Bliss Dance on Treasure Island

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)

Panasonic Lumix GX1 14-42mm kit lens, ISO400, f/7.1, 13.0s, manual focus.

 
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. 

 

Lights Out

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. :) 

Video: Bliss Dance and SF Skyline

Video: Bliss Dance and SF Skyline

Video: Harvest Moon Time Lapse

Video: Harvest Moon Time Lapse

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