Category Archives: Cityscape
This flashback Friday is a little late but at least it is still Friday.
Today’s date is March 27, 2009. (Special bonus of two pictures)
Here’s a couple shots from a shot trip to Chicago with some family that was in town. It was a fun little visit but still a little cold in the windy city.
Man o man has it been way too long since I’ve last posted anything. Not sure I really have any excuses besides that time goes by way to fast.
A few weeks back I had the opportunity to take a helicopter flight around Chicago to get some aerial shots. Probably not something I’d be able to do just for fun normally but I had a Groupon deal that made it a little more affordable to take. The company that took me up was called Bachman Aero (http://www.bachmanaero.com/). It was quite the experience to see such a beautiful city from the open door of a helicopter. The only downside was that by taking all of the photos it was hard to be able to just sit back and enjoy the ride and view. A quick hour later and 32 GB of photos the flight was over and I wanted to do it again.
Here are some of the shots I was able to capture during this time. I still have a lot more to still go though so I might add to this post later. Below I’ll also post some of the things I was glad I did before the flight and some of the things I wish I had done differently.
As far as tips, pointers, or things I wish I did differently?
- One is that I wish I just slowed down a little. Taken a little more time to compose my shots. The helicopter never stopped so I just kept shooting as fast as I could.
- Next time I’d like to try to get some more detailed shots. I was too blown away with everything that I mainly just took wide shots. For example.. you can see a concert going on in the park. It would have been fun to get some zoomed in/detailed shots of that. Another is that we flew pretty close to the Willis tower. It would have been fun to get a closeup shot of those glass views with people in them. ect ect
- Next time I’ll try to be more vocal to the pilot. There were some shots I wanted to get but didn’t mention it to the pilot as we were flying around. One of which is that it would have been nice to have a shot of Solider Field. A lot of this was due to having so much going on I just spaced it. The pilot would have been more then happy to have done these for me.
Some things I’m glad I did?
- I’m glad I took a smaller bag. There wasn’t much room and my big Thinktank bag would have been a hassle
- Glad I took multiple lenses. I ended up taking a 70-200 2.8 IS, 28-75 2.8 Tamron, and 10-20 sigma. I didn’t really think I’d use the sigma much but ended up using it quite a bit. We got a lot closer to the city then I thought we would. Didn’t use the 70-200 much for that same reason but should have to get those better detailed shots I talked about above. I didn’t find changing lenses was a problem and was just darn sure of my hold while changing them. I never let the camera strap off my neck and had my bag straps wrapped around my leg.
- Glad I took a lot of memory cards. I usually just shoot with two 8 GB cards but just had purchased another 16 GB card last week just to be safe. I ended up filling up all of the 16 GB card, one of the 8 GB cards and half of the other.
- Glad I bracketed my shots. I did this for a couple reasons. One was to be able to try some HDR images which didn’t really work out since we were moving the whole time, and the other reason was just to play it safe. I’m also able to use those different exposures to do some exposure blending. While bracketing I was shooting in manual mode and with it being sunset the lighting variance was pretty extreme. I also shot in Av mode to be able to get the fastest shutter speed while keeping the aperture pretty wide open.
- Glad I took the flight.
Hope you enjoy the shots!
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Here’s another quick before/after of a shot I took this last weekend on the campus of Notre Dame University. My wife was kind enough to let me escape our colicky two month old and get out to take some evening shots.
This shot is of the library on campus that is more famously know as “Touchdown Jesus”. It received the name from the mosaicked wall that looms over the nearby football stadium mirroring the raised arms of a referee signifying a touchdown. Please forgive me for not getting the before/after shots to line up. I did some cropping to the original image and wasn’t able to get them exact.
I actually used 9 different images to create this HDR shot. After aligning them using Photomatix I opened it up in Photoshop to enhance the image some more. I probably pushed it a little too far but kind of liked the contrast of colors between the warm glow of the sunset and the cool blue sky on the other end of the horizon. For those interested here are some of the plugin’s and steps I took for this image.
Nik color efex: Tonal contrast, Pro contrast
OnOne Phototools: Color boost (Cranked it way up) and then masked out the building since it was over saturated, sharpen
Photoshop: Level corrections. New layer with screen blend mode on building to lighten it a little. New layer with multiply blend mode to create a vignette.
It was a beautiful spring evening on campus and I’ll probably post more images from this outing later. A spring storm had just gone though a couple hours earlier which gave everything a nice refreshing feel and look to it. Here is one other shot from the outing of the Basilica on campus.