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Taking Photos of Minneapolis From Across the Frozen Mississippi River

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Within 24-hours of arriving home from upstate New York, I was on my way to Minneapolis. It was the middle of winter, and Minnesota had just experienced a snow-storm that dumped a couple feet of fresh snow the day before, but the interstates were clean, and I made notes that it was a peaceful drive, without a lot of traffic or road congestion.

Photo of Minneapolis at Night

I arrived in the heart of Minneapolis about 8:00pm, and found a parking spot along the Main Street bridge. I was on the eastside of the frozen-solid Mississippi River, and from this vantage point I had the downtown skyline directly across the river in front of me. Winter was indeed in full swing in the Twin Cities, and the snow was over three feet deep in spots between the sidewalk and riverfront trail. I found out by walking through the deep snow, struggling to keep balance while holding the camera.

The sun had been down over three hours, so the available light was minimal. Using two foreground trees to frame the shot, I was able to get enough exposure to give detail to the treebark, without blowing out the highlights of the city lights. One obstruction that hit me immediately was the massive amount of power lines running down the middle of the river between where I was and the skyline I was trying to shoot.

After a few shots, it was getting difficult to walk around in the fresh knee to thigh-high snow, and of course I had tennis shoes on, so I decided to move out of the wet snow and make my way up to the bridge heading across the river. About a quarter of the way across the bridge I entered a look-out section where I was able to get several exposures of the bridge, with the city in the background.

Instead of continuing on into the city, the cold was taking it's toll, so I thought it would be best to limit my exposure and head back for the van. I look forward to my next visit, which will require a trip to the heart of the downtown area.

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