Tanker in Elliot Bay, Seattle

Tanker in Elliot Bay, Seattle

Last night my wife and I made a trip around Elliot Bay towards West Seattle to a place called Alki Point. This park across the bay affords one of the classic views of Seattle's downtown skyline - if you've only ever seen photos of Seattle, you've probably seen it from this point, or the view with the space needle and Mt. Rainier in the background - it's a great vantage point.

All throughout the last week we'd had foggy mornings that burned off to nice days and finally really lovely sunsets. I was hoping to catch another such sunset for these shots but the clouds never really broke.

I opted instead to do this, which really is more up my alley anyways. I brought my ISO down to 100 (which is new to me, as my previous camera would only drop to ISO200), put on my ND400 (9-stop) ND filter, and finally used a 2-stop hard-edged ND Grad filter across the horizon. I was able to achieve a 30 second exposure time to really smooth out the water (the wake from one boat is still apparent), and using the ND grad on the horizon when the light is even like this creates an effect of lightening the water subtly, which I really love. The big red Tanker ship initially annoyed me a bit as it interrupted the skyline, but since the skyline colors are so muted anyhow, I like how the red pops from the background.

I found this shot to be a little soft, which could easily be a side-effect of the multiple filters I used, but I also found the noise to be surprisingly high. Although this camera (D90) has a new generation's worth of technology in it compared to my D40, it's also got twice the number of pixels in the same area. I may be wrong but wouldn't be surprised if that means enduring a little more noise under some circumstances, but time will tell.

I also cropped this to a 4x5 aspect ratio because, well, really tall photos end up bugging me and the 2x3 aspect always looks too tall for me.

Nikon D90 | Nikon 18-200VR@27mm | f/8 | 30s | ISO100 | Tripod

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