I haven’t done much holiday shooting in New York this year. New York doesn’t seem to go all out like other cities with grand holiday decorations. It’s also more crowded than usual this time of year in New York.
My friend Claire invited me to join her group for a day trip to Philadelphia to shoot the holiday displays and that got me back in the holiday spirit. Maybe it’s the newness to me, but it seems that Philadelphia has more holiday displays than New York. It also was much less crowded than New York from a photography perspective.
Here are some of the sights from my quick day trip to Philadelphia.
Robert Indiana’s AMOR was installed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for Pope Francis’ visit in 2015.
Christmas scene at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Christmas market at Love Park
Love at Love Park
Christmas at Philadelphia’s City Hall
Traffic around Eakins Oval as seen from the steps of the Museum of Art
Christmas colors on the Lit Brothers Building
Candy cane stripes on the Lit Brothers Building
It’s not easy to provide a lot of explanation or discussion of process in Flickr. It’s mainly for showing images, which is fine. I figure this would be a good place to go into more detail about how I produced an image.
I’ve been shooting a lot of Olympus Live Composite shots recently for what I call Architectural Stars, which basically place an architectural element in the foreground with star trails behind. I’ve mostly used longer focal lengths for these shots, but I tried a wider focal length for the image here.
I chose a spot at the corner of William and Beaver Streets in Lower Manhattan right outside Delmonico’s facing 20 Exchange Place and pointed the camera up toward the sky.
The following images describe my process.
This is a test shot at f5.6. There is visible lens flare in the shape of the aperture in multiple places.
I opened the aperture to the maximum of f2.8, which reduced the visibility of the lens flare. I then noticed a plane fly through the frame almost immediately after starting the exposure.
Here’s the straight out of camera base for the final image before any processing. You can see the color is too warm and there’s a lack of contrast. You can also see the plane trail on the right and the overexposed building in the upper right corner.
Here’s the image after adjusting color, contrast and clarity in Lightroom CC. I also applied a local adjustment to darken the shadows and add clarity and brighter whites to the sky.
The plane trail has been cloned out here, but that bright building is still there.
This is the image used to replace the bright part of the building in the upper right corner.
Here’s the final image with the bright part of the building in the upper right corner replaced. I brought the two prior images into Photoshop CC and aligned them as layers. I then erased the bright portion of the building to reveal the better exposed image below. That’s all folks.
There’s a recently installed art piece in the North Flatiron Public Plaza called Nova by SOFTlab. It looks a bit like a kaleidoscope with jewel cut patterned plastic tiles and various colored lights coming through. I didn’t notice it when I was up close to the piece, but I saw in my photos later that the exterior has a brushed finish that reflects light in different patterns.
The installation will remain on display through the 2015 holiday season.
The tree outside the New York Stock Exchange is a fraction of the size of the tree at Rockefeller Center, but then there are no crowds waiting to see the tree at the NYSE.
I last shot here two years ago at Hyde and Lombard and there was another photographer next to me who stood on a small platform with a tripod. It seemed very high by my recollection, but it wasn’t really high at all when I returned to that spot last month. I made my way up there with my tripod and got this Live Composite shot of cars going all the way down the curvy street.