50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lights At Night

Lights At Night is not the topic of this week’s photo challenge, it’s actually “It’s Not This Time of Year Without…” but to me holiday lights at night mean that the Christmas season has arrived.  It’s also perfect for a photo challenge because shooting at night is a challenge to me.  Part of the problem is practice, in that I almost never do.

Something I decided to try on this shoot was to use the Kelvin temperature feature for my white balance.  I was shooting just as the sun had set and was looking to capture those deep blues in the sky.  Here is an article that explains Kelvin with a chart to give you an idea of what temperature you would need to use under various temperatures.  This is one of the photos I captured:

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/25

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/25

It’s got the blue sky and the lights, but I’m not too sold on the rest of it.  So, I decided to edit a bit more and here is another version that I came up with:

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/25

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/25

What I have done is created a black and white version and layered it over the original and then masked back in some of the color.  Two other things I did was remove the neon reflection in the pub window and the red tail lights that are in the first version.  Those are just two details that really bugged me.

What do you think of this second version?  Feel free to leave a comment below.  Do you have a favorite setting to use on your camera at night? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, and if you’ve blogged on that topic, feel free to leave a link.



27 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Lights At Night

  1. I like the first version for the sky ☺ and the second for the selective coloring.
    Night photography is difficult for me too – it’s as you said, not much practice at all. 😅 Your picture is another nudge for me to try it more!


  2. crazykatya says:

    I really enjoy your edited version, it gives me the warm and fuzzy feeling of the holidays! It was interesting to read about your edits, I didn’t even notice the tail lights in the original until I read your comment. Isn’t it strange how something that is obvious to one is missed by another? Once I had seen it, I couldn’t unsee it, though. I think you made a good call 🙂


  3. Having just moved from a point and shoot to a bridge camera (that shoots raw), I’m not going to try to offer advice. My night shooting is based on luck at this point. That is a nice photo. I like it in all three versions. The first edit has nice color. I would have edited the neon and car lights, too, since they distract from the lighting that is the star of the photo.


  4. Really love both – their is a different mood on the second – a quieter and a bit austere – but also winter magic like – and it reminded me of being in Pennsylvania at 4 am – hm
    But the original I loved because of the darkness anchoring the colorful lights – it felt like peeking in on a setting for Xmas – 😉


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