Older cities like Montreal are a treasure chest of historical buildings that offer a photographer unlimited possibilities. Photographing the beauty of these historical sites for travel and architectural photography presents itself with relative ease in the daytime. Night time is a little different. The abundance of lights meant to dazzle the tourists represent a challenge in contrast with the night time darkness.
In the Digital Photography world night time HDR photography techniques help us work around the problem to achieve acceptable results. Compared to Photoshop CS4, CS6 now offers a little more speed and features when creating HDR images. Naturally third party vendors want a piece of your creativity. Unified Color offers HDR EXPOSE 2 for Pro’s and HDR Express 2. NIK software offers HDR Efex Pro™ 2, and naturally there’s the ever so popular Photomatix by HDRsoft.
I wanted to maintain more of a true photo appearance, photorealistic look with this image rather than the pushed cartoon like look we often see associated with HDR images. I just wanted a little more control over all the bright lights while obtaining some definition and details from the buildings themselves. In the end I pushed the limits a little to give it a little more eye pleasing appearance.
To keep it simple I processed the HDR directly from Photoshop CS6 from 4 images taken one full stop apart. The first image was captured at +1 EV and then underexposed by one stop for the three additional images. Each image was shot at 24mm with an aperture of f/16 ISO 200 (Native to my camera Body some suggest 100) to achieve lower noise and sharpness.
Here’s a little HDR introduction video from B&H
If the image pleases you and caught your curiosity their’s plenty of tutorials on the Internet. You can start playing with HDR mapping in Photoshop or experiment by downloading the evaluation copies of HDR software on the market.
We’ve also shared plenty of HDR links on our Photography news site – HDR LINKS and HOW TOs