Behind the Shot with Aaron Reed

Rainbows in the Dark
Rainbows In The Dark by Aaron Reed

Rainbows In The Dark by Aaron Reed

Aaron Reed
Exposure Northwest
Seattle, WA
Canon 5D Mark III
EF 16-35mm/f2.8L II
RRS Gear:
BH-40 LR Ballhead
TA-3-FS Versa Foot Spikes
200 ISO
86 seconds

“I was recently married and my wife Lisa and I took our honeymoon along the east coast of the United States traveling from New York to Maine and back again with various stops along the way. Having a wife who is also a gifted photographer (not to mention an amazing woman) we spent our time together both as tourists and as seekers of that next great image. This was my first time visiting New York and since the beginning of my career as a photographer I have been equally intrigued by both landscape & cityscape photography. There is just something about all the lights of a big city shining after dark that draws me in and captivates my imagination and creativity. I also have a fond appreciation of decorative bridges so a stop by the Brooklyn Bridge was a must.

When we reached the bridge, we found it under construction and partially covered by plywood and fabric. I searched for options to shoot around the construction but it was just not possible for what I was hoping for. We took a walk down the waterfront and came to a spot that we had seen in photographs that we knew we wanted to capture as well. I had been shooting at the waters edge while Lisa had been creating images up above along a break wall of large boulders. When I joined her up above I saw the reflections of the city lights that I had been missing down below. The combination of the wooden pilings and the beautiful reflected light in the water below along with the bright lights of the Big Apple above made for a striking image with great contrast between old and new. I choose a smaller aperture of f/16 to achieve a technically sharp image from front to back without issues of diffraction coming into play. I was also hoping to catch some well defined starbursts from the lights across the city and was pleased to see one perfectly placed on the nearly completed One World Trade Center.

The one thing I did not need to worry about was the stability of my tripod. I have used Really Right Stuff products since 2008 and they have never let me down. A RRS ballhead and L-plate are a must-have combination for every photographer. If you don’t have one now, do yourself a favor and get one. It will be the last one you will ever need to buy.”
-Aaron Reed

Aaron Reed is a fine art photographer based in Seattle, WA. He also teaches Exposure Northwest Photography Workshops all over the Pacific Northwest United States.


  1. Greg Hammond says:

    This is one of my favorite spots to shoot when in NYC, and one of the reasons I like staying the Battery. Absolutely beautiful shot.

  2. Aaron Reed says:

    Thank you sir, and thank you Really Right Stuff!

  3. Paul R. Hinton says:

    That’s really a magnificent image, Aaron. I like the way you’ve taken a classic landscape approach using the pilings in the foreground to draw the eye into the image. Great composition and perfectly exposed. Who knew there could be so much color in a night scene? Very well done!

  4. Ed Cox says:

    I love the way you’ve taken a night shot and brought in the green of the trees on the right border. It gives it a combo effect of day and night. Great image!

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