After shooting some cityscape HDRs in the dead of night, I decided to see how a sunrise would compare. Obviously, it was easier in all the ways any photographer would expect: more light allowed for a higher shutter speed. This is especially useful when creating a photomerge/stitch (multiple pictures seamlessly assembled together to form a much larger picture), as long night exposures include loads of light distortion and shifting details, whether it be car speed lines or plane blurs in the sky. For landscape portraits, I solely use an 100 ISO with a 22 f-stop. Tripods, remotes, and/or the 2-second timer are all close friends during these shoots. The noise issues of nighttime HDRs (even if you’re shooting with a low ISO) are also absent, as HDR software doesn’t dodge the sky to reveal detail and contrast.
The ABOVE photograph is a single exposure, and a much better photograph than the one BELOW, which is indeed a photomerge consisting of four photographs. The example below has some interesting visual elements, but I’ll admit that the individual photos aren’t without fault, which definitely inhibits the finished whole. The HDR post-production editing rendered the middle-ground buildings charred and dark through some nasty contrast work that was unavoidable using the settings I prefer (“Painterly” in Photomatix Pro). I could have taken a less stylized approach, in which the aberration would have looked much less severe. And I won’t even try to defend my lens’ focus; I would put contacts on her if I thought it would help matters.
Also of note: in this instance, I didn’t truck the lens (preferred) but tilt-shifted. The ensuing merge had some nasty barrel distortion (the middle bulges out, much like a barrel) which I evened out in Adobe Bridge’s Raw Editor.
The last photograph is from the same vantage point (a hospital garage off Interstate 315), but taken at 11:00 PM. Unfortunately, that blog post has been lost to the Phishing efforts of a fake Chinese bank that derailed my site earlier this Spring. Sunset will be my next task, but I’ll have to find a spot on the East side of Columbus for the best view of the sun descending behind the skyline.