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Towers and Sky | by G Dan Mitchell
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Towers and Sky

Towers and Sky. San Francisco, California. July 9, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


Two downtown San Francisco buildings and a patch of clear sky.


Whether or not it is apparent, this photograph is the result of some simple shooting and some significant post-processing work. The shot was made handheld during an early evening walk through a portion of San Francisco's financial district. In addition to looking for the usual street stuff, I was giving my attention to what was above me. I made a series of photographs of very tall buildings, shooting almost straight up and from very close to the bases of the buildings. In "street" style, I was working with a 50mm prime and framing subjects within the constraints of that lens. (Since the subject comes up in this context from time to time... no, I'm not making any statement about the "right" lens to use for street. Sometimes I just like to work with a prime. Sometimes I like to work with a zoom. Sometimes I like both!)


When photographing these subjects in this way, the vertical shooting angle and closeness to the buildings can eliminate the reflections of other buildings and let each structure be seen apart from its surroundings to some extent. In this photograph, the windows (almost) do not reflect anything but sky. In order to emphasize the presence of those windows I chose to apply a blue (!) filter in post, which also had the effect of making the sky almost perfectly white, especially after some curves adjustments. I applied a few other processes as well to get the look I was after here - but those can be my secret!


For probably 90% or more of my photography, I'm pretty much a tripod kind of guy. Working without the tripod, walking through urban areas, and responding somewhat quickly (as least compared to some of my landscape work) to subjects, and then moving on - all of this can be a welcome change from my more typical shooting style.


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.

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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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Taken on July 9, 2012