Sunday, October 18, 2015

Classic sunset views of New York City

There are a few spots where the most iconic panoramic city views of New York City are taken. The Top of the Rock is one, and the view of lower Manhattan from along the East River just north of the Brooklyn Bridge is another. The photo in my prior blog post was taken on the promenade near the ferry stop just below the Brooklyn Bridge. Last night, however, I braved the forest of tripod legs set up along the water front by visiting tourists and wedding photographers taking picture of the happy couple against the city.

I have been taking photos of this view literally for decades. It is a fairly simple shot providing you get the timing right. In 2011, however, a large, brightly lit carousel was added to the park just below the tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, and, if you don't compensate for it with your exposure or in post processing, it looms as a large, blown-out, distracting white blob that mars the image. I have learned to always grab a 2+ underexposed shot of the scene to gain a correctly exposed shot of the carousel that I can add into my shot later.

It is difficult to see these very horizontal shots in this post so, once again, I am including a higher res version of it by clicking here. It is only about half the original size, but large enough to see the details. 
Having pretty much given up -- at least temporarily -- on shooting with my new Sony A7RII I used my Leica M 240 and rated it at 42MP for the stitched panorama shots I took.  This 40" panorama is made up of only two horizontal images taken with the Leica-M 35mm Summilux lens set to f/5.6. To gain an even larger version for giant panorama capable of making prints up 7-8' wide I also created an even larger version of the scene by stitching four vertical shots taken with the Leica-M 50mm Summilux lens.

I have been photographing city scenes like crazy these days because it is an ideal time of year when the sun has moved to add color to the southern part of the sky and leaves are still on the trees. In another few weeks the trees will be barren and scenes like this will not look nearly as good, unless you want to capture it in a newly fallen snow.


  1. Stunning image, Tom.

    I wonder how the new Leica SL will shape up - could be a better mirrorless option for you than the Sony.

  2. Hi Tom. Just out of curiosity, have you tried a similar stitching technique with any of the Fujifilm X-Series cameras?

  3. Yes I have done this many times with a Fuji X-camera. It works perfectly fine with a Fuji. It is just that you are starting with smaller files. I try to obtain the highest resolution possible, which is why I do it with very high res cameras. One really nice thing about using the Fuji is that the Fuji lenses are nearly all exceptional.

  4. Yes, I was wondering how you felt the Fujinons compared to the Leica glass, IQ-wise. I think many might not realize just how good Fujifilm's lenses are ... or their storied history in optical manufacturing.

  5. Leica glass consistently delivers the best IQ results for me, when it's used on a Leica camera. The best Zeiss lenses are also right up there. Fuji glass is also exceptional but can only be used on the smaller APC-sized sensor. It's easier to compute for smaller lens coverage. All things considered the results I see with the high-end Fuji glass -- and than includes Zeiss lenses made for Fuji-S -- are as good as it gets.