Masterclass :: Obtaining the Best Image

Assignment: Urban Nature

“Search for juxtaposition of natural forms against man-made structures and try to record them with the very best quality.  You can work with general views of the environment or in close-up to focus on details that are usually overlooked.”

— from Digital Photography Masterclass by Tom Ang


I have always enjoyed looking at the moon, and as a fine art landscape photographer, I am always looking for ways to create a dramatic photograph with the moon in it.  There are some places where you can shoot the moon setting over a mountain.  Here in Chicago, tall buildings are our mountains.

So this morning I had a strategy all laid out for getting a shot of the full moon (nature) in the sky next to Chicago’s John Hancock Building (man-made form).  Using a great program called The Photographer’s Ephemeris, I had calculated that the best time and place to get this shot would be from Olive Park on Chicago’s lakefront, at about 5:00 AM this morning.

This was to be a true “alignment of the planets”.  The several “planets” involved were — the moon, the earth, the John Hancock Building, Olive Park, my camera, and me — all lined up at 5:00 AM to get this shot!

Houston, we have a problem: there’s a blanket of clouds between the moon and the Hancock, and, oh, Olive Park doesn’t open until 7:00 AM.

But it was fun being part of a “moon landing” even though my name isn’t Neil Armstrong.  I still got some nice shots of the Hancock in pre-dawn light, and some other pretty sights along the lakefront.

With nature and landscape photography, make the most of what’s in front of you!

7 thoughts on “Masterclass :: Obtaining the Best Image

    • 1/2 second, f/5.3, ISO 200. More importantly, how long was the sky that color? Not long at all! It can pay to wait in one spot for the sky to change, taking a shot every 2 or 3 minutes when you know the sky is changing from dark to dusk.


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