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brightly lit building v.s dark, dark night

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  • brightly lit building v.s dark, dark night

    Upon an eerie hill

    78 sec, /16, ISO 800, 130 mm; 62 sec, /16, ISO 200; same RAW image reduced by 3 stops in Samsung RAW converter.

    I'd been meaning to take photos of this scene at night for a while now, and finally got round to it. "Correctly" exposed it had no detail on the cornice of the mausoleum, the trees behind were barely visible and the church tower was also lacking its delicate metalwork. HDR programs I tried using didn't seem to understand what I wanted, they turned it into a horrific mess of light and noise. So I sent the day painting in and out layer masks in GIMP to get the details without too much noise.

    I'm fairly happy with how it turned out considering I'm pretty new to photography, processing, HDR, etc. I'm sure there are a million things I could do to improve it though. I'd love to hear any you can think of and any other comments on subject, composition, WB, etc. And did I miss a trick with the HDR software? I tied Luminance HDR and FDRtool.

    Many thanks, Becky
    Samsung NX5 14.2MP (MILC or CSC) with 18-55mm kit lens. +1, +2, +3 and +10 close up lens. 50-200mm zoom lens. Sigma APO DG 70-300mm (pentax mount with adapter)
    Olympus Mju 790SW Tough P+S
    Husband: "Depth of field calculator? Does that tell you how far down your potatoes are?"

  • #2
    It's a really nice image with a nice subject but for it being multiple exposures there's a lot more you can do about it. Try Photomatix Pro for example, it's an amazing software with so many controls to play around with that I'm sure you'll find something that will work for your photo.

    One thing I'm wondering about though is the composition. As it's so dark in this image I can't see what's in the foreground/background. Because with a composition like this you need something really interesting in the foreground, otherwise you might want to include more of the background instead. And if you prefer to keep it dark like this maybe some cropping would do it some good.

    So to download Photomatix Pro HDR photography software & plugin for Lightroom, Aperture & Photoshop - Tone Mapping, Exposure Fusion & High Dynamic Range Imaging for photography is my suggestion. You can try it for free but it will add watermarks (at least it used to do that) to your image, but it costs a little if you want the real thing. It's up to you whether you find it worth the price or not.
    Photography student with a burning passion for wildlife and nature.
    Canon EOS 60D
    Sigma DC 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 | Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 | Metz 36 AF-5 + other accessories
    Follow me on: Facebook | deviantArt | dayviews | Flickr | ViewBug

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    • #3
      Thanks for pointing me in the direction of photomatrix. It definitely seems more intuitive than the others. I've run what I have through it, and I think that my own exposure blend has more potential for a cleaner image (due to light spill onto the pelmet when using HDR programs), so I've started more work on my edit. I think I'm going to aim to re-shoot it, maybe earlier in the day with some twilight ebbing away or using something (maybe flash) to light a foreground object... to expand the image, to retain its hill top feel but with more interest.
      Samsung NX5 14.2MP (MILC or CSC) with 18-55mm kit lens. +1, +2, +3 and +10 close up lens. 50-200mm zoom lens. Sigma APO DG 70-300mm (pentax mount with adapter)
      Olympus Mju 790SW Tough P+S
      Husband: "Depth of field calculator? Does that tell you how far down your potatoes are?"

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      • #4
        Another thing you can try (and this is my opinion) is to take the shot earlier in the evening when there is still some color left in the sky. Having more color in a night image is more appealing.

        flickr
        - - Nikon D3S & D300; Nikkor 28-300mm AF-S f/1:3.5-5.6G VR, 50mm f/1.4D, 105mm f/2.8G, 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G, 300mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR IF, Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3, Nikon AF-STC-20Eii 2.0x Teleconverter and 2 SB-900s with reflectors, light stands, LumiQuest Softbox iii, & umbrellas.

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        • #5
          I'm gonna give it another shot when we've had some daylight. I don't think the sun has risen in this neck of the woods for days now, and it's meant to snow all day tomorrow too!
          Samsung NX5 14.2MP (MILC or CSC) with 18-55mm kit lens. +1, +2, +3 and +10 close up lens. 50-200mm zoom lens. Sigma APO DG 70-300mm (pentax mount with adapter)
          Olympus Mju 790SW Tough P+S
          Husband: "Depth of field calculator? Does that tell you how far down your potatoes are?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Hdr

            Originally posted by BexJarratt View Post
            Upon an eerie hill

            78 sec, /16, ISO 800, 130 mm; 62 sec, /16, ISO 200; same RAW image reduced by 3 stops in Samsung RAW converter.

            I'd been meaning to take photos of this scene at night for a while now, and finally got round to it. "Correctly" exposed it had no detail on the cornice of the mausoleum, the trees behind were barely visible and the church tower was also lacking its delicate metalwork. HDR programs I tried using didn't seem to understand what I wanted, they turned it into a horrific mess of light and noise. So I sent the day painting in and out layer masks in GIMP to get the details without too much noise.

            I'm fairly happy with how it turned out considering I'm pretty new to photography, processing, HDR, etc. I'm sure there are a million things I could do to improve it though. I'd love to hear any you can think of and any other comments on subject, composition, WB, etc. And did I miss a trick with the HDR software? I tied Luminance HDR and FDRtool.

            Many thanks, Becky
            Here is a class on HDR processing with different post processing, its a 1 1/2 video very informative. Its put out by BH video. Hope it helps it did for me.
            An Introduction to HDR Photography - YouTube
            Canon 60D, Canon T3, Sigma 70-300 Macro, Nifty 50, 18-135, 18,55.

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