This is a view of the Atlanta skyline at dawn last Saturday. We had a great time in Atlanta. We toured CNN, visited the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke, and headed out to Stone Mountain for sunset. My favorite thing was easily World of Coke. I’m acutely aware that World of Coke is one big advertisement for Coca-Cola (you have to pay to be advertised to!), but it’s brilliant in its execution and well worth experiencing. It reminded me a bit of Walt Disney World in that sense. No sense delving into that now, though; I’ll hit on that subject when I share some shots from World of Coke.
As for this photo, I happened upon a bridge with this view of the Atlanta skyline the previous night when I made a late night run to The Varsity (thanks for the tip from reader Rachel M!). The Varsity was pretty good; more the type of restaurant you visit when in a certain location because of the lore behind the place.
The view, on the other hand, was great. The bridge offering this view was fenced, which I initially thought would thwart my attempts at photography, but after walking it, I discovered a lens-size hole in the fence! Normally, I don’t condone destruction of public property, but thanks to whomever cut a hole in that fence.
My not-so-trusty sunrise app indicated to me that the sunrise the next morning would be right behind those buildings, so I decided to come back from twilight and sunrise the next morning. For a southern city, Atlanta was surprisingly cold, and after standing in this spot for a while, I discovered that the sunrise would not be directly behind the buildings. Oh well, I think this twilight photo turned out fairly well.
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Photographed with a Nikon D600 and the Nikon 28-300mm VR lens. This was my first chance to process an image taken with this new lens of mine, and I’m fairly pleased. It’s not as sharp as any lens in the Nikon Holy Trinity, but it’s much better than your average super-zoom. My main motivation for getting it was next month in Yosemite National Park, where I suspect it will be too cold to frequently chance lenses, and some scenes will call for both telephoto and wide angle. In Atlanta, the super-zoom wasn’t necessary, but I wanted to test it to make sure it was up to snuff before using it on an important shoot.
In post processing, I first used Adobe Camera Raw to adjust the white balance, fill light, and exposure. In Photoshop CS6, I combined two exposures to tame some of the highlights (the billboard and some of the traffic lights). For finishing, I applied a couple of curves adjustments (a stronger one for the traffic) and also applied a warming filter adjustment layer to the building. I did this because the blue of the sky was really, really vibrant, and this was also visible in the buildings. Blue hour photos typically have a deep blue color when without increasing vibrance, and I typically try to tone this down a bit. Even though it’s what the camera sees, it doesn’t always look realistic to our eyes, which don’t see the same deep blue colors in the sky.
Any fans of “The A-T-L” (aka “Hotlanta,” aka “The Dirty South”) out there? What is your preferred nickname for Atlanta? What do you think of the city? Share your thoughts in the comments!