Photo of the week #56 – A Bird’s Eye View

I wish we had these beautiful blue skies every day in Kaohsiung but starting in October the winds shift (or die down) and the city is covered in smog.  I have been nervous since they started prepping a new building site across the river from my apartment.  I rented this apartment because of this view and my concern has always been that multiple 15-20 story apartment buildings would be built across from my apartment.  The good news is that at least the first building will be something small since they didn’t excavate a two story basement.

This photo was shot using a Cokin P121S rectangular graduated neutral density filter.  Filters have become mostly obsolete with the shift to digital cameras but there are still a few that are very useful.  I always carry a polarizer (to reduce reflections), a 3 stop neutral density filter (to lengthen the exposure on waterfall photos) and sometimes I bring along my graduated ND filter.  A graduated ND filter is 1/2 darkened (like sunglasses) and 1/2 clear.  Typically clouds are much brighter than the land and it is difficult to expose the photo correctly for both.  Either the land will be too dark or the sky will be too bright and the clouds will be blown out (actual photography term).  This particular photo might not have needed the graduated ND filter since the land is quite bright but I like to think that it gives the clouds a little extra pop.

I will also be taking time lapse photos (3-4/wk) of the construction and the changing skies.  I have no idea what I am doing but it will be an interesting and likely frustrating project.

Photo of the week #47

My photo of the week series got put on the backburner for the last year but hopefully this spring it will be back on a more regular basis.  Here is a shot of the Kaohsiung skyline at sunrise from my apartment.  I wish I could say that this was a typical sight but for most of the winter Kaohsiung is buried under a blanket of smog.