Sunday, June 03, 2007

I hate sodium vapor lights...
Those blasted super bright, overly orange lights are the curse of night photography, unless of course you are going for that clockwork orange nuclear afterglow. Aside from the light pollution issues, its just not natural. No matter how you try you just can't get it colors shifted back as it is completely lacking in the blue end of the spectrum. Argh...mix it in with the unearthly glow of a fluorescent bulb, which lacks much in the red end of the spectrum,and there is no hope of balancing for a natural appearance to your lighting.

But all is not lost when you are going for the surreal. When you have multiple sources each with their own color base it takes some experimenting but you can work with overall color filtration and emphasize one or the other. At least its not an insurmountable hurdle if you are running down that path. It would however be nice if the cities could decide to use one type of light source consistently to make life a bit easier. With the surreal and impressionistic being one of my favorite paths to hurdle down you can tell which way I went this morning.

These images were shot with the EOS20d, shot Raw in AV mode f8, EV neutral and +/- 2 stops. The RAW files were combined with the Photomatix Pro, then tonemapped converted to 8 bit for the final filtering and run through Virtual Photographer. many steps but still immensely easier than the old dip and dunk days and hours spent dialing in a tidge more cyan, blue or whatever.

Enjoy "Tromp L'oeil Plane" and "Shamrock Gassed" the end result of my late evening meanderings in Monrovia yesterday.


Anonymous said...

It may not be natural, but that's a very nice color for the gas station. I see you shoot at ISO 400 a lot, do you ever have any problems with noise in your HDR images?

Anonymous said...

I use 400 to keep the noise down, over 1000 noise starts creeping in. Less noise is makes it easier to control the other variables.