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Shooting an iconic location: Coit Tower

From: Travel Photography: Portrait of a City Neighborhood

Video: Shooting an iconic location: Coit Tower

Male: So here we are atop of Telegraph Hill. In front of me is Coit Tower, this beautiful tower that was built in the 1930s with money donated by Lillian Hitchcock Coit who wanted to honor the firemen. so it's a great it's a great landmark here in North Beach, Telegraph Hill but also in San Francisisco. When you fly in, you can see it. You see it from almost any point in San Francisco. It just stands out. And I've already taken so many pictures from afar, because my eye has just been drawn to this tower at the top of the hill.

Shooting an iconic location: Coit Tower

Male: So here we are atop of Telegraph Hill. In front of me is Coit Tower, this beautiful tower that was built in the 1930s with money donated by Lillian Hitchcock Coit who wanted to honor the firemen. so it's a great it's a great landmark here in North Beach, Telegraph Hill but also in San Francisisco. When you fly in, you can see it. You see it from almost any point in San Francisco. It just stands out. And I've already taken so many pictures from afar, because my eye has just been drawn to this tower at the top of the hill.

Little bit earlier today, I put on my walking shoes. Well, I actually always have my walking shoes on, but you really want your walking shoes. When you are going up the steps and climbing up this, this hill and you can take a bus, you can take a taxi, you can take a (UNKNOWN) car but it's much nicer if you come up here on foot because the stairs that you go up that give the perspective in the view (UNKNOWN). a lot of good angles to photograph. That you wouldn't have otherwise.

So, wherever you're traveling. Try to find a place like this where you can get up and get a view. get a perspective of where you are. And I also saw it was an opportunity, besides this shooting the 360 degree all around me. I saw it as an opportunity to do a panorama shot. And to do a panorama just right, to actually make a perfect panorama, it's nice to have a tripod. There's a big sign at the bottom of this tower that says no tripods allowed, so tripod's out.

So, I got to the top. I, I found the area that I want to make the panorama from. It's a kind of a narrow band, bit of of the city. I couldn't go as wide as I wanted, because the windows were fairly small. but I went ahead and found the spot that I wanted to make the panorama. I used a long lens on it, because I want to really compress the field of view, so the buildings really feel tight together. And, you want to do either expose your lock, or just go in the manual mode.

That makes it easier for the stitching software later, and void some of the banding that will occur. But I, I didn't worry about it this time, because it was very much within a range of light that was consistent. So the first shot, I shot it with a vertical orientation holding the camera vertically. Lot of people think they have to shoot it landscape orientation. No, you can shoot vertically as well. Get more up, top and bottom in the panorama. And then, one frame, I'm at about a third of the way over. Make it a little of a third overlap.

Another shot, another shot, another shot, trying to be as consistent as possible. So I'm, I'm pretty happy with it, but. Again, it's without a tripod. a little more challenging, but you can do it. Okay, so at the end of the day, I really didn't come here to photograph Coit Tower per say, because, in fact, I think I have better shots of Coit Tower from down below. I got some interesting angles when I was shooting below it. I tried to play around with framing it in different ways.

I think I got some nice shots but the shot that I think, really, I'm going to like the best is the panorama. and, basically the, the tower enabled me to get to that vantage point. And be able to get that shot. So it's definitely worth the walk.

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Travel Photography: Portrait of a City Neighborhood

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Mikkel Aaland
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