Sunday, January 3, 2016

Photo A Day #3 -- The New Bridge -- 3 January 2016

Third day and counting ... I'm starting to get used to this.

While out performing an errand this evening, i decided to try to capture a night image of the new Earl Armstrong bridge over the Rideau river here in my neighbourhood. I grabbed the Nikon D90 with its 18-105VR kit lens, which is very sharp, and a cheap tripod and drove to the bridge on my way back. I parked in a mall parking lot at the north east end of the bridge and walked back to it. I thought to shoot it from the center boulevard, but was unable to as the grasses there are taller than the tripod itself. It was a bad call to not bother with the big tripod, note to self.

So I walked across the west-bound lane to the north side and aimed the camera at an angle, which actually gave a nice open view of the taillights of the cars crossing the bridge on my side. My plan was to shoot 5 images, which is all I thought I could stand since I was wearing only a heavy sweater and no hat or gloves and it was -9C outside. Sheesh ... dress for the weather you idiot, note to self.

I ended up shooting 10 images and using the 6 sharp ones for the HDR. The brightest one was sharp enough, but had too many burnt out lights for my taste, so I left it out as well. This meant that I only had mid-toned or darker to combine for the HDR, which showed up in extra noise in the dark parts like the sky. Turns out that using a consumer dSLR from a cheap tripod is asking for blur pain. so use a prosumer dSLR or better with mirror lockup or use a mirrorless with no shutter shock and then use a proper tripod, note to self. Here is the HDR result. I am not fond of it, but it is not horrible.

The harshness and rather funky artifacts that required a session in Photoshop and Nik Define caused me to take a shot at processing a single image from the best of the rest. And I actually prefer this image despite the less dramatic contrast. It just looks more photorealistic to me, which matters in this case. Update: No I don't ... the contrasty image looks better.

So I will leave you with those images to contemplate. And one more ... when I got home, I decided to hedge my bet on PAD #3 and shoot an image of the Christmas Piranha ... everyone should have one of these in their tree as far as I am concerned.