A Los Angeles Christmas
The Citadel – Downtown Los Angeles, CA
This image was harder to get than it looks. I always wanted to photograph The Citadel, an old tire factory turned retail outlet with an imposing facade modeled after the 7th century BC Assyrian Palace of King Sargon II, and when I saw it this Christmas with a huge red bow and ribbon on the roof, I thought it was now or never. My mind was racing. Since the Citadel faces west, I envisioned returning with my camera at sunset when the edifice was bathed in the warmth of an Assyrian sunset, golden clouds like magic carpets reflecting in the windows…
Reality check #1: To get most of the Citadel in the frame with my widest lens (24mm), I would have to position the tripod on the sidewalk, across the service road for the I-5 freeway with my back plastered against a cyclone fence, the only defense between me and semi trucks doing 60 mph. The shutter would have to be tripped in-between trucks to avoid camera shake.
Reality check #2: There is heavy rush hour traffic on the service road so it will require precision timing to avoid getting a car in the frame. I make a mental note not to forget about the speeding, 80,000 lb. eighteen-wheelers 3 feet behind me (I’d sure hate to get camera shake).
Reality check #3: Pedestrians. Lots of insidious, Christmas shopper type pedestrians on the sidewalk directly in front of the Citadel. They are the bane of my existence! Photographers know this kind of pedestrian all too well. As they waltz by, they notice your camera on a tripod and decide whatever you are shooting must be good. Then they spend the next five minute in your frame taking at least 25 shots (just in case they don’t nail it the first time). Other pedestrians see them, and like lemmings to the sea, join the others in your frame.
Reality check #4: I end up taking 25 shots as well to get one frame with no vehicle or pedestrian in it (I’m not even going to mention the cyclists).
Happy New Year!
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Nikon D810 DSLR, AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D, Nikon A2 filter, exposure: f/8, 1/4 sec., ISO 64, exposure program: Aperture Priority, shutter: M-up mode, Vello Wireless ShutterBoss Timer Remote, Manfrotto 3221 tripod with Manfrotto 3047 studio head. depth of field measurement: 6′ 11.64″- Infinity, Simple DoF Calculator, iPhone 4S, distance from subject to focal plane mark on camera: 15.5″, capture date and time: 1/04/2015, 5:56 pm.