I had a meeting early in Weehawken yesterday morning, so I decided to get up early and shoot some pictures of the New York City skyline. I woke up at 5:00am and got there a little after 6:00. Unfortunately, I just missed the lights on the Empire State Building. I’m assuming they go off around 6:00, because I saw them on as I was driving down Rt. 3.
There were some clouds in the sky, so I was hoping for some drama, but you never know what you’re going to get. I setup my Nikon D800 on my tripod with the 24mm-120mm f/4 lens. I figured I was going to be shooting stopped down pretty far anyway, so no need for fast glass. I also used a Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Mark II filter. This filter allows you to adjust the amount of light coming into the lens by turning the front element on the filter. This allowed me to get longer exposures of 8 seconds, which smoothed out the water and added a little motion to the clouds.
I noticed on some of the wider shots, the filter seemed to vignette on the left and right side of the frame, but I still think it’s useful to have in the bag.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend as much time as I would have liked because I had to get to my meeting, but I got a couple of shots to play with.
Here’s a 25 second shot that really smoothed out the water:
And here is a panorama from last year, when I did the same thing. This is a 2 shot HDR taken with a Nikon D7000 with some significant post production: