afterwards. Next time … 🙂

I ended up doing some small post-processing adjustments to the scene. All of the work was completed within LR6. I started by removing dust from the scene, then adding a gradient filter to the bottom of the shot, I brought the exposure levels in the bottom 1/3 up 1 stop. I then darkened the top third one stop using the same approach. Using a radial filter and the adjustment brush filter, I brought the shadows up in the middle section, warmed up the tones by adjusting the white balance and then added a bit of clarity. Finally, I adjusted the sharpening and noise levels, then exported into Photoshop to add my watermark and perform final re-sizing and sharpening for sharing on the web.

I love the combination of strong blue and orange tones in a scene, so this was why I was drawn to taking another go at this location.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 30 seconds
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

via http://bit.ly/1FFpfsT

Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial – Ottawa, Ontario by tawatts

Lately I haven’t had the time or weather cooperating to do much exploring out in the backcountry, so I have been exploring different areas around the city I live in, Ottawa.

There are many beautiful areas located here, partly because Ottawa is the Capital City of Canada, and partly because it is a nice lush area with lots of green space and waterways flowing through it.

This particular shot was taken two nights ago after work on Green Island, which is near the city centre. I just happened to come upon the monument, and with the sun setting directly behind it I knew it would make for an interesting angle to capture this setting sun.

There has been very little editing done with this shot. It’s a stitched panoramic, created from 7 portrait mode shots with all stitching and editing completed within LR6. For the shots, I did use the B+W 3stop & 6 stop ND filters to darken things and slow down the exposure to remove people walking into and out of the shot. Since this is a tourist area, there is a continual flow of others wanting to come and take photos as well. Using a ND filter allows others to be able to walk through the shot and not appear in the resulting image. While I was shooting, the exposure length varied from 15 – 30 seconds.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 100 iso
Exposure Length: 25 seconds
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/13
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

via http://bit.ly/1Gr1oDN

John G. Diefenbaker Building – AKA – Old City Hall by tawatts

I was thrilled to see the forecast yesterday, high risk of severe thunderstorms …. I always feel that the best photos are right before or right after a storm… during the storm too if you can find a dry spot to shoot from. Let me tell you though, trying to clean the water drops and smears off of the lens between each shot is a general P.I.T.A. …. 😉

I spent the better part of the day yesterday with a dear friend of mine Lori and we were wandering around out at Aylmer Marina taking shots. Unfortunately my shots from that location need a lot of work. I’m not sure why, but with 9 stops of ND filters on the camera I was getting a heavy magenta colour shift in a portion of the shots. So, before I will be able to share any of these shots from the Marina, I will have to do a LOT of post-processing to see if I can make them useable. Which is really too bad, the clouds were so full of drama!

This scene I captured after I had dropped Lori off at her place and I wasn’t done yet for the day. I still wanted to make the most of the dramatic clouds and weather. The wind would come and go through the day. The clouds were very fast moving and the rain was on and off as well.

All of the processing, including stitching the 5 photos to make the panoramic shot, were done in Lightroom 6. For this scene I had stacked two ND filters to really slow my exposure down. This ended up being 30 second exposures for each of the shots. I was shooting in full manual mode, including manual focus. With nine stops of ND filters on, and being a generally dark day, I wasn’t able to get a good automatic focus. So, I pulled the ND filters off (stacked a B+W 6 stop and a B+W 3 stop filter), set my aperture to f/11, used the auto focus and then set my lens to manual focus. I then put my filters back on and started shooting knowing that I had a perfect focus again.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens: Nikon AF-S 24mm prime Nikkor f/1.4G ED
Bracketed exposure shots: No
Exposure level used: -1EV, 50 iso
Exposure Length: 30 seconds
Camera Orientation: Portrait
Camera Mode: Manual, f/11
Post Processing: Lightroom 6
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

via http://bit.ly/1BzWahw