UT Tower In Orange


UT Tower In Orange

A friend called up this afternoon to let me know that a “photographic opportunity” was coming up this evening.  The University of Texas Men’s swim team had won the national championship so the UT Tower was being lit orange tonight in their honor.  Now, I’m not a huge UT fan (flame away) but as a photographer I recognized that it truly was a unique chance to get a great image.  I really felt like staying home for the evening (my wife and I had bagged some errand plans for that very reason).

My wife reminded me that I’d regret not going so I packed up and went to campus with one of my daughters.  The weather was perfect and we had a great evening out.  I even took some street portraits for some ladies who wanted their picture taken with the tower in the background.  They were quite the jokesters — “I want my head put on Sandra Bullock’s body…I want so-and-so’s body…Do a lot of that soft-focus thing on my face”.  We had a good time.

The image above was generated by taking four manual exposures then using Photomatix to fuse the exposures (no tonemapping).  I used to darkest exposures to bring back a few highlights.  I’ve only played with fusing exposures a little, but I’ve found it to generally produce a nice, clean image.  If fusing did not work out I would probably have gone the composite route (manually blending the exposures in Photoshop).  I didn’t even try tonemapping as I often don’t like it much for night shots.  I added some sharpening a smidgen of clarity in Lightroom.  That’s all I did — no noise reduction, no curves.

I hope all you UT fans like this photo.  Well, I hope you all like the photo…


5 responses

  1. Very nice shot Michael! This is very nice work especially in the way you processed it. Not too familiar with fusing, but I’m impressed!

    March 31, 2010 at 7:53 am

  2. Looks good buddy. Wish I knew you were out there last night, I would have connected with ya. I got a bunch of shots that I need to work on, should post soon. Thanks and great image! Jim

    March 31, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    • Jim, let’s see some of those pics soon! I went on last-minute notice so I didn’t even think about trying to connect with anyone. We need a group photowalk again soon.

      April 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm

  3. Michael, well done! I too used some exposure blending in my night shots. It does a great job bringing out details such as you have done in the clock. These details is what seperates the average joe image and someone who knows what they are doing like yourself. Again well done!

    April 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm

  4. Thanks, everyone!

    Evan, you should try fusing in Photomatix. I’ve started trying it regularly and for certain shots it looks nicer than tonemapping. It tend to look more realistic when I’ve used (which isn’t always the look you want of course).

    April 6, 2010 at 5:12 pm

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