duane

11 Apr 2006 2,310 views
 
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photoblog image St. Martins Church

St. Martins Church

This night shot of St. Martin's Church (the spire in the middle) is a composite image created by stacking 3 images taken at different exposures - this has the benefits of "averaging", and also improved highlight detail in the fountain and shadow detail in the statue on the lower left.

I decided to convert this into black and white to see if the stacking gave a better tonal range, which is one of the important ingredients for a good black and white image. Success or failure? What do you think?

St. Martins Church

This night shot of St. Martin's Church (the spire in the middle) is a composite image created by stacking 3 images taken at different exposures - this has the benefits of "averaging", and also improved highlight detail in the fountain and shadow detail in the statue on the lower left.

I decided to convert this into black and white to see if the stacking gave a better tonal range, which is one of the important ingredients for a good black and white image. Success or failure? What do you think?

comments (27)

  • sk
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 11 Apr 2006, 00:06
sick sick sick, this is definitely better, loving it Duane. the power of post processing. what is this averaging?
The Maven: Averaging was initially used by astronomers to improve the quality of their photos. By taking multiple shots of the same planet/star, and then blending them together, you get a larger statistical sample of recorded light to work with. If you have 2 photos, simply paste one on top of another in photoshop, then set the opacity of the top layer to 50%. This gives you an "average" of the 2 shots. If you have a 3rd photo, paste it on top again, and set the opacity to 33%. The only problem you may face is alignment - so be sure to use a sturdy tripod.
Now I believe this is similar to what I did with my shot today. You've increased the dynamic range by stacking the images and created the black and white out of it. This is a lovely shot Duane.....ME LIKEY!
  • attah
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 11 Apr 2006, 00:20
awesome shot. I will now invest in a tripod and try out this HDR fandangle for myself. although I suspect it'll be more painstaking in GIMP... that'll be something for next week
The Maven: I'm impressed that you're using the GIMP. I've always been very confused whenever I've had to use it. If it's HDR that you're after, there's a good article with a step by step guide on how to do it at Luminous Landscapes. Unfortunately the instructions are for photoshop - http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml (cut and paste this link into your browser, otherwise it will tell you the page has moved). If you want to do averaging at the same time as the HDR, try adjusting the opacity and the layer mask. Good luck, feel free to contact me if you need any help.
  • Sinem
  • MK, UK
  • 11 Apr 2006, 00:29
Please enlighten us about this averaging business. This photo is to die for.
The Maven: Thanks for the kind words Sinem. Please see my reply to Ade in the first post, I've tried to explain how to do averaging there. The idea is to take 3 images of the same scene - this gives you more collected "data" to work with, hopefully improving quality when you stack and blend the 3 together. On the down side, you have to worry about alignment of the frames and things moving in the photo. So it's ok for long night time exposures, but not possible to use for people shots or during the day.
  • Dia
  • Greece
  • 11 Apr 2006, 02:40
wow, you are doing some amazing staff! smile
This photo is truly wonderful, I love it! smile
  • Nkemo
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 11 Apr 2006, 02:51
Too cool! Love this shot. I will try out this averaging thing.
  • attah
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 11 Apr 2006, 03:52
Duane can you take one shot only, then in a suitable programme, split it into three shots with different exposures and then blend these into an HDR shot?
  • Veloran
  • Singapore
  • 11 Apr 2006, 05:04
Oh yeah, this is so much better than yesterday's! Excellent work.
  • skee
  • skeetown UK
  • 11 Apr 2006, 10:33
Note to you all that play around with HDR....this picture rocks!:-D
The Maven: Thanks Mr Skee. Subtle use of HDR in the extreme highlights and very dark shadows does have it's advantages. Hope it's not too confusing to the guys because for this shot I've mixed both HDR and averaging together at the same time.
  • Micki
  • 11 Apr 2006, 11:07
I do like this one, even more than yesterday's!
  • digitalmike
  • Virginia, USA
  • 11 Apr 2006, 12:37
Great shot. I barely have time to find a picture to post, and you're stacking them and avaraging them to beat the band. I HAVE to take a day off and do nothing but work on photography. What am I talking about....it would take me a month to do some of this stuff.

Again......great shot.
  • Chantal
  • Netherlands
  • 11 Apr 2006, 12:42
In one word: AWESOME!!
  • Suby
  • MK, UK
  • 11 Apr 2006, 15:02
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh this is not a HDR shot. AAAAAaaaaaaaaahhhhhh people.
The Maven: Sorry to disappoint you Suby, but this IS a high dynamic range shot. Just a different technique from Jide's, who uses Photomatix. And I believe my approach is more subtle of course... even the "Shutterchance Police" got tricked! tongue
I like it and ask again in response to Suby's comment...how does this differ from HDR? Is it that you don't alter the exposure of the extra images?
The Maven: It is a HDR shot, but combined with averaging at the same time. The "Shutterchance Police" probably didn't read my description and mis-understood. In this approach the dynamic range enhancement is subtle, and applied only to the extreme highlights and very dark shadows - unlike the photomatix HDR software that applies it to the whole scene indiscriminately (sorry Jide, don't like your technique). With my approach, people don't notice it much. But I assure you, the fountain is much more blown out in the original shot.
  • Paul
  • 11 Apr 2006, 15:51
Very nice results. I'll have to try your technique.
  • Keith
  • Canada
  • 11 Apr 2006, 17:38
Gosh!. What a stunner. I only learnt how to use a mask last night and am confused by layers as the image never seems any different from my original. It might take some time to master this meld of techniques. perhaps I should learn to juggle or ride a unicycle or both it might be simpler.
Excellent capture, Duane. Exposure looks spot on and the BW tones are very nice. I like your framing of the shot. Regards, Brent
Spectacular shot no matter how you got there. An artists tools are just that.
  • morgaga
  • Singapore
  • 12 Apr 2006, 04:17
One of my faves!

The lighting and the sense of motion with the canvas of structural beauties make it ooze with romanticism! smile

Great job!
Really strange effect, a fabulous atmosphere!
  • John
  • England
  • 12 Apr 2006, 23:24
Very nice shot, great night tones and movement.
Nicely done.
  • Reza
  • United States
  • 1 May 2006, 03:46
Nice picture. I find it sort of funny because the statue looks as if she's barfing. I like it a lot....the picture I mean. Not the barf.
That is amazing. I'm stunned! Both by the photo and the amazing cityscape! The stacking of 3 photos was a great idea here. Well done. : )
  • Judy Dee
  • United States
  • 15 Jun 2006, 03:25
WoW that is so smoooooooth!!!!
I love this photograph. The scene in itself is powerful and stands all on it's own, but the way you captured the scene makes it seem surreal.
I stumbled in this quite accidentally. Absolutely gorgeous shot and lots of other good stuff in you portfolio.

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camera Canon EOS 10D
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 8s
aperture f/9.5
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 17.0mm
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