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Night shots

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Hansaplast26, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. Hansaplast26

    Hansaplast26 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Oct 18, 2010
    • Like Like x 13
  2. jonima

    jonima Mu-43 Regular

    Really nice shots of the Centre of Utrecht and the Trajectum Lumen (art lighting).

    Was is hard to find the right White Balance???

    They look nice colorfull and sharp to me without much noise
    :2thumbs:

    Johan
     
  3. Hansaplast26

    Hansaplast26 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Oct 18, 2010
    Thanks Johan.
    Obviously I was shooting RAW. so no issues in correcting the whitebalance. However I am suffering from a colorblindness that makes it hard for me to recognize reds and greens. So I am looking at every image at least 10 times to overcome the problem. but I also first bump up the saturation quite a bit, which helps me (and probably everyone to determine the right whitebalance).
    I also let the camera pick the right whitebalance. most of the time this is not what you want, the wb is probably right, but your brains simple interfere and say its to yellowish with nightshots;-) so for night shots I cool down the image, which is in most applications just sliding down a slider:)

    Hans
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. walt_tbay

    walt_tbay Mu-43 Veteran

    322
    Aug 24, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Wow, these are beautiful shots. Please tell us more about the workflow that you worked out!
     
  5. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    I agree, those are lovely. How did you avoid the starbursts on the lights? Was it close enough to dusk / sunrise that the shutter wasn't too long? What kind of aperture / shutter speeds were you working with?

    Great work, thanks for sharing, I wish I had a city subject so lovely to photograph.
     
  6. RetroBoy

    RetroBoy Mu-43 Regular

    Yes, please do tell. They are all very nice night shots with beautiful colours.
     
  7. e.besana

    e.besana Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Apr 16, 2010
    Tarrytown, NY
    those are great photos. I havent delved into the night photography yet but I will probably refer back to this thread when I do so. Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Mu-43 Regular

    88
    Jun 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Very nice, but not exactly what I expected to see. I used to direct architectural photoshoots for the architecture firm I worked for. I'm sure it's just personal preference, but I always liked my shots to be slightly less exposed in favor of more contrast and shadows, as well as adding more dramatic impact to the light sources. In some of these shots it almost looks more like an overcast day rather than evening.

    Not to criticize your results or method. You're doing a great job. I think we just have different expectations.
     
  9. Hansaplast26

    Hansaplast26 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Oct 18, 2010
    JoeFriday. you are absolutely right, some of the pictures are more like an overcast day. but that needs an explanations.

    So usually you will get the best results just after sunset. This is because there is still a lot of natural light available. The natural light being available is that much that artificial light will not result in over highlighted 'stars'.

    So here is what I did. I just started 20 minutes after sunset. and in some of my early images it is still too light perhaps.

    My camera settings were
    A - aperature mode
    Exposure : -2/3
    ISO - 100
    F - 5 (at one of the first images it is F3.5, but I thought that F5 would be better)
    RAW output

    Then I put up my tripod and selected bracketing mode with Auto bracketing 7 set to x 2/3.
    So you get 7 images, some of them heavily underexposed, some of them heavily overexposed.

    At home I developed the pictures with Capture 1 (but it can be any RAW processor), the picture that was the closest of what you desire you use to determine the white balance. mostly you need to cool down the image, else it is too yellowish. All you do with the raw processor is touch the whitebalance.

    After developing the RAW's you have a set of 7 JPEG's. with an HDR tool you merge them together into one (I used Photoshop, under Automate 'Merge HDR' ).
    Once I got a 32 bit image I change the exposure, mostly the slider had to go far to the right, so the picture gets darker as photoshop suggestion.


    So now you have the picture as it will be, the noise will be reduced to a minimum and many highlights are under your control...

    now the fine tuning starts. you will need to convert to 16 bit to apply filters. to make the image appealing you can bring the shadow highlights together with shadow / highlights functions. I was conservative here, as it becomes too artificial quickly. also keep in mind that your contrast drops down when using this function.

    Have fun. I want to see your results!!
     
    • Like Like x 9
  10. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    I am mightily impressed with these and did wonder how you balanced the highlights and shadows so well, but it didn't occur to me that these are HDR. That's good, because it means the effect is subtle and realistic, just how I think it should be. Excellent work, and great examples to aspire to! :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Hansaplast26

    Hansaplast26 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Oct 18, 2010
    Thanks! When I read about HDR I thought that the technique was impressive. then i saw some pictures, the pictures were more a prove of to what extreme's hdr's could be used. which is clearly impressive but very often not appealing. i think hdr works for me to balance highlights and shadows, but also to remove noise:)

    ideally you want hdr inside the camera. not sure if the current attempts of some manufacturers are serious attempts.
     
  12. walt_tbay

    walt_tbay Mu-43 Veteran

    322
    Aug 24, 2010
    Ontario, Canada

    I feel the same way about HDR. You can get some very nice images by using HDR in a subtle way. I've used the workflow that you've identified, except I usually use "Program mode" (note: when taking multiple exposures, program mode doesn't change the aperture setting, so you maintain the depth of field) and the Photomatix Pro plug-in for Lightroom. Here are some pictures that I've created using this technique.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 2
  13. Hansaplast26

    Hansaplast26 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Oct 18, 2010
    Very impressive Walt!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Mu-43 Regular

    88
    Jun 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    ahhh.. now it makes sense. I also didn't realize these were HDR shots, which is a compliment to your process. I'm not a fan of the unnatural look in most HDR shots. You avoided that in yours, tho.

    And you're right in starting your photoshoot about 20 minutes after sunset. That's what my photographers always did, too. My favorite shots from almost all my architectural portfolio were taken then.
     
  15. Hansaplast26

    Hansaplast26 Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Oct 18, 2010
    Here in Holland the sunset is really great in the summer as it is very slow. on the other hand in period like these, between summer and winter, it is more difficult to find the right time:)
     
  16. Timos L

    Timos L Mu-43 Top Veteran

    721
    Dec 26, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Timos :)
    Reviving the thread as a generic nightshots thread..

    With G3 and the 14-42 X PZ lens:

     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Timos L

    Timos L Mu-43 Top Veteran

    721
    Dec 26, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Timos :)
  18. Timos L

    Timos L Mu-43 Top Veteran

    721
    Dec 26, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Timos :)
  19. Timos L

    Timos L Mu-43 Top Veteran

    721
    Dec 26, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Timos :)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    Great work!