I took this image last week from the Clark Memorial Bridge. I used five exposure values +2, +1, 0, -1, -2 to capture the scene. I then processed them in NIK HDR Efex Pro to merge and tonemap the image. I also reprocessed the merged image with the anti-ghosting feature set at medium to clean up the vehicles on the highway and any ghosting in the clouds. I chose the Realistic Strong preset as my starting point and then tweaked the sliders until I had the colors and details where I wanted them. After that I returned the image to Aperture 3 for a little boost to the color temperature and sharpening.
I am especially pleased with the way the sky is reflected in the YUM Center in this image. I had been trying for several weeks to catch a sunset that was dramatic enough and high enough in the sky to reflect in the building’s convex glass. I checked cloud maps every evening for almost a month in hopes of being able to capture a dramatic sky such as this one. Many times the clouds would be where I wanted them 30 minutes before sunset only to fade away just as the sun set. On this particular evening the cloud map showed a lot of clouds out to the west so I set up my camera and tripod on the Clark Memorial Bridge and waited for their arrival. I was rewarded by these clouds moving in at just the moment the sun was setting.
Studying your location and accessing relevant sources, such as the cloud map, can really help when seeking to capture an image that you see in your mind’s eye. Keep this in mind the next time you wonder why you can’t seem to catch the scene you are seeking, patience and planning will eventually pay off if you do your part too.