M.E. Raine prefers to shoot photos in the Meadowlands, often capturing everything from colorful foliage to mating turtles. But right after Thanksgiving, he had the urge to catch the early morning light shining on Manhattan. What better place to do it than from Weehawken, high on the bluffs?
He became captivated by the Highwood section, home to mansions with panoramic views.
He writes: “After Pennsylvania on Thursday [Thanksgiving], we returned to New Jersey late at night, and the following morning I found myself thinking it would be a great opportunity to shoot some NYC skyline photos at sunrise. Read the plaque in the last photo – pretty interesting…Although the majority of the focus in the past has concentrated on sunset, dusk, twilight, and night time views of the New York City skyline, it was decided that an early morning photo session from Weehawken, New Jersey (west side of the Hudson River), would produce some interesting shots on this crisp and chilly morning. Having done this rise up before the sun routine on a few occasions and usually with good results, expectations were fairly high.”
He added, “Once again, the absolutely stunning array of colors and tones offered for viewing, from the moments just as the sun began to ascend, initially blanketed by the skyscrapers, to the time in which the intense golden tones would monopolize the canvas, causing some quick analysis as to how to capture the great scene without facing a total ‘washed out’ version.
“The initial soft purple shades that would blend with the rich gold tones would cast a beautiful warmth across the river from Weehawken’s Highwood area. Capturing some nice views of the skyline sweep, from Midtown to slightly Uptown, was pretty successful. Arriving too late for the pre-sunrise inferno of red, purple, and gold, those deep colors were not possible at this point. When the sun began to elevate on the eastern side of the Manhattan skyline, while rising above some of the skyscrapers, the glare was so intense, and only through very dark shaded sunglasses was I able to see through the glare and appreciate the features of the building faces.”
For those into the technical side: “Using a greater level of flash at the early stages before the glare was too strong, and setting the exposure negatively to about minus-2, the upper parts of the Empire State Building and other giants were caught with good results. But when the sun’s brilliance was at its peak … the only way to take the shot in order to secure the sun, itself, was to go with a 1/4000 per second speed and the minus-2 exposure (but no flash this time).”
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