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Thread: Pier 7

  1. #1
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Pier 7

    There are many photographers in Dubai who take architectural shots at night. Finding an 'original' location is very challenging. Over the past 4 years I have found a few new locations to shoot from and over time I have seen many shots taken from the same spots. In fact, several photographers have asked for details on locations and I have been more then helpful - a year or so down the line if I ask for a return of the favour then I get nothing, zilch, as a reply - I should perhaps take on more of the predatory instincts of a Dubai photog! Oh, how I wish you could copyright a view!

    So last night I stumbled across a new location to shoot. Over time, no doubt, this view will improve if ever/whenever they finish building Dubai! Over time there will be many versions of this shot taken - no doubt, b@st@rdised and photoshopped to within an inch of its life with a midnight blue hour sky, menacing clouds and a perfectly photoshopped ripply reflection!

    So here's an original, the first. No doubt there will be better. The colours are true to life, as I prefer to keep things looking as natural as possible. The blending was difficult around the advertising boards on the shopping mall (bottom right) due to the huge dynamic range there.

    It's a 12 shot panorama (4 across and 3 high, in landscape orientation), shot with the 2/35 Distagon and D700. Each shot was taken at f8, with exposures of 8 seconds, 2 seconds and 1/2 second. Once into post production, each image was blended in Photomatix and then the panorama stitched in PTGui. Finally, a layer of Nik Color Efex to add a little contrast. Here's the resulting 9712 x 5929 (57.6MP) image, with a link to the original:

    http://philpage.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v77/p1595368746.jpg

    Pier 7
    Last edited by dubaiphil; 13th May 2013 at 04:20 AM.

  2. #2
    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    The horizontal arcs and curves makes a wonderful contrast to the straight verticals. Pity there are not a few more lights on in the leftside buildings. The contrast of these photographs with your market place portraits is staggering - your not doing some type of time travel?

  3. #3
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    Phil I think you're on a winner with that viewpoint. The curves give an excellent sense of depth.

    Dave

  4. #4
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    Quote Originally Posted by pnodrog View Post
    The horizontal arcs and curves makes a wonderful contrast to the straight verticals. Pity there are not a few more lights on in the leftside buildings. The contrast of these photographs with your market place portraits is staggering - your not doing some type of time travel?
    Thanks L.Paul

    Not that many people see the old Dubai and the workers in it - quite a contrast, eh!

  5. #5
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Phil I think you're on a winner with that viewpoint. The curves give an excellent sense of depth.

    Dave
    Thanks Dave

    Unfortunately the balcony didn't allow the view I'd completely envisioned. I've forwarded the picture to the restaurant where the pano's shot from so hopefully I'll get the chance to return and do a better job with more time.

  6. #6
    mahfoudhhi's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    It's a 12 shot panorama (4 across and 3 high, in landscape orientation), shot with the 2/35 Distagon and D700. Each shot was taken at f8, with exposures of 8 seconds, 2 seconds and 1/2 second. Once into post production, each image was blended in Photomatix and then the panorama stitched in PTGui. Finally, a layer of Nik Color Efex to add a little contrast. Here's the resulting 9712 x 5929 (57.6MP) image, with a link to the original:

    Could you please elaborate some more on how how you took the picture and explain the quoted part.

  7. #7
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Allen or "Lurchy" is fine

    Re: Pier 7

    Phil, i love the photo!!

  8. #8
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    Quote Originally Posted by mahfoudhhi View Post
    It's a 12 shot panorama (4 across and 3 high, in landscape orientation), shot with the 2/35 Distagon and D700. Each shot was taken at f8, with exposures of 8 seconds, 2 seconds and 1/2 second. Once into post production, each image was blended in Photomatix and then the panorama stitched in PTGui. Finally, a layer of Nik Color Efex to add a little contrast. Here's the resulting 9712 x 5929 (57.6MP) image, with a link to the original:

    Could you please elaborate some more on how how you took the picture and explain the quoted part.
    Difficult without sounding patronising, so bear with me.

    Camera = Full Frame Nikon D700
    Lens = 35mm Carl Zeiss Distagon f2 (manual focus prime lens)

    Firstly I gauged a good average exposure. As this was at night, there are lots of dark areas of the photo and lots of bright areas. An average reading was 8 seconds exposure at f8, ISO 200. To make all shots in the panorama look similar in terms of exposure, I made a mental note of this reading.

    Then with my camera on a tripod, I fixed focus (easy on a manual focus lens) at infinity. I then switched to Manual Mode, where I have full control of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Then I switched my White Balance to manual and set it at 2860 Kelvin. Finally I switched my camera to delayed timer mode, to minimise camera shake.

    Once everything was dialed in I started taking my photographs. I started at the bottom right of the final image and snaked to the bottom left, then up and to the right for the 2nd row, and up and to the left for the 3rd row. Each image overlapped sufficiently toallow software to stitch the images together.

    For each shot, I took 3 exposures. One at 8 seconds, one 2 stops darker at 2 seconds, and one another 2 stops darker at 0.5 seconds.

    For the software side of things:

    I uploaded all the images through Lightroom. In Lightroom I did one adjustment to all my images - correcting each image with the Lightroom Lens Profile (which removes any barrel distortion and removes vignetting). I then exported each image as a 16 bit .tif file.

    I then opened up a piece of software called Photomatix, and loaded each group of 3 images for each part of the panorama, blending them using Exposure Fusion (rather than Tone Mapping) to give a more realistic result. This blends the image together to bring out more shadow detail and reduce the effects of blown highlights, creating a final image which is more like what the human eye can see as the eye can deal with much greater dynamic range than any camera sensor. Once blended, I saved each image as a 16 bit .tif file.

    So now I've gone from 12 groups of 3 images to 12 images, blended in Photomatix, and saved as 16 bit .tif files.

    Then I open up another piece of software called PTGui. I uploaded the 12 images and the software attempts to align them into 1 large image. Once it has aligned the images, I tell the software where the verticals in the image are by using control points. For example, by tracing a line up the side of a building that I know to be vertical. Once hapy with the result, I created the panorama as a single 16 bit .tif file.

    Opening this single image up in Photoshop showed it to be 486Mb in size. Then I used a plug in for Photoshop called Nik Software Color Efex to increase the tonal contrast of the image. I brushed this layer over the buildings and foreground, while leaving the sky alone (as it introduced a little noise).

    Once done, I flattened the image and saved as a jpg file as well as a tif file (the final jpg image is around 32Mb)

    Done


    Note to self - either a) don't post another panorama picture or b) refer any questions back to this thread in future!

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    b) refer any questions back to this thread in future!
    And to that end, copy and paste the URL of your post into a location from where you can pull it up anytime you need/want to refer people back to your post above. I've got Swift Paste software and have a vast array of standard texts, paragraphs saved URLs etc that I just drop into messages as appropriate.

    And, as if it really needs to be said - That is a superb image. And the tutorial is, I think, a superb (free) lesson for anyone wishing to emulate what you are doing.
    Last edited by Donald; 13th May 2013 at 11:33 AM.

  10. #10

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    Re: Pier 7

    Aside from the fact that the curves and straight lines make a really nice, unusual image, I also have to add that this is the first image I've seen in which a construction crane adds to the scene. Nice work, Phil!

  11. #11
    Harpo's Avatar
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    Re: Pier 7

    Thanks for posting… panoramics is one area I would like to eventually get into and master. Dubai has some very interesting architecture to photograph. I too like the curves that others referred to.

  12. #12
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    Re: Pier 7

    Thank you very much Phil for the thorough lesson. I think the lesson is great and the picture is greater.It is wonderful.
    wish you the best of luck

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