1WTC is now the Tallest Building in the Western Hemisphere

Tallest in the Western Hemisphere
[339 seconds f/20 ISO100 25mm]

On April 29 2013, the 1 World Trade Center tower in Downtown New York City, still under construction, managed to inch its way up to become the new tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. I though I'd mark the occasion by taking some shots in the night. Turned out to be a cold and breezy day (isn't it always when you shoot at night?) and everything seemed harder than usual. I took maybe 10 or 20 shots but nothing really came out good. The uneven lights on the unfinished tower, the relative darkness of the surrounding area make for a rather unflattering view of the skyline at night.

This shot is taken using the wonderful Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L Ultra wide angle zoom lens. I closed it down to f/20 and fixed the ISO to 100. I put a Tiffen 82mm Neutral Density 0.9 Filter on top of it to further reduce the amount of light going in. I set the exposure to BULB and locked the mirror. I was of course on a tripod with a remote shutter release attached. It was a pretty dark and windy night so I had to keep the shutter open for very long time to get the water to smoothen out. In this case - it was almost 6 minutes. Hence the result is not great. There is all kinds of noise, the colors are a bit off and the image is soft with loss of details specially at the corners (a common effect of ND filters.)

However, it was still cool to be able to do this. I think it is more of a morning building right now than a night building. I will try to take an early AM shot someday. It is just much harder to find time earlier in the day. Long exposure photography needs too much time.