Steps at the Dusseldorf Promenade
Having lived in California my entire life, sometimes I take for granted the great warm weather and abundant sunshine. In parts of the world where you get all four seasons, summer is a special time where you can enjoy the warm weather by lounging outside during the long days of sun. One such gathering place is the steps along the Rhein on the Dusseldorf promenade. Throughout the day people can be seen gathering here soaking up the sun and enjoying the warm weather.
How to get this type of shot
I had a choice to make in creating this image. Use a higher ISO and large aperture and freeze the scene or use a low ISO, higher f-stop and slower shutter speed and let the people in the scene create motion blur. I made images both ways, but like the one where I used the slower shutter speed since it conveyed a sense of activity and movement in the scene.
To properly expose for the people on the steps would mean the sky and cityscape would be blown out, so I had to use a 3-stop graduated ND filter to balance the exposure. I used an f-stop of f/16 to get everything in the scene in focus and a low ISO of 100 which gave me a 5 second exposure. The shutter speed was enough to give the scene a sense of motion without blurring the people too much. Finally, the steps made for a perfect leading line into the image with the buildings in the promenade and the iconic Dusseldorf television tower and Rheinkniebruecke in the background.