Last week, I visited the Lincoln Park Conservatory in Chicago. It's an interesting location and free of charge. So, it's a busy place!
Before entering the facility, my first goal was to capture a photograph of the exterior of the greenhouses. At first, my vantage point was quite close to the building. In my opinion, not enough of the top of the greenhouse was visible from that perspective. So, I started walking further away.
As I moved further away from the conservatory, other buildings started to appear over the top of the greenhouses. So, I moved closer until none of the buildings in the background were visible. As it turned out, I was now dialed in at 38mm with my Nikon 24-70 2.8 lens.
Now that my vantage point was set, I placed my camera on a tripod and made sure it was level to the horizon. I used the Virtual Horizon feature of the Nikon D800 camera to ensure that the frame was perfectly aligned both horizontally and vertically. As a result, the conservatory landed higher in the frame than I wanted (which I addressed in post processing).
My next challenge was to wait until some of the crowd dispersed from the front of the building. Waiting for people to move out of the frame took quite a bit of patience. To be sure that I was ready for the opening when it occurred, I took some test exposures and verified that my settings were accurate. After several minutes of waiting, there were a few seconds of opportunity when the scene was mostly clear. Unfortunately, the woman sitting on the bench with the bright pink coat wasn't going anywhere. She sat on the bench with her daughter just looking at the front of the conservatory for at least 30 minutes! But, she would also be taken care of during post processing.
So, here's the original image straight out of the camera:
During processing, I made the following edits:
Here's the finished product: