Birmingham Skyline From Railroad Park - Architectural Photography / by Tommy Daspit

Day to night transition of Birmingham Skyline. This is a combination of two images. One taken before sunset and one at night and blended together in Photoshop. Click on image to view larger.

A couple of weeks ago one of my best clients (Summit Renovation) wanted to know if I could do a time-lapse. They’re a roofing company and he wanted to show an old roof coming off and the new one going on over the course of a day. I told him that I’d never done one before but that I knew my equipment could do it, I just had to learn the technique. So I did some research and made a couple of trial runs (a couple of learning opportunities, i.e. failures). So now I think I have it down and it gave me an idea.

I’ve been wanting to do a night skyline shot of Birmingham for some time. I also really wanted to do a day to night transition in a single image. This gave me the perfect situation to do one more time-lapse run before the one for Summit. When Kelly told me we were sending the kids to the grandparents for the weekend I knew I this was the time. After checking the weather, I sold Kelly on the idea of spending our Saturday night shooting the city from Railroad Park (best vantage point with a pond in front where the city reflects). I said we could bring a blanket, some food, and make it into a picnic. How romantic! Fortunately she’s a great sport and was happy to go along.

We nearly aborted the mission when roads to the park were closed off for a Barrons game. Luckily we found a back way in and didn’t have to lug the gear too far. I’m so glad that we persevered. The weather, sky, and clouds, couldn’t have been more perfect for what I was going for. I think the end result was pretty good and it turned out to be a great date night to boot! 

My beautiful wife Kelly has been humoring my wild photography ideas for years. We had a great time making a nice date night out of the shoot. We had a picnic in the park while the kids were at Mimi and Pappa's. Quite the wild and crazy Saturday night!

My beautiful wife Kelly has been humoring my wild photography ideas for years. We had a great time making a nice date night out of the shoot. We had a picnic in the park while the kids were at Mimi and Pappa's. Quite the wild and crazy Saturday night!

I set my Canon 6D with Canon 24mm TS-E on a tripod and used the Camranger's Intervalometer to trigger the shutter on a schedule of one every 60 seconds. I used the iPad to monitor the progress. 

I set my Canon 6D with Canon 24mm TS-E on a tripod and used the Camranger's Intervalometer to trigger the shutter on a schedule of one every 60 seconds. I used the iPad to monitor the progress. 

This is a combination of two photos. One was taken before sunset. It's the main image. At that time all the lights were off in the buildings and the lamps were off in the park. I took a second image taken at night when all the lights were on and visible. I merged the two in photoshop to create the final image. Click on image to view larger.

Check out the final timelapse below.

Shot from Railroad Park, I used a Camranger to trigger the camera every 60 seconds from 6:00 pm to 8:30. I then used Adobe Premiere to create the timelapse from still images.

Interested in using any of these photos? Contact me for licensing information. See more of my Birmingham AL Architectural Photography portfolio.