Monday, August 24, 2015

Sometimes you just get lucky

Yesterday evening I did a sunset cruise around the city. It is one of those things I always recommend to people visiting New York. The boats sail around the island on the west, then up the East River, and finally out to the Statue of Liberty and back up the Hudson River. The whole trip takes either 1.5 or 2 hours depending upon the type boat you choose. I usually use the Classic Harbor Line where you can sail on either a schooner or 1920's yacht, which adds to the experience.

Last night I got lucky. The skies were overcast and threatening rain about an hour before sunset, but then cleared, leaving beautiful layers of clouds that picked up the color of the setting sun. As you sail down the western side of the city the sun is to your back and reflects off the shiny buildings and clouds. Sailing up the East River you are shooting into the sunset for a completely different view. The beautiful cloud shapes last night treated us to a spectacular view, better than any I had ever seen.

Because I photograph the city mostly to make large scale prints I use high resolution cameras with sharp lenses. Last night I shot with the Leica M 240.  Occasionally, I will take two or three shots in rapid succession to combine later into a larger panoramic image. This can be a little tricky for three reasons: not only is the camera hand-held, but the boat is moving forward at the same time. In addition, the Leica M is a slow camera and too much time elapses between frames.

Both images below were taken with the Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux ASPH lens at f/5.6.

Lower Manhattan with the World Trade Center photographed from the west looking east with the sunset  reflecting off the buildings. 

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