April 23, 2015

High Above Boston


I finally made the time to check out the Prudential Skywalk Observatory last weekend to do some High Above Boston shooting. And I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, it left me with the distinct feeling that I will be going back. Soon … The view is absolutely spectacular and the hours are conducive to some sunset and blue hour shooting which, weather conditions permitting, allows for some spectacular, dramatic shots.

High Above BostonThis inaugural visit was something of a scouting mission, that returned some gold. I was staying in Boston on Sunday night to get up (REALLY) early to do some shooting at the Boston Marathon on Monday. When I picked up the tickets in advance I asked about the use of tripods. The cashier told me tripods were not allowed, citing the tight space and crowns. Fair enough, I thought. So I left my tripod in my hotel room. I brought only my Olympus OMD EM1 and the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro lens. If I couldn’t use a tripod I wanted to keep it light, so I left the 40-150 Pro in my hotel room.

Joining me on this scouting mission was my friend, Tom — another Em1 shooter. He brought his 14-150 zoom (28-300 full frame equivalent). At  f4-5.6, it is a slow lens, but very sharp.

As the sun set and the lights of the city came on, I borrowed Tom’s zoom and put it and Olympus’ 5 axis stabilization to the test. It was trial and error. To try to control noise, I kept the ISO at a relatively low 500. The aperture was 5.6 – as wide as I could get it on this particular lens. That gave me a shutter speed of about a half a second.  I framed, held my breath clicked the shutter and hoped for the best.

This is one of two images that I am really happy with from the shoot. This was shot at about 40mm (80mm on full frame). The other at about 90mm (180mm/FF).

I’m thrilled with the images I got there and cannot wait to to go back!

Click on the detail above to see it in a lightbox overlay.

Oh … and that no tripod directive. There is a workaround. There were at least two people shooting with Gorilla Pods or similar stabilization devices up there. I will be back. Oh yes, I will be back!

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  1. So sweet! It’s the same with no tripod rule at the Top of the Rock – Rockefeller Center, but yet Gorilla Pod is the way to go. Sweet shot!