Tag Archives: Pier

My New Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM: Ideal for Cityscapes

Last week, I decided to buy a Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens.

It was a lens I had entertained — but not seriously — adding to my rig.

Until the addition of this lens, my two wide lenses consisted of my Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM  and Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM.

While I love a wide vista, sometimes 14mm is just too wide.  I never thought I would say so, but alas, it is true.

On the other hand, 35mm can sometimes be too long.

Twice in the past 12 months I have needed a focal length in between 14mm and 35mm, but did not have a lens of that focal length.

I have barely owned my Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM for a week, and I have used it on two separate twilight cityscape shoots.

So far, the 24mm focal length is proving to be very useful for cityscapes — particularly when shooting skylines across the water from a distance.  With a wider lens, the skyline can shrink into a vast expanse of sky and water; and with a longer lens, the framing can be just a bit too tight, whereby there is not quite enough sky.

My first shoot, on the same day I bought the lens, resulted in the following image:

Lavender Bay on a Summer Night

Lavender Bay on a Summer Night

This particular location does not seem to be hugely popular for cityscapes, but it was something different, and the 24mm focal length was absolutely perfect for this composition.

My second shoot with the new lens was last night.

After a few lazy days at home, I felt the need to get out for a photoshoot.

I decided to re-visit Mrs Macquarie’s Point.  The last time I photographed Sydney from this location was just over eight years ago.

Mrs Macquarie's View

Mrs Macquarie’s View

From this view, the skyline has not changed a great deal, but there are some buildings which did not exist in my previous image.

For this image, I opted for a wider focal length, and waited for the rich blue light of twilight to emerge after sunset.

I am enjoying the field of view this new lens provides.  Not having used the 24mm focal length for quite a while, it made for a nice change, and has been quite suitable so far for the images I have captured with it.

I am hoping to use it more next week, but I really need to invest in the NiSi filter holder which will fit this lens, as I need to be able to use my grads and ND filters with it.

Sylvania Jetty Revisited

I decided to head out for a dawn shoot this morning after some scheduled overnight work.

I took my gear with me to work last night on the off-chance that the sky would be interesting, but by the time I departed the office after 4am, I was tired, and despite some potentially interesting cloud, I decided to head home.

After sitting at home for maybe 20 minutes, I came to my senses and went back out into the darkness.

The destination was Sylvania jetty.

Here are two of the images I shot this morning:

Sunrise over Holt's Point Jetty

Sunrise over Holt’s Point Jetty

The Boat Ramp

The Boat Ramp

This was my second visit to Sylvania jetty in recent months, and while I generally do not return to the same location within a short interval of time, the tidal and sky conditions were right, and it was not a great effort to head there.

I am glad I visited again.

It was pleasant just being there to see the colour of the sky and watch the world awaken, knowing that I would soon enough be home in bed after working throughout the night.

A Familiar Jetty Re-Visited

I felt like a dusk shoot tonight, and knowing that the tide would be high at the time I wanted to shoot, I headed to a jetty I have photographed a few times before.

I had never been there at twilight, nor been there when the tide was high; but this is definitely a location best shot at high tide.  During low tide there is a lot of mud.

I wanted silky smooth water and twilight colour, and I am pleased to say that I achieved both.

Here is the stand-out image I captured:

Gwawley Bay at Twilight

Gwawley Bay at Twilight

The sky did not put on a magical show, but there was some nice pink cloud in this image which nicely offsets the cool blues and greens.  It is enough to add interest in the sky.

There was a fair amount of ambient light at the time, and I achieved this shot by stacking my two ND8 filters with my GND4 filter to blur the water.