Lights from the dock, restaurants, and boats shimmer in the waters of the Potomac River. An exposure time of six seconds allows them to blur and become colorful patterns against the deep blue of the twilight sky reflected in the water.
As some of you know, I’ve been studying and shooting architectural photos a lot this past 8 months or so. It’s been a while since I’ve been down to the Old Town waterfront, so when I was there last night walking around, I was surprised to see that the MGM is looking to be nearing completion (at least from the exterior).
I happened to have my 200mm f/4 in my pocket (try doing that with any other 200mm lens), so I put it on my camera and propped the whole thing on a pier piling using my wallet under the lens to get the angle just right. Blue hour makes for gorgeous architectural photos, assuming you wait until the ambient light mixes with the man-made light. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite times to photograph!
Photographers refer to the hour after the sun goes down as blue hour. It’s a magical time to be out shooting, as you can really play with the juxtaposition of cool and warm light.
I spent some time photographing this particular scene with different compositions, fascinated with the way the warmth from the man-made light receded into the cool blue of twilight. In the end, I decided I liked this composition where I omitted the actual source of the warm light, making it appear as if the window is being bathed in light from an otherworldly source.