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Thread: Seeking advice on long exposure shot

  1. #1

    Default Seeking advice on long exposure shot



    This is a shot that I took over the weekend. I like the scene, but I know it can be better. One of the things that is troubling me is the bright spotlights that become totally overblown when I use long exposures. When I tried to manually blend the image with another shot which is underexposed so that the well-lit areas aren't blown out, I get a image that is way too dark and of a different colour.

    Settings
    ISO 100, f14, 186s
    Photo has had contrast clarity and saturation adjusted.
    Manual blend of two images. 1 photo for the sky and river. 1 photo for the buildings.

    I'm looking for input on how you would approach this scene instead.
    In both post processing and taking the shot itself.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seeking advice on long exposure shot

    apply layer mask to the areas you want to keep it is, so only then blown areas are blended into the scene.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Seeking advice on long exposure shot

    Hi Catchlights,

    Thanks for the tip! I actually did do that. I used a layer mask to reveal the not-so-bright building lights underneath the layer with the pretty looking sky.

    However, a big challenge for me is to get a good shot of the lights so that I can use it for the blending. No matter what setting I try, the dynamic range is so high that the lights inevitably become blown out. I am hoping to get tips on how to get that particular shot which I can then use during the manual blend. The problem is also that when i try to really underexpose, that shot becomes quite unsusable. I'm just wondering if there is a workaround.

  4. #4
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    Then why not get another shot for the overexposed lights?

    Not all light intensity is the same. E.g. street lamps would very likely be brighter than the building lights.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyStrike View Post
    Then why not get another shot for the overexposed lights?

    Not all light intensity is the same. E.g. street lamps would very likely be brighter than the building lights.
    Hi SkyStrike,

    Thanks. I see where my misconception is now. I was actually going to answer your question by saying that I did take a shot of the overexposed lights. But that resulted in very faint rays emanating from the light source. Since I want the the circular right source and the light rays to be of similar exposure levels and not overblown, I was wondering if it would be possible to achieve that without having to manually blend two images. One for the central light source and one for the light rays.

    But I guess there is no shortcut. I will have to painstakingly manually mask it to achieve the desired effect. (Please correct me if I am wrong)



    Thanks for the comment.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Seeking advice on long exposure shot

    layer mask and use gradient tool to paint the area of interest in. it's faster
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shizuma View Post
    layer mask and use gradient tool to paint the area of interest in. it's faster
    Thanks Shizuma. I shall try that out. The starburst are difficult to blend in. Hopefully using the gradient to paint it in would work better.

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seeking advice on long exposure shot

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanSelvaraju View Post
    Thanks Shizuma. I shall try that out. The starburst are difficult to blend in. Hopefully using the gradient to paint it in would work better.
    use a soft brush with lower opacity, paint on the areas that you want to mask.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Seeking advice on long exposure shot

    Mr Catchlights, Thanks again. Its painstaking work. I shall try that and see how the results differ over the weekend.

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seeking advice on long exposure shot

    Quote Originally Posted by NormanSelvaraju View Post
    Mr Catchlights, Thanks again. Its painstaking work. I shall try that and see how the results differ over the weekend.
    it is not that hard as what you might think, if you are using a soft edge brush.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    it is not that hard as what you might think, if you are using a soft edge brush.
    Will do. Thx for the support! Appreciate it!

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