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Grand Finale

Grand Finale

And now for the grand finale of the Holidazzle parade with the IDS Tower in the background. That was Santa’s sleigh with all the reindeer that just went by.

Learn more about Night Photography techniques in this post.

Minneapolis City Lights

Minneapolis City Lights

I really enjoyed working with the lit floats in the Holidazzle parade — this one had lots of red lights and I managed to start the exposure just before it entered the frame. If you look at the center bottom you’ll see a blue and purple light. That’s a woman selling lighted wands, you know, for kids — she’s got a box full of them.

This is the same perspective that posted earlier, you can learn about the exposure and the scene on that post. Though they are the same scene, the lighting and processing are different. On the previous one I tried to keep the color as close to real as possible, but on this one I was going for the effect of the light.

Up the street on the left is Sam’s Red Popcorn Wagon. As I mentioned earlier, Greg and I stopped by to take some pictures and Sam offered us Cider and Hot Chocolate. He’s a really nice guy and enjoyed us taking pictures of him and his wagon. I finally have a photo processed that I like of him and here it is:

As you can see, this was some tough lighting conditions, I had to give up my long exposures for the portrait. I was confronted with a real-life Edward Hopper indoor/outdoor subject. Only difference was that the inside was much brighter than the outdoor. I wanted the buildings in the shot so I had to get down low. So even though the photo was a challenge to take, Sam was such a nice guy that I wanted to get this picture posted.

If you get to the Holidazzle, stop by and get some chili from Sam.

Theme Day: Bridges

Theme Day: Bridges

This is the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway Bridge. You may recognize this photo, but I wanted to use it for the City Daily Photo Blog Theme: Bridges. This is my first entry in the Theme Day Project.

Learn more about Night Photography techniques in this post.

Minneapolis Giant Robot Invasion

Minneapolis Giant Robot Invasion

Foggy nights are good for eating Minneapolitains.

What the heck is that thing?

Learn more about Night Photography techniques in this post.

Thanksgiving Rush Out of Minneapolis

Thanksgiving Rush Out of Minneapolis

The shining emerald city of Minneapolis offers it’s best view from 35W, in fact, if you are a fan of the movie Fargo, you will see this angle as the guys drive in from Brainerd. Actually, if they were coming from Brainerd, they would be coming the other direction, but the view of downtown from the North isn’t nearly as spectacular. Unless you were there on the first of August.

Long exposures is one of the many benefits of night photography. To learn how to take photos like this and many more photography tips, please stay tuned to my daily photo blog, where I publish a photo from Minneapolis every day.

Learn more about Night Photography techniques in this post.

Walker Art Center at Night

Walker Art Center at Night

In the great words of James Lileks, it’s the Rock’em Sock’em Robot, and he’s pissed. Why is there a giant robot trying to eat Minneapolis? This image has not been edited; this thing really exists. The Walker Art Center is an aluminum-encrusted monstrosity that actually scares me — this is about as close as I dare get.

Just below Mr. Rock’em is a tunnel. This allows Interstate 94 to go under one of the busiest intersections in the area. It’s not the big dig, but it’s pretty cool. The pedestrian bridge I’m standing on is insanely loud; the sound coming out of the tunnel/acoustic shotgun blasts straight at the bridge.

Aside from the cold, going deaf and being chased by an angry giant robot, I had a good time.

Darkness Descends over the Lake

Darkness Descends over the Lake

If you breath deep, listen to the silence and and try to become one with the universe, you can hand-hold a camera still enough to take a shot like this. 🙂

Minneapolis Greenway Bridge Part Two

Minneapolis Greenway Bridge Part Two

This is an additional picture of the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway Bridge. I spent some more time cranking the color balance around to get this bridge to match the Guthrie Theater colors (also known as Best Buy or Ikea colors).

Minneapolis Metro Blog just featured my Greenway pictures on their site.

Minneapolis Midtown Greenway Bridge

Minneapolis Midtown Greenway Bridge

The Minneapolis Midtown Greenway Bridge is now open to the public! It’s true, I went to the Grand Opening Ceremony last night. The mayor was there as well as all the officials that made this impressive bridge possible. It’s unique in that on the side opposite of the cable stay tower is a light rail line and a power transmission line. The bridge actually threads between them. It’s something to see, but not at night.

I got up early this morning to go down and take these pictures. When the ceremony was over last night, it was too gray and dark to take any good pics, and since I biked over, I didn’t bring the tripod for a proper night shot. I choked up the aperture to f9 at 15 seconds. I put the white balance at 5100k to get the car lights white and the bridge lights are actually blue. Noise reduction really helps the black, and yes, I like the lens flare very much, thank you.

The bridge connects two trails making it possible for me (and anyone else, God I’m self-involved) to bike from my neighborhood — Uptown, Minneapolis, MN all the way to the Mississippi river on trails. The trail system in this town is pretty impressive, ONE can bike all around the cities on trails. I regularly bike to St. Paul and back on trails, a round trip of forty miles. Mayor Rybak said last night that Minneapolis is the second most biked city in the country.

Lean more about the bridge and the event at the Star Tribune

So hooray for Minneapolis, enjoy the new bridge and river access, I’m going back to bed.

Here’s the far side of the bridge — not many pictures of this bridge include the far side because it isn’t that interesting. It’s mostly a ramp. The cool big cable tower is there to hold everything up, because there’s no room on the other side. The bridge goes over the light rail tracks and under the big powerlines.

Full Moon Over Lake of the Isles

Full Moon Over Lake of the Isles

It’s the biggest full moon of the year (seriously, it’s 14% wider and 30% brighter). Make sure you get out and see the “Hunter’s Moon” come up! I managed to get up early this morning and catch it before it went down. No better way to start your day than fumbling with a telephoto lens in the dark on a 38° morning without mittens (true Minnesotans don’t wear them ’til it’s at least 10°).

All lunatic blogger references aside, I was out last night and was amazed at how bright the moon was, so I looked it up and found out why. This morning’s picture isn’t the best moon shot I’ve taken, I was using my 70-210 Nikkor that I’m starting to not trust. It’s doing some weird stuff that looks like chromatic aberration, but the guy at National Camera said it was a good lens… I guess I’m going to have to spend more, oh well. I might set up the spotting scope tonight and mount the camera on it and try again. Now that the sun is coming up and I’m enjoying my dark roast at Caribou, sanity is sweeping lunacy from my mind and the fruits of clarity suggest otherwise — everyone knows what the moon looks like. We’ll go look for some more colorful things to shoot today and get back on track with daylight, after all, there’s less and less of it everyday.