Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Photo: New York HDR

Dusk Upon the Empire

Location: NYC, New York, USA
: 2008
Camera: Canon 40D, 17-85mm L f/4-5.6 lens
Settings: ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/8 seconds, 61 mm
Support: resting on a ledge at the Top of the Rock

Details: My summer trip to NYC with my girlfriend proved to have lots of amazing photo opportunities. This photo is an HDR compilation taken from the Top of the Rock as dusk was setting in. Several people have liken it to a Gotham City sort of feel, which was not my original intent but worked great.

Here are some key tips about taking this short of shot:
  1. 3 Exposures or More - I knew I wanted to try to create an HDR photograph with the beautiful scenes from the Top of the Rock, so I purposely took three shots with a few scenes. If you have read my post about HDR, you know that you want to do at least 3 with a base, a +ve, and a -ve exposure adjustment. Most good DSLRs have this feature to do all three with the push of the button once. In this case I was at 0, +2/3, and -2/3 exposure value.
  2. Manual Focus - once you have the scene composed, always set the focus to manual so that the focus won't change if you need to press the button three times.
  3. Stability - I would have used a tripod for this, but they are not allowed at the Top of the Rock. Since you are taking three pictures in succession, you will need absolute stability. In this case I stabilized the shot by resting the camera on a ledge there.

Processing: I used Photomatix for processing the three photographs into one HDR photograph.

Below is the final HDR photograph.

The next three shots are the input files for the HDR photo.

Base photograph

+2/3 EV photograph

-2/3 EV photograph

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