Posts tagged “michigan ave

Michigan Avenue Bridge

People strolling early in the morning on the Michigan Avenue bridge over the Chicago River.  This was taken just as the sun was peeking up over the Lake Michigan horizon and the light was a deep orange.  The sun’s rays had a straight shot down the river — unimpeded by skyscrapers — so the bridge managed to catch the best light.

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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