Houston Skyline

Last evening I shared an image i had made of the Houston Skyline on my Facebook page.  Many people had nice comments and I appreciate that very much.   Tonight I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you what it was like making that image.  

First off, the image was made from a pedestrian bridge.  The bridge was maybe 2.5' wide, but at least it were only for pedestrians and you didn't have to worry about vibration from vehicles.   The bridge was covered in chain link fencing on both sides.  You can see this in my first attempt below.

Oh yeah, I've got to figure out how to get the lens through that stuff!  Luckily I was shooting with my new travel setup, the Fuji X-E1 and the XF 18-55mm lens.  It is a small rig and allowed me to get mostly through the fence.  I was using a tripod, as most always, but I still had to get creative with how the lens was wedged through the fence and put pressure on the back side of the camera/tripod to keep it from moving.  My first attempt at that with a 18 second shutter speed was not a very good one...

Yeah, someone (me) must have moved my tripod while trying to hold it against the fencing.  OK, time to make some adjustments to that whole tripod holding, lens through the fencing gig.  This time I tried a shorter shutter speed...10 seconds. 

Hey, now we're starting to cook with gas...If you look at this image above, you can see I got some of the fencing in the upper right and lower left corners of the image.  I was shooting at 18mm, so I kinda expected something like that.  I think I can work with this, though.  A little tweaking in Adobe Lightroom 5, some help from content aware and the cloning brush in Adobe Photoshop CC and Topaz Labs Clarity Plugin, I was able to get the final image below. 

Now, this one I can deal with!  I wanted to kinda show you the progression of how this shot came about.  It's not always a "one and done" scenario.  In fact, it seldom is.  It is about trying different compositions, sometimes experimenting with a tripod pressing, lens through the chain link method until you can get something to work with.  I try not to rely too much on Photoshop to fix things like this normally, however this time I accepted a momentary defeat to the chain link...until I pulled out the ole content aware brush. ;)