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Old September 4th, 2012, 08:42 PM
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anjin_nav anjin_nav is offline
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Three Rivers and Moonshine

Well, two rivers in view under moon light.

My wife is out of town, and my daughter came home from school to spend this long weekend with her dad. She's also a great "Dark Knight" fan, and since the third movie in the trilogy was filmed in Pittsburgh, she asked me to take her there Sunday night. Honestly, I'd normally avoid a strange city at night until I was a little more familiar. However, since I know Mount Washington is a popular site, and Pittsburgh has been rated as the number one most beautiful city in the US at night, we went looking forward to a lovely evening. We weren't dissapointed. In fact, when we got there, we found we often had to wait several minutes as tourists poured off buses by the dozen.

Believe it or not, given how much I like to shoot at night, these are my first night cityscapes. I let my trusty Nikon on area exposure mode expose for me on Aperture Priority. It worked out fine, but I think I'd move to manual next time to help reduce a little of the light haloing. Finally, I'm starting to suspect my 24-70 lens is front focusing on my D300. It may be time for some calibration.

1) Moving on.... I knew I was going to take some panorama shots. I put my camera on my Really Right Stuff carbon fiber tripod. What's really cool is when I bought it, I also bought the leveling base. With a turn of a knob, I can level the head. What a difference between that and painstakingly adjusting legs to achieve level! This is a 9 shot pano in vertical mode, stitched in Photoshop to get the whole vista from Three Rivers stadium all the way to the rising moon.


Three Rivers Pano by anjin_nav, on Flickr
Aperture Priority, f/16, ISO 200, 20 sec plus 20 second noise reduction, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED at 24mm, tripod

2) I wanted to really focus in on the downtown area, though, to give my daughter a Facebook cover picture. This one originally was 7 shots, but I thought the intersection of I-376 and I-279--while interesting (you can see it above)--took away from the shot's balance, so I only used 5.


Downtown Pano by anjin_nav, on Flickr
Aperture Priority, f/16, ISO 200, 15 sec with 15 second noise reduction, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED at 38mm, tripod


2a) "What?!" you say? No black and white? Okay, fine.


3) This is actually my favorite composition, which I took at a spot not defined by photo overlooks. I think the trees frame the city nicely, but I think they may also weigh it a little too heavily toward the bottom. This is actually only one shot.


Just the Burg by anjin_nav, on Flickr
Aperture Priority, f/11, 30 sec plus NR, ISO 200, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED at 38mm, tripod

In all, it was a great night. I learned something about night photography, and I had a great time with my daughter. Now I get to look forward to the next time with a properly calibrated lens/camera as well as a more carefully set exposure.

As always, I appreciate your candid critique.
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Old September 4th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

Oh Wow Tim!!! These are amazing. The first and of course the black and white are exceptional!!!
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Old September 5th, 2012, 04:33 AM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

All very nicely captured...i like the scenes a lot. Good work.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 07:56 AM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

these are very nice Tim, really like the first and very much like the B&W which is probably my fav of the bunch, I think I'd try burning that light halo down some though in photoshop Im sure with the black background that could be accomplished fairly easily, really like the strong blacks and whites in that conversion,, Silver efex Pro 2 ???
My daughter attended college there in Pittsburgh and Ive been there myself, a wonderful and certainly beautiful city at night !!
also a VERY dedicated football city !! My son went there with us and we went out for dinner one night and he was wearing a Bengals jersey, he was an Chad Johnson fan at the time, you should have heard the heckling !!! I thought we were gonna have trouble that night with some of those people, while we were walking down by the river a kid actually rode his bike right into my son,, tough city ,, we went to the stadium and walked around,, very cool city !!
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Old September 5th, 2012, 08:07 AM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

Tim great job for a first time nightscapes!

I too like your 3rd shot the best, the light seems to better controlled and f/11 on your lens there appears to be your sweet spot, nice and crisp. Great starburst towards the center of the shot.

I see where you were going with the trees for framing but I think it removes too much of the river which I'd really like to see more of in this comp.

Can't wait to see some more from this area!
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Old September 5th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

Simply awesome job all around!
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Old September 5th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

Tim, these are amazing. I can see your first pano hanging in a tourist information office in Pittsburg. What a great advertisement for the city. If I had to pick a fav, it would be #2 but I can make a case for all of them.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 04:52 PM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

Tim, these are VERY nice artistically as well as technically well executed.

I encourage others to click on the images to be taken to Tim's Flickr site where you can right click and choose the largest display resolution that will fit on your screen.....that's when #1 really shines.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 07:58 PM
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anjin_nav anjin_nav is offline
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

Thanks for the comments and critique, Rubina, Marty, Jim, John, Jesse, Garry, and Russ. Even though I posted this in Sharing, I always welcome critique.

Jim, whenever I think I'll be converting, I try it first in Lightroom. But for final, it's got to be Silver Efex. I see what you're saying about the halo. I burned some out, but didn't work too hard because the bright lights are just too bright, and I need to revisit this location. You're right about their football. You ought to try being a Broncos fan after last year's postseason game!

I see what you're saying about the river, John. I'll have to consider that when I go back.
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Old September 5th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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Re: Three Rivers and Moonshine

Tim I can not add anything to what has been said, all are outstanding. I have two favorites, the panorama, and the B&W conversion. I can also see the pano hanging in a tourism bureau office, or some prominent office in the city.
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