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 Post subject: Oxford by night
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:41 am 
This is ship street, taken last night. As usual, comments and criticisms are welcome.


ISO 3200,
5 exposures blended in Photomatix.


ISO 3200
10 exposures blended in Photomatix.

These is going to be part of a set that will feature some night photos of Oxford. I've been experimenting with shooting multiple photos at high ISO, then blending them together in Photomatix. The aim? Take beautiful night shots without needing a tripod. No tripod requires high shutter speeds. High shutter speeds at night means high ISO. High ISO at night means high noise. So the multiple exposures and having the images averaged should alleviate the noise somewhat.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:14 pm 
Do they suck that badly? 70+ views after a week and no comments :shock:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:29 am 
Hi pgtips,

I just saw them, so let me be the first to offer a comment :-)

Very nice shots I think. The first one - apart from the mixed light of the moon and the street lamps - is interesting because of the "ghostly images" of the pedestrians. IT looks crowded and desolate at the same time. The street itself has oodles of ambiance with the old buildings and the ominous church in the rear presides over it all.

The second one is almost - but not quite - too centri for my eyes (that's just a personal taste kinda thing - but the slight curvature of the lamps and the ghostly images of the moving cars lends it something more.

I am sure that if they were bigger, their subtleties would be easier to appreciate.

Thanks for sharing :-)


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 12:43 am 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8087
Location: UK
I think I make a lousy critic, so I don't often comment unless they have a serious wow for me.

On 1st pic, personally I think I would prefer a bit more contrast on the building tops while maintaining the mood, and less ghosts. Might be interesting for a HDR attempt.

2nd pic doesn't do much for me. I think it might be more interesting if you could shoot from the middle of the road (!) to the right, but I guess practicalities get in the way of that. I wonder if there's a curve in the road somewhere you could use to give that illusion?

As a proof of concept to the technique, it's hard to tell as noise is itself masked easily by resizing down.

Canon DSLRs: 7D2, 7D1, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 70-300L, 100-400L, 100L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 9:45 am 
I don't know if I'll be using this technique much more in the future. While the effects are nice, they can be a pain to take without a tripod. Photomatix can only go so far and these images can't really be printed large since there is a slight "jitter" to them as photomatix couldn't fully correct for the horizontal/vertical shifts.

They're a lot less noisy though :D. But if lack of noise was the only criteria, I could just gaussian blur the photos since that gets rid of noise too.

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