Bliss Dance on Treasure Island
I made my first visit to Treasure Island and Bliss Dance this past Thursday evening. With the Bay Bridge, San Francisco skyline and the Golden Gate in the distance I had much fun walking around the statue from various angles incorporating the setting sun and the skyline into my compositions.
Bliss Dance (The Night Away)
She's on fire, 'cause dancin' gets her higher than uh Anything else she knows - Van Halen
Shooting and processing this was challenging. Her lights weren't on and I could barely make out her silhouette so I set my aperture to 7.1 and manually focused on the skyline, the only thing I could see in camera. Pretty sure I had good focus I pressed the shutter in 2 second timer mode to stabilize. 13 seconds later the Long Exposure Noise Reduction did its thing for another 13 seconds.
Processing the photo in Aperture I could see problems. If I lowered exposure and got detail in the skyline there's no Bliss, just a black sky and a leg covering the lighted area. If I brightened it so Bliss could be seen the city is overexposed. Because I shot in RAW not JPEG, I have a lot of exposure flexibility. So here's what I did: I made 2 copies, one with Bliss well lit and one with the skyline not overexposed. The skyline exposure was run through Topaz DeNoise. I then opened both copies in Pixelmator and put Bliss and the palm trees on their own layer using the magic wand selector.
I later found out why the lights didn't come on: The weather has damaged the lighting system and the sculpture is rusting away in the sea air. A successful Kickstarter will get her renovated and the City of San Francisco plans to redevelop Treasure Island which is in a state of disrepair. So Bliss Dance will hopefully be a marquee sight on a new Treasure Island. The skyline of San Francisco viewed from Treasure Island certainly is spectacular and worth investing from a tourist/travel perspective.
One final note: I could faintly see stars in the heart of the extremely light polluted bay area. I'll have to make another trip back to get star trails then. :)