This view is looking west to New Jersey, with some low hills/mountains in the far background. The barge was fairly stationary in the river, which facilitated my being able to take 9 separate HDR images without suffering any blur...
Note: this photo was published in a Mar 10, 2011 blog titled "NJ Senate Passes First Bill to Ban Controversial Hydraulic Gas Fracturing (Fracking) ( http://cleantechnica.com/2011/03/10/nj-senate-passes-bill-banning-controversial-hydraulic-gas-fracturing-fracking/?shared=email&msg=fail ) ." And it was published in a Mar 16, 2011 blog titled "Fracking Debate Heats Up as New Jersey Seeks Ban ( http://www.truth-out.org/fracking-debate-heats-up-new-jersey-seeks-ban68494 ) ."
In late January, I had a little free time at the end of a boring Thursday afternoon -- so I grabbed my tripod and my camera, and headed up to the roof of our apartment building, to see if I would be lucky enough to get some good sunset shots. The sky had been completely clear in the morning, but a few light clouds and haze began to appear as the sun dropped down toward the horizon on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. You just can't tell whether all of the "elements" of a great sunset will come together, or whether it will just be a "blah" event; but I figured I had nothing to lose, so I set everything up about half an hour before sunset and waited to see what would happen.
Our apartment building is 35 stories high, and I can walk around most of the circumference of the roof, to get views in all four directions. But the best views, with the fewest obstacles and distractions, are south and west -- so that's where I spent most of my time composing photos. The south view looks across several medium-height buildings on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with a nice panorama in the background of office buildings and skyscrapers on Central Park South and midtown Manhattan. The western view looks across the Hudson River to the New Jersey shoreline -- which, I must say, is fairly boring in the winter season. The eastern view is fairly cluttered and uninteresting; I always enjoy seeing part of the Triboro Bridge in the background, but it's not prominent enough to warrant photographing. And finally, the northern view picks up the George Washington Bridge, and the northward route up the Hudson River.
Though it was definitely cold when I took these photos, it wasn't bitter; and there were apparently no weather fronts coming in from the west to create dramatic colors and patterns in the sky. It was also not as lush and beautiful as the scene in summer (see this Flickr set ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/sets/72157620902423019/ ) , taken from the same spot on my apartment roof, to see what it's like in summertime). But it was ... well, peaceful ... and I'm glad I did it. I'll come back again, from time to time, when the sky looks more interesting...
P.S. A technical note: because I was using a tripod, and because there was no wind to shake things up, all of these photos were created as 9-shot HDR tonemapping composites. I'm sure that was overkill; I could probably have created approximately the same effect with a 5-shot composite, or perhaps even 3 shots. But I was curious to see whether the additional shots (which allowed me to cover four full f-stops of tonal range) would make any visible difference. - yourdon's Photos