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Monday, March 13, 2006

Lady Stair's Close

Nikon D70 @ 10mm, 1/3 to 20 secs, f/4, ISO 200

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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.


Anonymous Jem said...

I as suprised you didn't put this one up yesterday ;)

You know I love it! Gorgeous tones!

12:30 am, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Lu said...

This is so striking. Wonderful.

3:51 am, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Brent Vermilyea said...

This is incredible, striking, Incredibly work on this one, John. The tones are so nice and the light is incredible.

5:05 am, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Brent Vermilyea said...

I just noticed I said "incredible" a lot.

5:42 am, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous owen said...

I do love the pictures you get from the 10-20. Another excellent image.

12:17 pm, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous JD said...

this definitally has to be amongst the best HDR shots i've seen lately.
Looks like the 10-20mm sigma is quite a nice lens...

I've been meaning to do some long exposure shots with my 8mm and I think that you might have pushed the button that was holding me back (if that makes sense)

10:35 pm, March 14, 2006  
Blogger |- jX -| said...

blew me away too... nice job on the postprocessing! ;p

1:33 pm, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Paul said...

This is just incredible.....well done!

3:39 pm, March 15, 2006  
Blogger John said...

Thanks for the great comments everyone! :)

6:26 pm, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best since Loch Arklet - keep it going !
Your loving Paw

1:38 pm, March 16, 2006  
Anonymous Big Dadio said...

Best since Loch Arklet - see you Saturday

4:18 pm, March 16, 2006  

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