Week 14 (11/3/2013 – 11/9/2013): Hoboken Terminal
Picture taken on 11/9/2013 at 4:31 PM
As the days continue to grow shorter and colder it’s becoming harder to find time during the week to snap a picture. Once winter hits I get the feeling that I’ll be taking more nighttime shots since the sun goes down so early. Option two would be to take pictures on Saturday and cut it close to the self imposed weekly deadline I adhere to. Having completed over one quarter of my 52 week blog I’ve come to notice when I’m taking most of my pictures and for that reason I’m going to adjust my weekly window. Usually I run my week Sunday-Saturday which means I have a weekend day on either side of the week to get a picture. What I’ve noticed is due to my schedule I hardly every (as in never) take pictures on Sunday but it would be the prime day to write a blog if I take a picture on Saturday. For that reason I’m going to change it up and move my weekly window to Monday-Sunday. I guess it’s my own daylight savings adjustment.
Now that I’ve worked out my time issue let me talk about this week’s picture and how it had a role in my recent decision. Going into this week my plan was to revisit Top of the Rock (went in June) after work to get a picture looking downtown at sunset. Unfortunately due to my busy schedule and daylight savings moving sunset times to around 4:30/4:45 this was an impossible goal to accomplish. This made me realize that if I wanted to continue to take advantage of shooting during the “golden hour” I’ll have to do more of my picture taking on the weekends. Taking a picture and writing a blog all in one day, especially on Saturday, a day/night I usually go out, can prove difficult. This is the exact scenario that transpired this week. My window of opportunity to get the picture I wanted fell to Saturday and in the end I didn’t have the time to make it to Top of the Rock. Thankfully getting an interesting picture in Hoboken is as easy as taking an afternoon stroll, no planning required. After setting out to get my picture I began to work my way down the Hoboken waterfront. As I got closer to downtown my eye’s were drawn to the train station’s clock tower. With the idea of running out of time in the forefront of my mind a clock picture seemed fitting, all that was left was finding the right angle.
*Never noticed before taking this week’s picture, this clock is not set to the correct time.
As I mentioned in this week’s description section I try to take most of my pictures during what’s referred to as the “golden hour” or “magic hour.” It’s said that during the “golden hour” you have the best/softest light for taking more dramatic pictures. Although it’s called the “golden hour” it’s really closer to four total hours a day, one before and one after the sunrise and sunset times. At these times the sun is at a prime angles for soft light which is roughly 10 to -10 degrees in relation to the horizon. Having softer light provides lots of advantages for getting a nicely exposed and vivid picture. Below are two links to some articles which go into more detail about the “golden hour” in case you want to read more. Back to this week’s picture, I set out to get my picture at the start of the “golden hour” which for Saturday was around 3:45. I ended up getting my picture just before sunset (4:45) which was good because any later and I might have needed a tripod or to boost my ISO.
If you’ve been reading my blog or if you’re familiar with photography you might be able to guess how I was able blur out most of the tree and focus on the clock/train station. In case this is your first time reading this effect is done through the use of a wide aperture, this week’s was f/1.8. I’ve talked about aperture and it’s affects on an image in many of previous blogs so if you’d like to learn more circle back and read some of my older posts. The last concept I used which is one I’ve also already talked about during my week 5 post “never forget” is selective focus points. Just to quickly rehash, on most nice cameras and absolutely every DSLR’s you can manually select one point to base your camera’s focus. This is different from auto-focus points in that those will often pick up whatever is closest or largest. I use selective focus points very frequently when shooting with both my DSLR and even my iPhone 5s. Why leave things to chance, it’s always better to control your focus so this is a tool I highly recommend any photographer uses.