New feature for my website, How I Got The Shot – borrowed from my Instagram feed (@AnthonyMorganti).

*Click on the image to enlarge

This is one of my more popular images and definitely one of my most stolen images. I sold it to one company, a Rochester firm with an office in Buffalo but you’ll probably see it on a lot of “Buffalo” related websites and blogs.

I was driving home from an event that I photographed and noticed that the moon was bright and I could tell that, where it was located, that it likely would be above the city when viewed from the Erie Basin Marina. So, on my way home I stopped at the marina and climbed the observation tower to take this picture.

I didn’t have the lens with me that I would have preferred to use, a Nikon 14-24 F2.8 or even the Nikon 24-70 F2.8 which would have probably been as good a choice. The event I was photographing that night required wide shots as well as portraits on the fly so I only had with me a Nikon 28-300mm. With the 28-300 at the event, I could do both wide angle shots and portraits without changing lenses.

Hindsight being 20/20, I should have taken an exposure for the city then another exposure for the moon, and probably another exposure for the stars and blended them in post, but at times, I get pigeon holed in my thoughts and I didn’t consider it. Since I took this image and realized what it could have been, I’ve made a concerted effort to open my thought process when I’m in the moment. So, in essence, this image, once I saw it and realized what I could have done has helped me become a better photographer

Gear and settings:

Nikon D800e with Nikon 28-300mm F3.5-5.6 Lens
Camera on a tripod
Tungsten White Balance
Single point focus. Focused about 1/3 of the way up into the scene.
Manual Mode
30sec, F13.0, iso: 100 at 28mm

I chose F13 to get the star effect on the lights. With most lenses, if you stop them down to F11-F16, you’ll get a nice star effect on pointed light sources. Any wider and those same light sources will look like a glowing orb which is cool too if that’s what you’re going for.

I didn’t meter anywhere. I think my first shot was at 15 seconds and it came out dark so I went to 30 seconds and that worked.

Processed in Lightroom only. Nothing out of the ordinary.

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