Mandy Vien  

Blue Hour at Toronto City Hall by Mandy Vien

February 2024 - Blue Hour at Toronto City Hall

About the Image(s)

Photo was taken on a very very cold day in January 2024 at sunset. I couldn't wait for longer after sunset, too cold for my non-photographer companion. Similar to taking indoor photo, I was juggling between shutter speed and ISO, hoping to get some skaters in focus while showing motion.

ISO: 800, Aperture: f/8.0, 1/100 sec
Camera: Canon R5, 15-35 mm

This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Susan Albert   Susan Albert
Mandy, A well composed and balanced architectural image. The foreground skaters and colorful signage add interest and action. I wish there was a little more room at the bottom of the frame so the person's skates on the left were included in the photo. The amount of sky doesn't add anything, so I cropped it a little to help make the centered buildings even more prominent. I cropped a little off the left side too. I also darkened it a bit- this edit renders the image more cold- which I feel is suited to the wintry scene.   Posted: 02/01/2024 22:03:44
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Alan Lichtenstein   Alan Lichtenstein
Mandy, I'll agree with all Susan's commendations. I believe your R5 is a FF camera, so I would have left the image as it was. But you took the image at the onset of the blue hour and as such, the sky and the blue wavelengths the light casts on the skaters are prominent features of such images taken at that time. The lights in the buildings demonstrate the conventional wisdom of taking images during the blue hour. Mandy, my only suggestion is that you should have waited another 10-20 minutes to have taken the shot. It would have then been a classic blue hour image. It's cold, I know; I'm out every day at this time of year taking images of sunrises as well as the preceding blue hour. Great image!   Posted: 02/02/2024 05:14:36

Mandy Vien   Mandy Vien
Thank you Susan and Alan. I like the darken sky in Susan's edited version with the darken sky. May I asked how you performed the darken, the highlighted is kept in the sky while cloud is darken.
Yes Alan, I agreed that waited another 10-20 minutes would be perfect. With your persistency, I am sure you have very nice blue hour photos.
  Posted: 02/03/2024 23:50:01
Alan Lichtenstein   Alan Lichtenstein
Mandy, I do have a few good blue hour images. They're all local and not suitable for PTD, as they're not tourist attractions, such as the subway station I offered. I do have one that I will be posting in a couple of months after I return from an upcoming trip. I saw Susan's edited version after I replied to you, but along with my suggestion of waiting a bit longer, you might have also compensated the image. I always compensate my blue hour images between -.3 and -1.3. Underexposing, coupled with waiting a bit longer will give you the effect you want. Regardless, I still maintain that your image is a good rendition of the early blue hour.   Posted: 02/04/2024 11:40:15

Susan Albert   Susan Albert
Mandy, I used the exposure slider in Lightroom and made a minor adjustment.   Posted: 02/04/2024 07:32:35
Mandy Vien   Mandy Vien
Thanks Susan.   Posted: 02/08/2024 23:27:08

Tom Tauber   Tom Tauber
Mandy, since you are new to this group you will perhaps be intrigued or even feel a bit overwhelmed by the many comments and diverse opinions you get as feedback. I think that is a great strength of this group. So, I have yet another crop to throw in for you to consider. I usually shy away from putting the peak of a mountain range or the tallest building in a skyline in the center because that makes for a more static composition. Putting it off center puts more drama. I like everything about your image, especially the big red maple leaf, the TORONTO sign and the sky.   Posted: 02/04/2024 17:25:59
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Dr. Isaac Vaisman   Dr. Isaac Vaisman
Mandy, a lot has been said about your image, and honestly I have nothing additional to add without falling into repetition. From all the crop iterations, I must agree with Tom.   Posted: 02/08/2024 19:39:55

Mandy Vien   Mandy Vien
Thanks Tom and Dr. Isaac. I am not overwhelmed by the many comments. I am overwhelmed by group members' help to make this a better photo. Crop away some of the right side is good choice. As a Toronto resident, I am too familiarize with the scene and not able to see the composition. The two improvements I will made is to darken and to recompose.   Posted: 02/08/2024 23:37:47