Motor City Skyline

Now that my hubby is using his new camera and really seems to be enjoying it, he is more receptive to going on photo walks, and he is much more patient when I insist on taking hundreds of photos!  As I mentioned, Mike and I went on a road trip this weekend to Leamington, Ontario where he had to do some quotes for work.  Afterwards, we continued on to Windsor, Ontario and spent the night in a hotel there.  Mike’s main reason, of course, was because there is a casino in Windsor, but in between playing the slot machines we walked around downtown Windsor and captured the sites with our cameras.

When you stand in front of the casino in Windsor you face the river, and directly across the river is Detroit, Michigan.  It felt rather strange to be standing in Canada and yet looking at the United States.  What struck me immediately was the beauty of the Motor City’s skyline, and I was determined to try and capture it at night when it was all lit up.  Now, as we all know, night photography is far from easy, so I used good old Google for advice, and we set out after we became sick of losing money at the casino :).  I set up my tripod, chose the TV setting on my Canon Rebel XSi, set the ISO to 100 and experimented with shutter speeds between 5 and 10 seconds.  Although I know I still have a great deal to learn, I was very pleased with my first attempts.  Here are my three favourite shots, and there will be many more posts about Windsor in the days to come.

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This entry was posted in Blogging, Detroit, Michigan, Nighttime Photography, Photography, Skylines, Travel, Urban Photography, Windsor, Ontario and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Motor City Skyline

  1. Rick Diffley says:

    Very good first attempts. 

    If I may, try this next time. What you are after for nightscape shooting is the “Dusty Blue Sky.” It appears about fifteen minutes after sun goes down and lasting for only a few minutes. Always set the exposure using the dusky blue sky. 

    • Thank you so much for your comment and your advice. I am always open to suggestions because I am still learning :). Unfortunately, I didn’t get out there until around 11pm because I couldn’t drag my husband away from the slot machines before then LOL!! However, I have a little book where I keep notes about new techniques I have learned, and I will add your suggestion to my notes. Thanks again.

  2. Jonesingafter40 says:

    Postcard worthy!

  3. WOW!!! First try? — I don’t believe you Cindy 😉 — They are stunning!!! I LOVE the first one!! Great shots!!! Freaken well done!!! 🙂 **

  4. krikitarts says:

    Hi Cindy, here’s something else you can try. If you plan to do more of these under difficult lighting conditions, first make bracketed exposures: Make 3 (or 5, or 7, etc.) exposures, one at least one full stop underexposed, one at what the camera tells you it thinks you should use, and one at least one full stop overexposed. If/when you decide to have fun with a High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) program such as Photomatix, you can then do amazing things with them. In the meantime, try this: in your PhotoShop program, open (only) the three images you want to combine and minimize them so that you see them in your Project Bin. Now click on File / New / Photomerge Exposure. Click on Select All, and in a minute or so you’ll have an approximately proper exposure made by combining the information in all three of your photos. (My PhotoShop Elements 8 will merge up to 10 photos) There are automatic and manual options for tweaking–have fun and click “Done” when you want to work further with your results. Save it with a new name, and you can now develop it further in the normal fashion with the regular PhotoShop tools. BTW, I can’t begin to tell you how much fun HDR is to play with. It’s not expensive, and it quite literally opens up whole new worlds.

    • Oh Gary, what would I do without you?? I am definitely going to give this a try. I have experimented a bit with HDR on my iPhone but never with my DSLR and software, and your instructions are great! Thank you so much. 🙂

  5. Heather says:

    WOW Cindy great job! You should frame these ones!

    • Thank you! I was so worried they wouldn’t turn out. You know, when they look great on the LCD but then they look horrible when you look at them on the computer screen, so I was pleasantly surprised with my first efforts! 🙂

  6. dafarmer says:

    I think you did wonderful! I think they turned out just fine! I would have been well beyond frustrated! But I think the next time I want to shoot at night I’ll have to remember my tripod or think about purchasing a monopod.

    • Aww, you’re sweet! The tripod is a must – from what I read they would not have turned out well at all without it, and I’m not sure that a monopod would have been steady enough. I am learning a great deal from other bloggers, and the one thing that I have to learn is to take my tripod everywhere with me. I never knew you were supposed to use a tripod for landscape photography, but apparently it makes a real difference.

  7. zelmare says:

    These are absolutely stunning! Hard to believe that it is a first attempt! Wow… 🙂

    • Awww, I really appreciate that! I’m still having a hard time believing they actually worked out! I know they are not perfect by any means, but I think they look cool, and it wasn’t as hard to do as I thought it would be. 🙂

      • zelmare says:

        Your photographs really are special. I keep thinking I have to be more adventurous and try something different, and I keep doing the same things over and over again. Maybe it’s time…

      • Thank you – your comments mean the world to me!! You know, I really think it’s this blog that has led me to be more creative with my photos because I am inspired by so many other bloggers’ work (like yours) and by the encouragement and suggestions they give to me (like you do). Give yourself a day, and just go out and have fun with your camera. Forget about the “correct” way to take photos and just let the shots come to you!!

  8. Jeff Sinon says:

    These are outstanding Cindy! The first one is my favorite, the composition is perfect.

    • Thank you so much Jeff!! I truly appreciate your comments. I think the first one is my favourite too because I love the glow from the blue lights reflected on the water. The lights on that building changed back and forth from red to blue, so I tried experimenting with different settings every time the colour changed. Like I said in a previous comment, it was quite late at night and very dark, but luckily I had my trusty little flashlight in my camera bag so that I could see the settings on my camera. That’s one of the little pieces of advice I have picked up over the years that really came in handy. 🙂

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