September 25, 2012

Boston in Blue

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This is the first shot I grabbed during last Tuesday’s gathering of photo bloggers at Boston’s Fan Pier.

Contrary to appearances, this was shot pre-blue hour. The decidedly blue tone of the image is not a result of the disappearing sun, nor is it a result of software trickery. It is the result of an underexposed long exposure (102 second exposure, f/8.0, 320 ISO) using the Lee Big Stopper. When we arrived to start shooting, dusk was upon us and the wind was blowing so I figured I’d grab a shot with the Lee Big Stopper before the lights of the city started to come on. The result was a rather blue, very dark image. But since I shoot RAW, I was able to gain a couple of stops, revealing this moody view of Boston’s skyline.

Processing was almost entirely done in Lightroom. I increased the exposure and applied a graduated filter to bring back some of the tones in the sky. I used the Lens correction tool to fix the perspective, and gave it a tighter, pano crop.

Back in Art School, we’d call the results “a happy accident.”

Be sure to click on the image to see a bigger version.

It was a great night shooting with Dave Wilson (visiting from Austin, TX), Rich Williams, Steve Perlmutter, Brian Arsenault, and Stewart Mellentine.

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  1. What a great location that was! I’m really surprised at how much of a colour cast that filter gives you. When I first looked at the picture, I assumed you had shot it with tungsten white balance or something similar. With my B&W 10 stop filter, I get a very marked warming of the image but it’s easy to correct in Lightroom (if I don’t want it).