Completing this series is a humbling experience for me... this is actually my 4th attempt... all taken at the exact same location in the midst of the winter months...
mainly scouting for a good vantage point... to be able to capture the bustling traffic with the Willis Tower in the background. I was there early so that the sun hadn't set yet because I wasn't sure how safe the location is and I wanna scout around while there are still people on the streets. It was 20F even though the sun was out. After setting up my tripod and remote trigger, my fingers were almost frozen... could only take a couple of test shots... :S
checked the weather forecast to find out about sunset time... being anxious, I went 15 mins early... bad idea... it's cold out there and by the time the sun had set and the building lights were bright, I was already frozen... on top of that, it was an extremely overcast evening with 100% cloud cover... traffic pattern in the foreground was great from the long-exposures but the sky gives a boring background... :(
ok... this time, I went to the location just about when sunset should be. sigh... still alittle too early... I'm too anxious about missing twilight and also worried that the high-powered lights illuminating the highway ramps will turn on while shooting, which will cause serious lens flare... on top of that, it's a clear evening with zero cloud cover... which, again, makes boring background... :((
ok... told myself to calm down... and only get there 15 mins after sunset. also checked the weather forecast... 80% cloud cover, strong wind and a high chance of precipitation!!! YES!!! 'PERFECT' weather! :)
i got all my gears pre-set and tripod partially deployed before getting there. i knew it will get dark very soon and i only have a small window of opportunity... so better get everything set up as much as possible. once there, i plopped my camera on the tripod, looked through my view-finder... :) a smile broke out on my face... but wait... my TTL meter says even with f/22 and ISO100, my exposure is only about 4 second, which is fine to start revealing light trails from traffic... but i really hate to shoot at f/22 due to diffraction-limit and also because i have couple of stubborn sensor dust that won't come off after sending it in for professional cleaning... and they will not just show up but scream at you in the photos! heh heh... fear not! i brought my cheap variable ND filter (it's really a cross-polarizer) with me! slapped it on and viola... i could start shooting at f/8 - f/10 with exposure times around 20 - 25 secs!
So... after 4th attempt, these are the photos... I know it could be better if I keep trying... and I know I will! but right now, I am just happy that I got something decent to show off proudly :)
Well... through this project, I've learnt that good landscape photography is seldom the result of 'the-spur-of-the-moment' shots... it takes alot of local knowledge, checking weather patterns, scouting for the best locations, and of course, patience and perseverance to achieve that image you've envisioned in your mind!
Have a great day, my fellow Photobloggers! I hope you will like them!