Alice in Wonderland

By January 1, 2009Blog

Alice in WonderlandShot with Canon 5D, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L, B+W ND3.0 filter
@ 24mm, f/8.0, ISO 400, 60s

This view is what you get when you stand where the Conservatory Water shot was taken, step back about 20 paces and do an about-face. I spent about two hours that day just soaking up the view, enjoying the cool breeze, and all the beautiful sounds of the city.

The technique and equipment (except the lens, just for kicks) were the same for this shot as the last. The original idea was to capture a group of kids playing on the statue (unstaged) for an ethereal feeling. So when a large group of kids came along, I just knew I was going to get what I was looking for.

It was really amusing listening to the kids whisper to one another as I stood there taking long exposure photos – I must have either looked fascinating, or creepy. Hopefully, the former. They said things like: What’s he doing? I think he’s making a movie. [10 minutes later…] Think he is waiting for us to leave? Is he taking our picture? Should we get off the statue?

After letting them wonder for a while, I explained to them exactly what I was doing, and that no, I was not waiting for them to leave; that I actually wanted them to be in the photo, and that they should just keep doing whatever they were doing because they’d end up a blurry sort of mess anyways.

No sooner than I’d finished explaining myself was I approached by their professor – apparently this was a school trip for an art class from London. They were just spending a little time relaxing in Central Park before they were to meet in a designated location to draw the city around them. We talked a bit about the city, where they’d been, etc. and then got back to the subject of photography. The professor mentioned the name of a photographer who’s done some similar work, and it was funny that he brought it up, because when I was doing research before my trip, I did a Google search to see if anyone else had done long exposures in daylight (outside of landscapes) – this photographer (whose name evades me at the moment) was the only one I was able to find with anything remotely similar to what I had in mind.

Looking back, I really regret not having any cards with me to hand out at the time (that was the one thing I forgot to pack). I’d love to be able to show the professor and his art students the results of my photographs that day, and from the rest of my trip.

Unfortunately, the shot I like best, today’s photo-of-the-day, isn’t described by the story above. I felt like the best shot I took at the statue was of one main figure – it just feels right, and I also think the angle/composition tells the story best. Nevertheless, I think I’d be silly not to post some of the photos that show the art class, so I’ve included a handful below. The class is all over the statue, and the professor is the faint figure on the right.

In processing these photos, I started out with my custom Lightroom preset, Sepia, then adjusted exposure, clarity, and color temperature. In every other way, these images are straight out of the camera.
Alice in Wonderland IIAlice in Wonderland III
Alice in Wonderland IVAlice in Wonderland V

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