The Story Behind – Above Brooklyn
Picture-postcard Photography – read all about it! So this is an occasional series where give a full account of a particular image… in this case it’s all about – how blue skies can come and go – quickly!
My original photo story went something like …
The Story Behind – Above Brooklyn
This is the ‘Brooklyn classic landscape photography shot’ I have had in mind for years. And to put it into perspective, I have already got this shot – but I had taken it on an iPhone, not my Big Camera. To put it into even more perspective, it’s about a 90 minute walk from Brooklyn, with about 200 metres of elevation uphill to get to this spot. Are you with me?
So I finally got the shot, as a good mate asked if I fancied doing the Cowan to Brooklyn section of the Great North Walk, one weekend. That’s a 13 kilometre walk, around 700 metres of elevation, and quite a difficult and rocky track. I took a look at the weather forecast and luckily we had blue skies to start with. More on that later. I packed the camera. Just the one lens and no tripod, for weight. Plenty of water and electrolyte drink and food. So we walked and walked, after a 7:30 AM start, down past Jerusalem Bay, back up to the main ridge and then down and up again. We eventually arrived at the main lookout with a sense of elation. And tiredness! I had two shots in mind, one was a straight capture, the other was a panorama.
This is the straight shot. It’s available on my web-shop from forty nine.
I’ll write more about this as a blog post, as there was quite a lot of extra went on. A lot of times there is always a story-behind-the-story from what looks like a straightforward shot.
Please feel free to share for personal use.
A few more details:-
What you don’t see.
So the sky looks beautifully blue. When doing landscape photography, blue skies can be a curse as they simply have one colour and no real interest. The exception to that is when you are trying to get a classic postcard shot of a well-known location, that you wish to have a full ‘summer feel’ too. Bright blue skies do give a certain mood, from a postcard perspective, or from a reference-book photo perspective. As I arrived, with blue skies everywhere, I could see clouds starting to form. The forecast was not good.
So, having arrived on the back of a very strenuous 3 1/2 hour walk to get to where we were, I immediately realised I probably had less than five minutes to get the shot. I knew I wanted to take a straightforward shot using one frame. And I also wished to get a panorama, which would be suitable to blow up to wall size, for those that wanted to have it above a reception area in a business, or as a real feature area for a large family home.
I was able to get two or three straight shots off, with varying focal lengths, before I started on the panoramas. The panoramas are easy to do, but they do take a little time, and the clouds were starting to build. I had about 15 minutes of photographic time before the cloud had fully set in, and large parts of the landscape were in shadow.
Thankfully halfway through that time, I realised that I was shooting panoramas with a polarising filter on. Sometimes images will not stitch if you use a polariser for a panorama, as the light levels will decrease across the frame width, making the stitching software give up. Thankfully!!! I caught it and was able to re shoot without the polariser. Only once I had taken all the photos was I able to rest and take in the magnificent vista! I must admit I was quite tired by this time, as were my walking friends.
And then, we still had 90 minutes or so. The clouds rolled in, a breeze got up, and the mizzle started. Just as we arrived at the Angers Rest in Brooklyn for a well earned sit down, down came the heavens. Talk about timed to perfection!
What I saw Afterwards
Ah, back at home. I uploaded the images to the computer and indeed I had taken a fair few. I took the panoramas at 24 mm and also at nearly 70 mm to give myself some options for stitching. When I checked the longer focal length stitches I found that I had been unable to keep the camera rock steady. That was, I am sure, a factor of the walk I had done beforehand. So a learning to take out is that when you are tired, you must concentrate on your photography a whole lot more. No escape! The stitches came together really nicely, and the single frames were stand out.
Am I Happy?
I am sooo happy, a shot I had in mind for five years or so, but simple logistics meant ‘no’.
Canon R5 ~ Canon 24-70mm ~ F11 ~ 1/100 ~ ISO 100
9 / 10
The Berowra Photographer. Well, the Brooklyn Photographer this time.