Feb 14, 2011

Boston Skyline at Twilight

Post sunset is one of my favorite times to take photographs. I regularly go out and capture the Boston skyline at twilight on days that I am not occupied hunting for nature photographs. The best time is 20 to 30 minutes after the sun has set. The optimum light does not last long. Because twilight is hard to predict I set up my tripod and camera prior to the actual sunset and then fire away once the sun sets and disappears. This approach requires sufficient battery power and flash card memory to keep shooting while closing in on the optimum light. The twilight effect also works on cloudy days and up to 15 seconds exposure times are not unusual. I set up on the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge. Rush hour traffic shaking the camera set up and wind on the boats can sometimes cause blurry, unusable photos. This photograph I framed and composed in manual mode. The landscape format includes the John Hancock tower and the Prudential Center building, both Boston landmarks and icons. Although difficult to capture I welcomed the boats in the foreground because they add interest to the overall composition and lead the viewer towards the skyline. The aperture was set to f/6.3 resulting in a 2 second exposure time. In the post processing steps I removed dust spots, minimally adjusted lighting and color saturation before sharpening.