Philadelphia Museum of Art Rocky Steps – Christmas Version

Yesterday evening I drove into Philadelphia to explore the city a little bit and hopefully capture some timelapses.  I first went to the Philadelphia Christmas Village at City Hall but had no luck since it was very crowded and much smaller than I expected.  I also went up to the One Liberty Observation deck and had troubles shooting there since they tinted the windows! Pretty frustrating to start!  After that I decided to walk towards the famous Rocky steps, I had never been and knew there might be a cool view of the city from the steps.  When I got there they had a real pretty Christmas tree set-up which was perfect for my photos!

At first I went up top towards the Art Museum entrance and to look over the city with the tree.  I set up slightly to the right of the tree to get the Benjamin Franklin parkway in the shot.  I ended up using my 28.0 f/2.8 prime lens with a 6 second interval.  I was using f/10, ISO 500, and a 4 second shutter speed.  I usually need 1-2 seconds extra at minimum to allow the card to write the image in time before the next shot.  I only shot 150 images since it was starting to get crowded with weddings (you can see some people start to creep into my images at the end) and I wanted to try some different perspectives.


The next thing I wanted to try was taking pictures of the tree from the other side.  The problem was the steps since they are pretty steep and you can’t really get the tree in the image from the steps.  I had to step back a decent ways across the street to get everything in the frame.   The shot ended up being pretty coo though! I had a street with cars zooming by and the entire tree and steps in the image plus the art museum entrance.  I had to readjust my tripod a few times since the first time I set up a large group of people started to walk right in front of my camera.  I usually find it better through experience if you can set up your tripod in a place that forces people to avoid the camera.  So I basically set up my tripod a few feet further in-front closer to the road (still a safe distance for myself) so people had to walk behind the tripod.  This is what I call protecting my shot!

I again used my 28.0 f/2.8 prime lens with the exact same settings but ISO 400 instead of ISO 500 since it was a little more lit at street level.  The exposure of 4 seconds was used but with an interval of 5 seconds in-between shots.  The video turned out really cool with some epic cloud movement and really cool people movement.  The cars are a bit iffy since they are nothing but streaks which makes for a pretty cool individual photo but tougher for a timelapse.  My shot was really tight that it loses perspective on the cars moving across the image and the streaks are nothing but streaks and have no movement.  A wider angle might be a better shot here but then again it was a tough location since I could not move too much farther back.  Overall I was pretty happy with the result though.


Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any comments or feedback.


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