If that picture of Skytop from last week sparked the question, “What does the view look like from the top?” I’ll meet you halfway; this is the view from the climb up. (The rest of the view will come Monday.)
That cliff face exploding from the trees is part of the Shawangunk Range of mountains, home of Mohonk Mountain House.
Moving to downtown Hartford, Connecticut placed this view just outside my window. I used to look across the city to Travelers Tower (the illuminated building at right) from my dorm room at Trinity College; 15 years later, I realize it shone like a beacon because it was being actively lit from nearby rooftops. Perhaps that’s a good lesson for life: the achievements that stand out don’t do so by accident, but because of conscious effort.
Sailboats and Sutro Tower are both iconic components of the Bay Area summer, but the warm Friday afternoon implied by this image is not a part of that post-solstice set. Like many evenings, sweatshirt weather was close at hand.
Seeking to print some images for a tall, narrow section of wall near a window in my office, I realized that I don’t shoot vertically very often. Perhaps that comes from what originally drove my interest in photography—making cooler desktop wallpapers for my computer. I traveled back to 2013 to find a vertical shot that really tickled my fancy (though luckily Adobe’s Super Resolution was up to the task of upsizing for printing.) The warm sodium-vapor-and-neon glow of San Francisco’s Embarcadero (stacked with the Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower) are a moment frozen in time, if not least because the switch to LED streetlights is totally changing the hue of an American city at night.
Iron Petrin Tower (tower than the Eiffel Tower, incidentally) looks out over Prague.
This nineteenth-century water tower in the North Country hamlet of Heuvelton, New York is scheduled for demolition (or disassembly, really) to make way for its modern replacement. In the process of preparing the site, however, it was discovered that the original graveyard that was moved to make room for the tower was, uh, not so thoroughly moved as originally assumed. Now, biological anthropologist Prof. Mindy Pitre and her team are on site (beneath the oak tree) to properly finish the job. I joined her for an afternoon to photodocument the site and its tower before ongoing construction forever alters it.
I have no idea why Paris lines the highly trafficked paths around the Eiffel Tower with light gravel footing that turns to thick white mud with the slightest presence of weather… But it does make reflection shots like this one possible.
I caught John Wick Chapter 3 in theaters this weekend; that movie’s take on New York City inspired me to finish processing my RAWs from my October 2018 trip to photograph its downtown skyline. Perhaps that sense of a hidden world lurking around every corner is captured in the details along the shore.
Sutro Tower has a Neo-Tokyo style at any time of day, but a hazy orange sunset adds a layer of Blade Runner/Cyberpunk 2077 style to the overwatching structure.
Even as a slightly abstract bokeh, the shape of the Eiffel Tower is so iconic as to be (nearly) unmistakable. Given the origin of the word “bokeh,” perhaps the Tokyo Tower has a better claim on being the iconic delta-shaped bokeh building.
Downtown Manhattan eventually ends, giving way to Brooklyn in the distance under the rising moon. I took this picture at the end of a weekend trip, just before heading back home; there was an appropriate symmetry to a sunset skyline marking the finale of a New York trip.
I’ve looked across the Twin Lakes to this odd little stone tower for at least two decades, but have still never traveled over there to figure out what it is. Maybe it will stay mysterious forever.
After nightfall, the Eiffel Tower puts on an hourly strobe light show that transforms the tower into a sparkly pillar in the city skyline. Much as a flash can brighten a photograph, this effect also means that long-exposure photographs of the tower make it the brightest object in the skyline by an order of magnitude.
There’s that perfect moment when the sky is still blue but the oranges of sodium vapor lamps begin to scatter from the surfaces of the clouds and the Eiffel Tower looks particularly otherworldly. When so many American cities have switched to lighting their streets with white LED lights, I was surprised at how much of Paris is still lit by sodium lamps.
A Parisian cliché says that the best view of the city comes from the top of the Tour Montparnasse—because it’s the only shot in which the enormous tower can’t be seen. My trip to Paris last week didn’t give me the time to establish that definitively, but I can certainly attest that the city looks fantastic from the deck. Cityscapes like this were what originally inspired me to get into HDR photography a decade ago, and they still fascinate me now.