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Thread: Bridge at night

  1. #1

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    Bridge at night

    This is one of the 2 bridges that connect the mainland to the large island on which the Hong Kong International Airport (and Hong Kong Disneyland) is located.

    Please C&C.

    Would particularly like to know how to correct the uneven light on the wires left of the first supporting structure about 1.5" down - the L'ish shaped band. There are a couple more near the light at the top and also on the other structure but not that obvious.

    Can it be fixed? Should it be fixed?

    Also how would one correct for such things in-camera? As the distance is quite a way off it is not always possible to see this sort of effect until the pic is viewed on a monitor.

    Thanks.

    Bridge at night

    Canon 550D, EF50/1.4 USM
    50mm, f2.8, 6 secs, ISO 100
    Last edited by Bobobird; 20th December 2011 at 07:56 AM.

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hi Bobo

    It's a nice shot with the deep blue sky and water and the mountains in the background. I don't think the defects you mention matter that much.

    I think you could get more impact with this shot by adjusting the white level down quite a bit. The histogram is skewed to the bottom end. The extra brightness would improve the image IMO. You could also possibly enhance the shadows a bit.

    I notice you've used a fixed 50mm lens. Unfortunately this means you've lost the right hand side of the briidge. Perhaps a stitched panorama from two shots ?

    Cheers Dave

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Bobo

    I'm afraid I don't know what has caused that banding. Someone like Colin, who knows much more about night photography, might be able to explain.

    I don't see the band as too great a problem, but if it is not something that was actually there, I can see the desire to solve why it has appeared.

    In terms of other aspects - a couple of suggestions for you to consider .....

    Do you think it needs so much water in the foreground? What if you were to crop[ along the bottom in order to create a 2:1 ratio image? Would that work? And .......... I'd be tempted to clone out those lights on the hilltops beyond the bridge.

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Thanks Dave and Donald - really valuable input. It was so obvious and I keep on missing the obvious! Grrrr.

    Dave - night shots are supposed to skew to the left no? Anyway I did try to equalize the histogram somewhat but only made the pic look washed out. The light intensity from that bridge is pretty far reaching. But the rocks and greens on the left lifted quite nicely.

    Here is a redo from scratch.
    Bridge at night

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    But the rocks and greens on the left lifted quite nicely.
    Yes, but...! Sorry to be a pain, but I prefer the lighting in the first one. But you've got to go with what works for you.

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Thanks Donald for quick response. Not a pain - fire away as you wish. An honest opinion is better then a diplomatic one.

    The reason for the posting was that I was not sure about the composition and that bit about the lighting. I am not any good with landscapes, actually very bad, so am putting in more effort in that direction. The points you and Dave made are now stored in long term memory for future reference/use.

  7. #7
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hi Bobo. I like the composition and although I can't be sure, I suspect that brightness difference in the wires could be caused by one wire passing behind another (and blocking the light reflecting of the wire) at that point in the image or by the number of pixels available to render the line.

    You could zoom in to about 600% to view the individual pixels and you may be able to tell that way. If it isn't one wire passing behind another, zooming in to provide more pixels would resolve it, but that wouldn't help the composition.

    For the existing image, I would leave it alone but if you really wanted to eliminate that look, clone in the missing/blocked wires.

  8. #8

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Thanks Frank, was looking for an "easy" way. "Re-wiring" each wire will be so no fun.

    But on the bright side - can always go and shoot those bridges again on the next trip out.

  9. #9
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hi Bobo. I loaded the first image and pixel peeped. There are just three pixels to represent two wires and the dark space in between so when the light from the wires falls half way between two pixels, neither pixel is very bright. Further along the wire where the wire lines up better with one pixel or the other, it is much brighter.

    My D3100 with only 14MP would not do as well as your 550D under these conditions.

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hehe, thanks for taking the time to prove the theory.

    I did the same just now and yes the shadow is caused by the intersecting wires.

    Did not try to fix as it would have been a long tedious job - after all it is just another pics and is not going to sell for 4.3m like that Rhine River one so...

  11. #11
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hi Bobo

    It's clearly a matter of personal taste, but I prefer the second image - both the lighting and the crop.

    And yes the histogram for a night shot will be skewed to the left. It was just that there was a lot of "nothing" on the right hand side and I thought the image would benefit from a bit more brightness.

    Cheers Dave

  12. #12

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Thanks Dave, I did try to lift it as suggested but the lights have quite a reach and the whole came out looking washed out.

    Oh back to the pano suggestion - the 2nd pic was not taken because from where I was standing the foreground would be a not very nice looking structure jutting out into the sea.

    If I do go again (probably will next March/April) will try to get shots from that headland that is on the left. That should give an unobstructed view of both bridges.

    Not what I know what the problems are will take my time and get there mid to late afternoon to catch both the sunset and the night lights. Have a friend who lives on that island so may even visit him and bum a dinner. hehe

  13. #13

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Redo 2
    Bridge at night

  14. #14
    Rob Douglas's Avatar
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    Your redo #2 looks good. I wouldn't worry about the shadows on the wires, it's a naturally accurring shadow and might look fake if you clone it out. Nice deep blues in the water & sky.

  15. #15

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Thanks Rob.

    It is one of those pics that seems to look ok and does not need much pp. But... once you try to make the finished product the nasties start to creep in.

    I am very glad that with the assistance from everyone around here that it is now a good one.

    Happy holidays all.

  16. #16
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hi Bobo,

    Are the banding patterns there on the original? They could have been a product of down sampling. As Frank points out you do not have many pixels for the line to pass through. If the lines look better in the full size image you could try down sampling with a nearest neighbour or bilinear interpolation. The fatter lines could then be blended with the original image only whe they look better.

    A better option using image processing methods would be to process the image in full size with a filter that expands the lines a bit. However to do this you would need to try a custom kernel (i.e. grouping of pixels) that is orientated in the same direction as the lines. I do not think it is easy to do in photoshop.

    It may be possible to use a blur brush or similar to spread the lines a little bit. If you over do it at full size it should still look ok when down sampled.

    Alex

  17. #17

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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hi Alex, thanks for your assistance.

    Yes, the banding exists in the original RAW file.

    But my pp knowledge/skill is way under there and I do not even understand the 2nd para.

    Have tried 3rd para blurring suggestion, again my skills are the limiter and did not get anywhere.

  18. #18
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Bridge at night

    Hi Bobo,

    If the banding is there in the original then you do not have a downsizing artefact. I mentioned some image processing techniques because it is what I do for my job. Automation of image improvements. However it is often takes a bit of tuning to get it right and so only worth it when you want to correct thousands of images.

    With the banding present in the original the options left to you are to basically paint in the lines using whatever method that looks best and that suits you. Maybe cloning each line would be easiest.

    However as others have pointed out it does not detract from the picture.

    Regards,

    Alex

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