Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tacoma Skyline At Night: Take 2! (A different perspective)

After shooting the Tacoma Night Skyline looking south from the 11th St Bridge, I wondered what it might look like if I were to shoot it in the opposite direction!?

I looked for a spot from which to get a different perspective.  First I tried east of the water, after sneaking into the secure private docks, but the docks sat too low to get a nice broad view of the downtown buildings, and they were too unstable for a long exposure...they moved with the small waves etc.

I looked east....and saw the Hwy 509 Cable bridge, the same one seen in the photo I took looking south.  Looks good to me!

I drove over to the Cable Bridge and parked my car in the median just as the nice day turned to rain.  Hmm, I was about 45 minutes early so I walked about looking for the best view and angle as I determined how I might shield the camera from all of the powerful lights that point upwards and onto the cabling of the bridge.  It looks nice with all that light, but it is a photographers nightmare, especially when trying to take a long exposure, night shot!

I was set up and taking a few test shots, when a local Police Officer stopped by to ask what the hell I was doing with my car parked in the median and why I was over the side of the bridge 80 feet over the water!?  Ooops!!  Good thing I knew him!  I told him that he had arrived just in time to save me from throwing myself off the bridge!!!... and we had a good laugh.  I explained the picture taking thing and he was on his way. (I will be handing off a print of the finished photo to him as a thank you)

When the lighting allowed for a properly balanced and exposed "13 second exposure", I began taking pictures.  The bridge is large, but cars and trucks crossing it while my camera's shutter was open, was bound to blur my photos due to the vibration and movement of the bridge that they caused. (Suspended by cables...duh)  I took about 9 shots before I lost the balanced lighting I sought.  Two of the shots were taken when only a small car had crossed the bridge behind me and I was relatively certain that it had not blurred the photo too much.

I had been rained on for the better part of an hour as I held my hand over and to the side of the lens to keep the powerful stray light and the rainwater out of my camera's lens!

Pretty successful outing and I dried off in no time.

Here is the Tacoma Night Skyline....looking north towards the same bridge I had taken the southern facing shot just a week before.

Tacoma Docks at Night

And here is the same photo, (Taken the following day!) but with the 11th St Bridge included so you can see where I took the previous blog post photo from!  Both Bridges captured, each captured while standing on the other!

Tacoma Docks at Night


1 comment:

  1. Wow, the shot is amazing of downtown Tacoma. I would like to duplicate it in the future, but not necessary from the bridge, because I know I wouldn't be able to get away with the same excuse. SL =D