Royal Albert Hall, quite a sight,
bathed in the winter golden glow,
of London lit up 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:
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:
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.
It was Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night, so time to light up the night:
Really, it looked more like this:
But I was looking to add a bit of chaos to the original image. I thought creating a triptych would add that to this particular edit. I’ve also edited it to blur and lengthen the trails of the exploding firework. I did this with the Nik Lightroom add-on, Analog Efex Pro, which has a setting that adds a second exposure.
A triptych is different than what I usually do with my editing, but I liked the outcome and added it to my Picfair collection. Shooting at night is challenge for me, in part because I just don’t do it all that often. I have a lot of photos from this night that went straight to the trashcan. I’m not one to be to bothered by just giving something a try to see how it works out. I really think that is the only way you can learn when it comes to photography, you have to just give it a try. See what works or doesn’t. Do a bit of research, collect some tips, but ultimately, just go and take some photos.
How do you like the edit? do you feel like it is more chaotic than the original? I don’t do much night photography, is there a type of photography that you avoid? Feel free to leave a comment below.
One thing that I like to photograph in my travels, even if I’m not wandering far from home, is cemeteries and other religious spaces. This particular image is HDR and I shot it at night:
It was 7pm when I shot this, so the sky was not completely dark yet, but the sun was down. It was the longer exposure time that helped bring out the blue color of the sky. The lighting on the statue of Mary meant that I did have to be careful not to have too long of an exposure or I would risk too many blown out areas with no detail. I put the f-stop to 6.3 because I did want to show the ripples in Mary’s robes, that is one of the reasons that I also chose to make an HDR of this scene. HDR can be a very powerful tool to capture detail. I used a tripod to keep my camera steady as I took three exposures. I used Photomatix to create this image and then did some cropping and sharpening in Aperture.
Have you ever created an HDR image from photos taken at night? how did it go, what challenges did you face? Did you blog about it? if so feel free to leave a link in the comment section below Other thoughts about night photography or HDR that you want to share? feel free to do so.
This post was written in response to the travel theme over at Where’s My backpack? this week featuring ripples.
For an assignment I had in my Digital Photography class we had to shoot HDR images at night. Of the four that I turned in, this got the most response in the class critique:
The assignment required us to wait till sunset to start shooting. As you can see I was shooting at the first allowable moment. I really thought the colors in the sky would compliment the globe. The other work around I used was to drag a lamp outside and place it behind me for additional light. Because I was dealing with longer exposures, I used my tripod.
This is five exposures merged in Photomatix to create the HDR image. Because we were to make the photo look as “natural” as possible, I used the default setting. I did some further work in Photoshop. I darkened a few of the hot spots and cropped the image.
In my photography class we are doing some work with HDR images. HDR, high dynamic range, involves taking several photos of the same scene and them merging them together in software. In this case, I combined five images of this scene. By changing the shutter speed of each image, different parts of the scene are shown in detail. Combining the images gives you the ability to see everything at once. The other challenge to this assignment was to shoot at night, making lighting that much more of a issue. Here is one of my images:
Getting the candle to turn out in the photo was a bit tough. One of the combined images was one where every thing turn out black except for a little bit of the flame. I used that image to make the candle less bright in this final image.
So, what do you think? Can you even tell that it was taken at night? HDR images are sometimes very otherworldly looking. This time I was going for a more natural look. Leave your thoughts in the comments section if you like.
I’m guessing that if you are reading this, you can relate to what I am going to say. It’s a busy time of year. For me recently that has meant I have fewer opportunities to take pictures and edit them. Like everyone else, I do the best I can. I take pictures as often as possible, which is what led to this photo.
I took this a few nights ago at a local park. I just happened to be there for another event, and had my camera with me. My thought was to do a bracketed exposure, but I didn’t set my camera correctly, and so I just had a single image. In Aperture I created two other versions of this photo and changed the exposure value on them. So then I had three photos each with a different exposure value, -1, 0, and 1. Then I put the three into Photomatix to make an HDR image. Of the different versions, I liked a color version best. So I exported that back into Aperture. Then I changed my mind. About the color that is. I converted the image into sepia and the result is what you see above.