By Kerry Drager
Three of my favorite photographic elements came together on a recent outing: reflections, twilight and city lights! That wasn't entirely luck. The period between sunset and nighttime is such a magical time of day, and since I was in Chicago for the awesome 2007 BetterPhoto Summit, the city's amazing reflective sculpture known as The Bean was high on my list of subjects to shoot.
In most places, the peak of twilight's visual action doesn't last long, but when you hit things right, you'll receive such a visual treat: The lights of buildings are bold and bright, and the sky takes on a dynamic color. And, thanks to the lingering daylight, shooting the city lights in early evening avoids the big expanses of blackness that occurs at nighttime.
In addition, I employed the same approach that I use for any good subject in dramatic light: I experimented with different compositions, viewpoints and lenses. Check out the two perspectives in the accompanying images - the narrower telephoto view of version #1, and the unique wide-angle look of #2.
Same subject, two views. Such a "working the subject" strategy is always a great idea when visiting a world-class subject in a world-class city!
1) Telephoto Perspective ... Twilight Reflection ... ... by Kerry Drager
The reflective Bean at Millenium Park in Chicago; f10 @ 5 secs; ISO 100; 50mm lens; tripod.
2) Wide Perspective ... Twilight Reflection ... by Kerry Drager
The reflective Bean at Millenium Park in Chicago; f10 @ 5 secs; ISO 100; 20mm lens; tripod. Note: The Bean attracts many camera-toting tourists - even on a weekday evening - but in case you're wondering, that's NOT me in the pic :-) /Kerry