Skywalk! / by Stephen Ball

As anyone in Gibraltar will know, it's been a very exciting week with the opening of the Skywalk by Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) himself, along with some Stormtroopers and the Chief Minister.

However, this blog starts last year - back in July in fact when I was asked by Bovis-Koala to take some photos of the newly finished Skywalk.  I suggested that we do a sunset shoot, given that the Skywalk lights up at night and I knew it would look stunning against a Mediterranean sunset with the unmistakable ridgeline of the Rock of Gibraltar in the background.

So, one warm balmy July evening I headed up to the top of the Rock with my camera gear about an hour before sunset.  I got in to position on a slightly higher rocky outcrop just behind the Skywalk, and carefully set up my camera and tripod and looked for a compelling composition.

As usual, I was shooting with the Nikon D800 and, for this shot, i used the wide-angle Tamron 15-30mm lens to capture the whole scene.  After a few test shots, it was clear that there was a big dynamic range across the scene from deep inky shadows to the bright LED lights of the Skywalk, plus the light still in the sky.  I quickly decided that I needed to take an HDR image (High Dynamic Range) and took a shot at what the camera thought was 'normal' exposure.  I then took shots at 1 stop and 2 stops under exposed and 1 stop and 2 stops over exposed so I captured everything from the darkest darks to the lightest lights.

All of the images were then blended in Photoshop to arrive at the final image you see below.

This was a very exciting project and I really enjoyed capturing this image.  It was also an honour and a privilege to meet Mark Hamill at the official opening and I would like to thank Bovis-Koala for inviting me to the event.

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