Continuing the series started here, I’d like to select another image that I just finished working this week.
This was a digital exposure, with a Canon 5Dmk2 and the 24–70mm f/2.8L lens. 35mm focal length, f/13 @ 30 seconds, ISO 200. It is an example of the creativity one can encounter with long exposures at night.
This particular place was a bit out of the way from the main traffic towards the end of the Pier. My wife was fond of the Juliet (of Romeo and) statue and I’d been looking for a way to frame a mix of still and motion, so this location was a stellar point to explore. Finding a location in such a busy area where I could setup for a long exposure was crucial to reduce vibration and also to be considerate of those around us. With the statue very still but the Ferris Wheel in motion it was a shot that nearly framed itself.
The only main decision I had to make besides framing was aperture selection. My first requirement was getting the entire scene in focus via a large depth of field. By utilizing aÂ hyperfocus technique, I was able to get the entire field of view in focus with an aperture of f/8. However, that wasn’t providing a long enough exposure. By stopping down to f/13 I was able to get a longer exposure without getting too far into DLA-land.
Then it was rechecking my framing, rechecking my settings and triggering the shutter. I did use the camera’s self-timer to reduce shutter shake. A better practice would have been a remote shutter, which I certainly would have used if I’d had mine with me.
My long-term perception of this piece is still being formed, but my immediate reaction is one of structure, creation and timelessness. I almost feel like that wheel has been spinning around for as long as that Juliet statue has been there — with both of them placed at the dawn of Chicago and will always be there. I think that long exposures contribute to that feeling of timelessness. By extending the time captured in the photo, we extend the perceived time that the subject will continue to exist. On some level, isn’t that what photography is all about?