Being at the right place, at the right time, is a critical to getting good images. We can often control the decision to be at the right place, but being there at the right time may be more difficult, especially for us hobbyists. Sometimes we only get a weekend trip somewhere, and we have to shoot whatever the conditions. But there is one area of travel photography where we can consistently pick the right time and come away with good pictures.
Every now and then, people ask how I edited a certain image. With that in mind, this is hopefully the first of a behind-the-scenes look at how I shot and processed one particular image. The picture that I’ll look at is Sydney Cityscape. It was about 8:40pm on Saturday, Dec. 27, when we’d just gotten out of dinner near the Sydney Olympic pool and the city lights looked so enchanting. I had my Canon 5D Mark II body and Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens mounted on my tripod (Giotto’s).
I’m not one for bucket lists. But ever since I was a teenager, I’ve had a list of 5 cities that I wanted to visit (in no particular order): Istanbul, Barcelona, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Rio de Janeiro. I’ve been to Istanbul and Barcelona, but didn’t think I’d make it to Sydney (simply because it was so far from the rest of the world). As luck would have it, our move to New Zealand opened up Australasia/Oceania for us to explore, and this past Christmas 2014, we made a quick trip to Sydney.
With my usual flair for being late to all internet trends, here is my first Throwback Thursday post (apparently it’s a thing): a trip to New York in June 2001. It was our first proper trip as a couple after college/university. And also my first trip after getting a digital camera — the mighty 3-megapixel HP Photosmart 315! Unfortunately, any skills gained during my 5 years of using a Canon film SLR (in high school and college) had deserted me in the intervening time and I was pretty much a beginner in photography. Any half-decent pictures from the trip were the result of pure dumb luck…
I had a work meeting in Lerici, Italy, and given the many interesting places nearby, I decided to fly out early and spend a day in Florence. Landed in Pisa late on Friday night (around 10pm) and caught the train to Florence. Got into the hotel around 12:30am. Spent all of Saturday exploring the city and caught the Sunday morning train back to Pisa to meet up with colleagues. Despite the short time, I loved Florence for the beautiful art and architecture.
The south of France was our next destination for a bit of sun and heat. Unfortunately, we arrived at the tail end of a wet and cold spell. But we made the best of it, and ended up with some very nice days to explore the city and the surroundings.