Underlines:Behind the scenes -Ⅰ-


Due to covid-19 pandemic, travel is no-no these days.
So instead of going away from my home, I’ve been focusing on my local areas to shoot local bridges for the last couple of years: for making my new panorama cityscape series.the series was titled : “The Underlines”

The series has 8 images so far (because I’ve kept shooting). Each image has its own story, and I thought it’s interesting if I could share for my readers.
Luckily, I have lots of materials, raw data,  pictures around the locations and  videos, which I took while I was shooting (don’t expect the quality, I’m a pretty bad videographer).
Still, I bet you can find some useful tips from them for your photography.

I hope during these consecutive blog posts I can recall some of abandoned images or finding which I ‘ve forgot about.

OK, I thinkt the 1st image exactly represents the series.
Let’s go to under lines!

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UnderLines Ⅰ

The color version

Firstely, I’ll show you the color version of the image.
Initially I started to make the series as color. Though they ended up be released as B&W series. Focusing on the subjects, shapes and lines, sometimes, “color” is a bit distractive.
So lastelly I took the conventional way. I think my choice was right, but I sometime think I should have kept the initial thought since some of them have really beautiful tones.
Look at the color version:

The color version

It was a very calm winter day. No wind, no cloud. The sound of train is pretty noisey.
(watch the video, I posted the last)
I really like the subtle tone of the twilight orange, which really made the scene.


It was pretty rare case for me to get the “best” result at the first try. Then I often I visit a same location and make “slightly” different version at different day and time for the sake of my satisfaction. They can be said “study” or ”prototype”

Here are two prototypes of Underlines Ⅰ.

1st act
I liked the light, but did not like the composition. I wanted more water for smooth foreground. Twilight color is beautiful, but a bit feel distractive this time.
So much element in this picture. I wanted to more simplicity.
Shooting panorama at Sunset is difficult, since the exposure keep changes. So I planed 2nd attempt for coming more stable light condition.

Prototype 1, capture date: 1/4/2020

2nd act
So I revisited here a month ago from the 1st attempt.
It was cloudy and almost perfect for hyper-long exposure panorama shooting.
But there are two points, I did not like : reflection and composition.
Due to strong wind I could not get smooth reflection especially for buildings over there.
For composition, I should’ve placed the horizontal line slightly lower than the center.So I did the 3rd attempt just 2days after the 2nd attempt.

Prototype 2, capture date: 2/22/2020 I should placed the horizontal line lower than the center.

3rd attempt
I fully understood the composition before started to shoot. But the success of the capture totally depended on the weather. The air was clean, very quiet early morning. Just I wanted to more clouds in the sky.

Here is 7 original photos before the stitched panorama.

Post process

Post process for this image was pretty simple.
I did not take so much time for it; may be less than 10 hours.
I just care to the shadow areas of bridges above where you can barely see with color version.
I did not touch skyline, I left them as they were captured.

Behind the scenes

It was a cold winter day. I got there pretty early aimed for twilight time.
I prefer a cloudy day, which can add moving-smooth clouds (by long exposure)in the sky.
But today was too clear; there were no clouds in the sky.
Anyway I got started to shoot………

Color version 2

While checking the data (for this blog) I found the some test shots. Before start to shoot panorama I take some test shots without long exposure just for concrete the composition.
The image was made by 15 seconds exposure x7 vertical pictures.
It was very very quiet morning, so even just a 15 seconds exposure was enough to have smooth water surface.
I don’t know why these image were abandoned.
Maybe I thought “it was too dark” or ” too moody”.
Anyway I’m happy to find the data and can show the image in my blog.

The twilight color was amazing.