Lady Stair's Close
Nikon D70 @ 10mm, 1/3 to 20 secs, f/4, ISO 200
Edinburgh is full of narrow streets and closes and this is quite possibly my favourite. A number of entrances from the Royal Mile leads onto this square which is surrounded by some fantastic buildings. The lonley light in the middle just completes the scene. Because the area is so quiet and deserted there is a very eerie and unsettling atmosphere. Just the way I like it!
I walk past this scene regularly on my night time travels, and have always been prevented from getting a good shot because of the severe dynamic range. So it was the perfect conditions for another HDR!
While I did create an HDR image from a combination of 6 images, I actually relied heavily on one frame in particular. I've actually been doing this for all of my HDR to some extent. Essentially, I decide on a single frame which looks the best overall - one which has good tones and which, but for the clipped highlights/shadows, would be a nice image. I then paste a copy of the HDR image over that layer. If the highlights are blown then I'll set the HDR layer's blending mode to darken. And if the shadows are lost then I'll set the blending mode to lighten.
And violla! Look at all the detail you've recovered.
You can then adjust the opacity of the HDR layer to your taste in order to avoid the unnatural effect that HDR images often result in (I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing).
Anyway, I'm extremely pleased with the result of this shot. It's probably one of my favourites from recent times. And you gotta love the Sigma 10-20mm :)
I've also linked to a larger version of this shot as I don't think the smaller picture does the scene justice.