I’m teaching my Lightroom seminar today to an almost sold-out crowd of close to 600, here in Toronto (thanks Toronto!), but I did manage to get out and take some touristy photos after I arrived on Sunday. Whenever I go to a city, I try to make it a point to take a photo of the skyline (if they have one) or something unique to that city. Personally, I actually like the typical touristy spots too. At least when it’s my first time to that city. I find whatever the “usual” spot is, tends to be one of the best, so that’s where I head first.

This photo is from Toronto Island. You take a 10 minute ferry ride over to it, and it’s really cool place. I wish I was here when it was warmer because it looks like a great place to spend the day and explore. Anyway, I headed out to get there by sunset, but the sun went behind a bank of clouds before that happened. That’s okay though, because I tend to like city skylines during twilight the best. That’s when the sun scatters it’s light around the clouds and gives off lots of blues and oranges and magentas. Plus, you can see the lights in the buildings better than when the sun is still up.

Oh, and the detail on this photo is just sick! You’d be amazed if you saw the full 7000 pixel image on my laptop screen. It almost looks 3-D. So make sure you click on the photo below to see it larger.

(click to see photo larger)

A Little Long Exposure Action!
The only other thing I did differently here is I used a neutral density filter. I didn’t use the Lee Big Stopper that I’ve written about before because it was too dark. My shutter speeds were getting too long with it. So I used a 3-stop ND filter to slow the shutter speed down enough to blur some of the clouds and the water. One of the things I like to do with static subjects, like a skyline, is add some motion. You can’t, of course, blur the buildings because that wouldn’t look right. But blurry clouds, for me, help add that dynamic feeling to the photo. And I really don’t care for choppy water (it was windy last night – and did I mention cold ;) ), so the longer exposures help smooth that out as well.

Photo Details:
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII
Cable Release: Vello Shutter Boss Cable Release
Aperture: f/8
Shutter Speed: 45 sec.
ISO: 100
Tripod: Gitzo Traveler
Ballhead: Really Right Stuff BH-55

Thanks for stopping by. If you’re at the seminar today make sure you come on up and say hi. Have a good one!