Archive for the 'evening' Category

28
Aug
10

8/28/2010: Good Night Wetzlar

One last shot from old town Wetzlar. The stone bridge, gables, and lighted shop windows, with the gloomy drama of the sky above. Without HDR treatment this shot would be impossible. To me it totally captures the feeling of the rainy evening as I headed back to the hotel, and says something about old town Wetzlar that I have felt, but never captured before.

Two shots with the Canon SX20IS separated by 3EV, and then tone-mapped blend in Photomatix. Final adjustments in Lightroom for Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen. Perspective and distortion correction.

From Germany and England 2010.

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27
Aug
10

8/27/2010: The Dom and the Bridge

It got later and later on my rainy evening walk through old town Wetzlar, but the evening light lasts a long time in Germany. I was headed back to the hotel when I made a last stop for this classic shot of the Dom above the stone bridge over the Lahn. Once more a shot I have taken many times, but never in this light, and never with HDR in mind. The drama of the cloud cap, the last light, the moisture in the air softening color and prespective, and elegant arches of the bridge set in rustic stone, the pastel gables of the old houses, and above it all the tower of the Dom (and that anachronistic blue polyester tarping). Quite a shot, even without the fairy light of the fountain on the trees at the right. Smile

Two radically different exposures allowed me to capture the light of the foreground and the gray of the sky, and Photomatix Lite put them together for a pretty remarkable effect (if I do say so myself).

A little help from my usual Lightroom routines (Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen), and some perspective and distortion correction, and there it is.

Canon SX20 IS.

From Germany and England 2010.

23
Aug
10

8/23/2010

Gables

This is one of my favorite views of Wetzlar. I love the jumble of gables and the scatter of skylights. I have taken this shot many times…but never on a late rainy evening, and never with HDR in mind. This is again, two exposures separated by 3EV combined in Photomatix. I had to turn the strength of the blend way down, or the sky went way dramatic.

To my eye that is a bit over the top, though it does make a statement.

After processing in Photomatix, both shots were taken into Lightroom, where the first challenge was correcting the vertical perspective distortion and some lens distortion for a more natural look. Then I adjusted Blackpoint, added Clarity and Vibrance and used the Sharpen narrow edges preset.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent. ISO 200.

From Germany and England 2010.

22
Aug
10

8/22/2010

Window Light

Happy Sunday!  I am composing this on a Thursday morning in England, as Sunday morning will find me at the British Birding Fair already at this time. This is another shot from my late rainy evening stroll through old town Wetzlar. One of the reasons I like the old town is that it is full of little corners like this one, along a narrow (10 feet wide at most) cobbled street between half-timbered buildings dating from the 1500’s. I like the contrast of the blue wall, with its interesting texture and the bright red and green geraniums. The golden glow of the light behind the pebbled glass window completes the picture for me.

Windows are always interesting to me as photographic elements, and I have noticed among photographers  a similar fascination (among my flickr friends at least…one of my most visited images is a window shot).

For me it is about what they reveal and what they hide. They are meant to provide a view from within and light from without, for those who live inside. But they also. of course, provide a view of the life within to those who are outside. Jesus has something to say about that…about eyes as windows, and about the light that should shine out of them. The title of my SmugMug site comes from one of those passages. I hope my windows show at least such a golden glow on a late rainy evening…even if they are too often, just as obscuring as this one.

This took considerable distortion and perspective tweaking in Lightroom since I shot it an odd oblique angle (to chatch the light in the window). Then my standard Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance and Sharpen.

From Germany and England 2010.

19
Aug
10

8/19/2010

Mill Canal, River Lahn: Wetzlar Germany

I love to walk the old town of Wetzlar, and I never fail to find something new to photograph, or to discover a new light on an old favorite scene, but my only opportunity this trip was between 8 and 9PM at the tag end of day of heavy rain. I took my umbrella, and used it, as I explored what the fading light had to say about the ancient town. This is the mill canal along the old town side of the River Lahn were it separates, for the most part, Old Wetzlar and New. I love this jumble of houses, of many different ages (and that is using ages in its historical sense), along the canal, and the light gave me a good excuse to try an HDR shot where nothing else would have worked. The long exposure required for the late evening foreground would have burned the sky white, and an exposure for the clouds would have left the foreground close to black. I took two exposures separated by 3.5 stops, –2EV and +1.5EV, and combined them using the Detail Enhancement/Tone Mapping mode in Photomatix. The result is actually pretty close to a naked eye view. Presented as an photograph, it might strikes the eye as painterly, since we know, from daily experience of recoded images, that a camera could not have caught that range.

The image is not perfect. I was working, as usual, without a tripod, and trying to balance an umbrella as well…but I still like the effect. You would have to walk along the canal in Wetzlar, on a rainy evening with your umbrella up, to know how well it captures the atmosphere of the place.

In addition to the treatment in Photomatix, I adjusted color balance in Lighroom, slid the Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, and used the Sharpen narrow edges preset. I also used the distortion controls, both for lens and vertical perspective, to restore a natural look.

Corrected distortion is actually another reason why the experienced eye sees this image as painterly…we have come to expect, to totally accept, wide angle and vertical distortion in photographs…when it is not there, or when it is corrected as in this image, we miss it!

From Germany and England 2010.