I went back to my vantage point for the Museum scene on an evening when I thought I might observe some nice sunset light, but alas, the sky behind the cityscape was not as dramatic as I would have hoped.

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A pesky layer of stratus clouds put a dull soup behind the skyline. The haloing caused by the uniform clouds highlights the deficiency of the cheap lens I used for the shot.

I was able to work on composition. I decided that in the end this is a very left-handed shot. I will also crop the top when the sky has so little interest. While I waited for the azure hour to kick in, I followed the advice given by many photographers: if the light in front of you does not satisfy, turn around.

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The dying light caught the clouds as they formed an apt backdrop for the bare trees on the h

 

As I recomposed a bit tighter, the light shifted from gold to rose and the clouds complemented the shape of the tree even more:

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It’s always nice to get a bonus. I am not a fan of gratuitous sunrise/sunset shots. They are all pretty and guaranteed to get likes on Facebook. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but when faced with gorgeous scenes, it is all too easy to take the easy shot and not work to take the best photo.

When the azure hour arrived, the stratus clouds took up enough light to gain interest. I did crop the excess sky here. I am hoping that as the sunset gets earlier, a few more lights will create more interest in the buildings on the right, which add little in this rendering. By 8 PM on a Friday night, few offices still have occupants.

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Most do not appreciate the blue hour as much as the golden hour, but the intense color and muted luminousity can be appealing.

Some do not like the super saturated colors of the post-sunset hour, so I processed one view in black and white to take a look at the tonal quality of the shot.

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I printed it, as that truly tests a black and white image, and was satisfied with the detail and tones. (Side note: I submitted this to my camera club and matted it improperly, jamming the crane into the top of the frame. No one in the audience could understand why the judge criticized the crane problem, as they saw the version above projected! You have to be careful from concept to final product.)

I will revisit this shot when I return from Yellowstone.

 

 

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