Chicago River Sunrise

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/5042745675/

Chicago River Sunrise Center exposure: 10mm, f/8, 1/6s ISO 100

 

Most of my family still lives in the Chicago area so we make a yearly trek to IL.  As part of this year’s trip I took some of my family on an overnight visit to downtown Chicago.   Life has kept me from being able to spend much time on photography but I had hopes of doing some “serious” photography in the city this year.  I figured that being on vacation would allow some time for pics but the highest priority was spending time with the kids and that’s what I mostly did.  I did manage some shots but really couldn’t spend time composing or trying different vantage points.

That said, I snuck out of the hotel room at sunrise and headed toward Michigan Avenue.  I caught a glimpse of the orange light of the early morning sun on the Trump Tower from a block away so I picked up the pace and walked to the Chicago River a block east of Michigan Ave.  In order to get the composition I wanted I had to set up the camera on one of the pillars of the stone wall above the river.  I was a bit nervous about that but just moved with caution to avoid knocking everything over the wall.

There are several things I like about this shot.  The orange glow of the Trump Tower was just right.  I liked how the wide-angle lens makes the buildings on either side of the river lean as if they’re getting ready for a cross-river showdown.  Finally, I’m partial to Chicago and therefore just think any downtown shot in the city looks cool.  I hope you like it too.

As for processing, this shot started life as a 4-exposure HDR (-4, -2, 0, +2).  Three exposures were nearly sufficient but I needed the -4 exposure to tame the reflective highlights at the bottom of the Trump Tower.  I brought the tonemapped image into Photoshop with the four original exposures and masked pieces of each into the image.  I use Noiseware to clean up the sky.  Finally, some sharpening and curves adjustments and I was pretty much done.  I had intended to play around with Topaz Adjust to see what I came up with but I never got around to that…maybe I’ll have some fun with that in the future.

Here’s a daytime shot of the Trump Tower.  As you can see, there’s no orange in that building at all — the morning sun was simply *that* orange.

 

Trump Tower

 

 

Advertisements

4 responses

  1. Tasteful HDR – very subtle.

    October 1, 2010 at 11:05 pm

  2. That’s a pretty sweet photo. It’s really hard to capture the vibrance of a sunrise, and you got it just at the right time for this!

    October 1, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    • Thanks to all for the compliments 🙂

      October 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  3. This is an absolutely stunning shot, Michael! I`m with on the distortion…adds a bit of extra drama to the shot. I definitely have to get myself to Chicago!

    October 12, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s