Monday, January 31, 2011

Quick Tips for Shooting HDR Nighttime Images

HDR image by Rick Sammon

Title: Cool Dude
Location: Miami’s South Beach (taken on my Florida Photo Caravan last week)
Exposures: 0,+2, -2 EV
Processing: Nik HDR Efex Pro and Topaz Adjust

• Making HDR images at night is cool, just like this cool dude. 
• Be sure to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene. Keep underexposing until you see not blinkies on your camera's LCD monitor, and keep overexposing until you see can see into the shadows.
• Use slow shutter speeds to blur moving lights, but make sure the main subject holds as still as possible.
• Use ghost-reducing features in HDR programs and plug-ins to avoid or reduce unwanted subject movement. 
• Shoot at the lowest ISO possible. 
• Keep in mind that the best time to take nighttime pictures is not at night, but rather at dusk, when there is still a bit of light in sky. A black sky equals a noise-filled sky.
• If the background is too busy or distracting, get down low and use the sky as your background.
• In a situation like this, use auto white balance.
• Remember what you mother told you, "Wear white at night." Be careful please.
• If the reds are over-saturated, reduce the saturation in the red channel. That way, your other colors will not be affected.
• Bring a flashlight so you can see what the heck you are doing! :-)

Hey! If you have a nighttime HDR photo tip, please post a comment here. Thank you.

For info on HDR Efex Pro and Topaz Adjust, click here

Hey... this image will be in my iPad app. Soon come! Stay tuned for info. Lots of new photos, new tips, videos and audio recordings!

Explore the light,

P.S. For more info on HDR, see my book:


CGarison said...

That is the most awesome HDR to date! Great capture.

Rick Sammon said...

Thank you CG!

Ken Toney said...

Rick, my tip is to remember in post you can re-open your tone mapped 16bit tiff file to Raw again and pull the blacks up a bit for contrast. Another forgotten tool is the lens adjustment now available in ACR (raw), especially for buildings or inside structures you can get the perspective corrected and get those lines straight! Most of all, have fun!