Louisville Skyline at Blue Hour

Louisville Skyline at Blue Hour

After a bit of a long break, mostly due to the August heat, we headed out to Ashland Park (click for Google Map) in Clarksville, Indiana. It’s about a twenty minute drive from home and the views looking across the Ohio River at downtown Louisville are stunning.

Having shot this location twelve years earlier, I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to setup. Unfortunately, I would find that there were new obstructions sitting on the bank of the river that would either have to be cropped out or removed in Photoshop with the composition I had in mind.

Clara and I arrived at the park early and we had about an hour to scout the location for better places to shoot from. We found a location I liked and we got lucky with an empty table exactly at the spot we chose (yeah, we forgot our bag chairs). Photopills told us that we still had nearly an hour to wait before blue hour so we sat there chatting and enjoying the time outside.

We started setting up about 15 minutes prior to blue hour starting. Being a bit OCD, I composed the shot a few different ways before settling on the final composition which shot at a slight angle across the river. I checked the camera settings (a few times) and waited for blue hour to arrive.

As we waited the wind started to kick up and the water in the river started rippling. Most of the day was fairly still, in fact, when we arrived the water was mostly calm. For light reflections, calm water is a must. Unfortunately, the wind continued and we didn’t get the long light reflections on the river from the downtown lights.

To take these shots, I took progressively longer exposures are it got darker. I started at 2 seconds and ended the last shot with a 30 second exposure. The best of the bunch ended up being a 13 second exposure.

After processing the raw file and a bit of Lightroom/Photoshop processing, the image below was the final result.