Posts tagged “lady bird

Austin Skyline, Final Light of Blue Hour

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6034766054/

Austin Skyline, Blue Hour. 5-frame HDR Panorama, 30mm, f/8

To do this image justice it really needs to be viewed large.  Click here for the full-res version.

On a photowalk last weekend (see previous post) I shot some frames in hopes of stitching a panorama of the Austin Skyline as viewed from the SRV statue on Auditorium Shores.  I bracketed my shots with a mind toward using HDR and/or compositing to capture most of the dynamic range.  I had no intention of filling in the deep shadows of course — It was getting dark after all.

In processing I set off to try the HDR route (I believe this is my first ever pano in HDR) and based on advice from Dave Wilson I first tonemapped the separate frames (3 exposures used for each) using the same settings in Photomatix.  I used something on the order of 60% “strength” and tried to keep the HDR look toned down (FYI, the original exposures really do have this much blue in them). I tweaked the perspective of the individual frames a bit in Lightroom then merged to a panorama in CS5 using the ‘cylinder’ setting for the stitch.  I could write an entire post about my perspective and stitching issues but suffice it to say that using the ‘auto’ setting was giving me very skewed perspectives from my wide-ish angle frames (30mm on a full-frame body).  The automatic blending of the exposures after the stitch usually does a bang-up job of matching colors and creating a seamless stitch but I did have to manually tweak one area to make it match.  Hopefully it’s not too noticeable…I won’t point it out of course.  The HDR was a bit too saturated for my taste (it still kind of is…can’t make up my mind how I want this to look) so I used the vibrance adjustment to tone it down.  Curves adjustments were used in various places for some final tweaks.  No original exposures were masked into the final image.

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Austin Skyline, Lady Bird Lake

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6028099238/in/photostream

Under the First Street Bridge, Austin, TX 15mm, f/11, (7 exposures), ISO 100

Sunday night I enjoyed an evening photowalk with Todd Landry and several of the local “HDR Mafia” in Austin (Atmtx, Dave Wilson, Jim Nix, and Pete Talke) .  I played around with some framing under the First Street Bridge and liked the sideways ‘V’ formed by the shadows under the bridge and on the water. I shot lots of brackets for this but I only used enough to give a hint of light under the bridge.  I started down the path of masking in some of a lighter exposure but in the end preferred the deep shadow and how it draws more attention to the skyline and its reflection.

I tonemapped 7 exposures in Photomatix and blended pieces of the original exposures back in.  This was followed by a few curves adjustments masked in here and there, selective sharpening, and noise reduction in much of the image.  I had some chromatic aberration issues which I couldn’t get to go away via Lightroom adjustments so I used a trick I learned a while back: duplicate the final background layer, do a gaussian blur of 10-15 pixels, change the blend mode to ‘color’, and selectively mask into the problem areas.  Works great for the most part but can cause a little of that blur to show sometimes.

We walked over to the SRV statue on Auditorium Shores to take some panoramas of the Austin skyline just after sunset.  I got some cool shots but am frankly unable to get a stitch with a decent perspective (so far).  I’ll keep working on that.  Meanwhile, I decided to post a couple shots I took while the guys were shooting the skyline.  Both were taken with my 50mm f/1.4 lens but I experimented a bit. One image used f/1.4 in order to get extreme bokeh while the other used f/8 to tone the bokeh down and show the skyline better.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6027971516/in/photostream/

Todd Landry Against Skyline Bokeh, Austin, TX 50mm, f/1.4, 1/45s, ISO 1600

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6027422535/in/photostream/

Skyline Silhouettes (Atmtx and Todd Landry), Austin, TX 50mm, f/8, 1/4s, ISO 400