The Shot: This is what a traffic shot should look like… but maybe with a bit more light trails. It is shot from above and at a wide angle as to include not just the but the buildings and the last bit of light fading out into the night.
The Set-up: In order to get a shot like this you have to take some time and scout your location. See what places you can get into and out of easily. As you can see, there are many tall buildings around here but I wanted to catch the last bit of light and the mountains as well. You are going to need a tripod for this and even something to secure it. A few times during the night I thought that the wind was going to blow my camera right off the roof.
Lens: Tokina 12-24, Aperture: 5.6 focal length:12 Bracketing:-2,0,+2
The Post-Processing: For this I used my typical recipe for HDR and I will leave that up to what you think looks good. The one thing that I will say is that you must pay attention to the light streaks as photomatix loves to make them a bit hollow. If I had more time I would have masked the streets with the layer that had the best lines (something you should always do but takes a bit of time) or try and remove the ghosting like idea inside of Photomatix.
** For the below pic I used a single frame and then converted it to B&W and then added a blue filter along with an underwater filter to give it that blue hue.
The Location: I was shooting the from the “Tempo Building” in Gonguptap Rotary in Ulsan. This is the large multi-use building (formally with a McDonalds) That sits on your right side as you leave Ulsan Grand Park. There is an elevator to the 10 floor then you hit the stairs. When you hit the roof turn right and go around the corner, there is a ladder to the antenna array. That will give you the best angle on the rotary.
Thoughts: For years now I have been trying to get a shot of the Gonguptap Rotary in Ulsan. Many have photographed it but I have always tried and failed. Whether it was just getting to the top and finding a locked door or getting kicked out by the security guard that spotted me as I was waiting for the elevator. Whatever it was, something was always standing in my way until last night.
For the last little while I have been battling a cold and very low energy. I got home last night and something pushed me to get out. I grabbed my gear and drove out with out even knowing where I should go. Thus, I realized that I the rotary might be worth a shot.
After parking the car it was surprisingly easy to get up to the roof. Someone even propped the door open for me. It was great and I could see almost all of Ulsan. I snapped off a few HDR shots before turning on the intervalometer and getting some timelapse of the rotary.
I guess the key here is be persistent. This shot has been taunting me for awhile now. Every time I walk past the building I look at the roof. I am thankful that last night had the right conditions to allow me to get some great shots. That being said I also missed quite the sky last night as it light up with beautiful reds and oranges.