MBS - Long Exposure


Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#1
1. in what area is critique to be sought?
Composition
Technique
Post=processing
and overall appeal

2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
This was my first ever attempt at landscape photography. And I was trying out my new ND400 filter from HOYA and hence wanted to try out long-exposure photography. Ideally making the water as glassy as possible.
I wanted to capture a much photographed iconic landmark of Singapore and try this interpretation, given that MBS is after all a casino. Hence the "gold" is highlighted in this version.

3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
Early morning, just before sunrise. (I think the sky was just beginning to brighten up)

Shutter pseed : 219s
f/8
ISO 200

4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
I'm looking to see how it can be improved. Especially in post processing. Some bnw landscape photos I've seen show great tonal differences. But this seems a little flat. I'm hoping to hear from you guys to see how it can be improved.

Cheers and thanks in advance.

 

Sep 8, 2011
192
0
16
#2
Bdy,

When you shoot during mornings, you doesn't have to put in ND filter and thats too before sunrise. coz you'll there is no heavy light to cut out. In order to get silky skies you should use GND filters.

Thumb rule, for better reflections mornings are always best time and that's to 20 mins before sunrise. Doesn't need to use ND filters here, You can use GND though.

Coming to Post processing, HDR is always preferred way. Then stack all images using HDR software and quite heavy liftings with Photoshop or LR5.

PM me your number, We can plan for morning shoot/evening shoot so that I can share my knowledge on this.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#3
Bdy,

When you shoot during mornings, you doesn't have to put in ND filter and thats too before sunrise. coz you'll there is no heavy light to cut out. In order to get silky skies you should use GND filters.

Thumb rule, for better reflections mornings are always best time and that's to 20 mins before sunrise. Doesn't need to use ND filters here, You can use GND though.

Coming to Post processing, HDR is always preferred way. Then stack all images using HDR software and quite heavy liftings with Photoshop or LR5.

PM me your number, We can plan for morning shoot/evening shoot so that I can share my knowledge on this.
Starcaptain>>>
Thanks for dropping by with the tips and offering advice! I'm certainly going to make use of this opportunity.

Just to clarify, if I were to use a GND, won't it then cause the buildings and anything above the chosen horizon line to become darker as well? That's the reason I decided against going for a GND and decided straight up on an ND filter instead.( this is also influenced by the choice of CSer -edutilos-(his photos are amazing) who, in a post mentioned this reason for preferring NDs instead of GNDs. )

I believe you are right that in this case I could have done without the ND filter and upped my aperture and gone down to ISO 100 to achieve the same shot with the same shutter speed Point taken. Shall use the nd filter more appropriately.

Thanks for clarifying that the tonal difference is achieve by HDR. I suspected as much.

Shall try it on Photomatix and try manual blending as well.

Shall contact you via pm.

Thanks again.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,667
71
48
lil red dot
#4
Remember the 2 basic things about using filters.

ND is used to extend the shutter speed.
GND is used to balance out the exposure within the frame.

Different purpose for each kind of filter.

And No, HDR is never the preferred way. Preferred for some, but not the defacto standard.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,667
71
48
lil red dot
#5
And to TS, The main issue here for me is the dark building/structure on the left. The composition can be much better improved. Promontory might be a better location for the view. If you want a dead on view, fullerton or Merlion park are much better choices.
 

richiemccaw1

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2013
3,103
27
48
Singapore
#6
If I may ask this.. how do you expose for the foreground and background? Using spot/center and weighted metering?
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#7
daredevil123 >>>

Thanks for the clarification on the use of the ND and GND filters. Yeah, I'm really interested in creating those moving cloud/glassy water effects. Hence the ND filter for long exposures.

As for the composition. You are absolutely right. Revisiting the image, the dark shadows on the left serve no purpose. Still working on learning the rules of landscape composition. I did try a dead on shot from fullerton bay. But I was interested in trying a different less used angle. I guess the first angle chosen wasn't the best one.

Here is the dead on shot>>




Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#8
richiemccaw1 >>>
Hi.. The first photo (The desaturated one) was only one shot. I took a metering using manual mode spot metering.
And did a bit of calculation and then shot using bulb mode. If I'm not wrong, I didn't account for the exposure reading during bulb mode cos there is no metering for bulb mode.

Hope this answers the question.
 

Last edited:

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
7,321
23
38
Earth
www.facebook.com
#9
Bdy,

When you shoot during mornings, you doesn't have to put in ND filter and thats too before sunrise. coz you'll there is no heavy light to cut out. In order to get silky skies you should use GND filters.

Thumb rule, for better reflections mornings are always best time and that's to 20 mins before sunrise. Doesn't need to use ND filters here, You can use GND though.

Coming to Post processing, HDR is always preferred way. Then stack all images using HDR software and quite heavy liftings with Photoshop or LR5.

PM me your number, We can plan for morning shoot/evening shoot so that I can share my knowledge on this.
Remember the 2 basic things about using filters.

ND is used to extend the shutter speed.
GND is used to balance out the exposure within the frame.

Different purpose for each kind of filter.

And No, HDR is never the preferred way. Preferred for some, but not the defacto standard.
i concur with DD123. and also the GND filters are not for "Silkier Skies" (that's not what they were made for).

they're made to balance out the exposure when getting the right exposure for the entire frame is difficult, due to e.g. the sky being perhaps way brighter than the ground. the darker portion of the GND is to ensure that you don't get blown out highlights, while maintaining a nice exposure for the darker portions of the frame when the clear portion of the GND is placed over it.

and HDR is not always the "way to go" for every shot. it depends on individual preference and the final image that you want to present.

and @StarCaptain sometimes i also use 3-stop ND filters just after sunrise, coupled with a GND.

there is no set way to do things, and if you experiment around, you can learn new things.
 

Last edited:
Feb 10, 2010
503
0
0
#11
the 2nd shot looks nicer. I would use the ND where the clouds formation are separated in 'chunks' rather than in 1 entire patch to accentuate the movement. Apply the rules of third for the composition. I would prefer to have more sky in the picture if there are significant cloud movement and leave less for the water. No hard and fast rule so long as the image looks pleasing to the eye.
 

Achim Reh

New Member
Nov 1, 2011
407
1
0
#12
Just my taste, nothing wrong with your pic. I would make the sky a little bit more dramatic , straighten yje horizon, lighten up the lower left corner, and also the science museum a bit. Hope you don't mind, did a quick job on your pic, just to show what I mean. Not very accurate and low res, not much time , sorry

[/url] 11397255394_5a57794700 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#13
Just my taste, nothing wrong with your pic. I would make the sky a little bit more dramatic , straighten yje horizon, lighten up the lower left corner, and also the science museum a bit. Hope you don't mind, did a quick job on your pic, just to show what I mean. Not very accurate and low res, not much time , sorry

[/URL] 11397255394_5a57794700 by AchimReh, on Flickr[/IMG]
I like what you did with the sky. I did try to achieve that effect during post but I failed to get something as contrasty. Nice take on the image. Thanks for sharing!
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#14
the 2nd shot looks nicer. I would use the ND where the clouds formation are separated in 'chunks' rather than in 1 entire patch to accentuate the movement. Apply the rules of third for the composition. I would prefer to have more sky in the picture if there are significant cloud movement and leave less for the water. No hard and fast rule so long as the image looks pleasing to the eye.
Azurebluee>>

It would make more sense to be selective on the use if the clouds. I was really looking forward to getting the stretchy clouds. But unfortunately there wasn't any cloud movement at that time and yeah the cloud formation wasn't optimal.

Thanks for sharing!
 

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,276
20
38
#15
4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
I'm looking to see how it can be improved. Especially in post processing. Some bnw landscape photos I've seen show great tonal differences. But this seems a little flat. I'm hoping to hear from you guys to see how it can be improved.
The cloudy weather has contributed to the 'flatness', heavily diffusing the light. And if you want better definition in the MBS, sunrise won't be a good time as the sun will rise behind it.

daredevil123 >>>

As for the composition. You are absolutely right. Revisiting the image, the dark shadows on the left serve no purpose. Still working on learning the rules of landscape composition. I did try a dead on shot from fullerton bay. But I was interested in trying a different less used angle. I guess the first angle chosen wasn't the best one.
The shadows / Clifford Pier on the left are also blocking the flyer, ArtScience Museum and cutting into MBS. Probably have to find a higher vantage point at this angle, or the more-used anlges dd123 suggested

Thanks for sharing, just my 2 cents ;p
 

shiosaki

Senior Member
May 16, 2012
834
33
28
#16
Bdy,

When you shoot during mornings, you doesn't have to put in ND filter and thats too before sunrise. coz you'll there is no heavy light to cut out. In order to get silky skies you should use GND filters.

Thumb rule, for better reflections mornings are always best time and that's to 20 mins before sunrise. Doesn't need to use ND filters here, You can use GND though.

Coming to Post processing, HDR is always preferred way. Then stack all images using HDR software and quite heavy liftings with Photoshop or LR5.

PM me your number, We can plan for morning shoot/evening shoot so that I can share my knowledge on this.
not the best of advices given i would say
1. i use ND filters before sunrise. on a day with the sun, i dont see why NDs cannot be used to lengthen the exposure time especially when the light is increasing fast.
2. HDR is one way but not necessarily the preferred way. many people do professional photography without HDR. don't understand what is heavy lifting though. if you are doing HDR then theres no reason to do shadow recovery at all.
 

macaroni

Senior Member
Sep 7, 2010
1,330
6
38
northside
#17
For the dead on shot, i see some dark areas around the lotus. A result of improper blending? The pic looks kind of soft in your flickr too.
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#18
The cloudy weather has contributed to the 'flatness', heavily diffusing the light. And if you want better definition in the MBS, sunrise won't be a good time as the sun will rise behind it.

The shadows / Clifford Pier on the left are also blocking the flyer, ArtScience Museum and cutting into MBS. Probably have to find a higher vantage point at this angle, or the more-used anlges dd123 suggested

Thanks for sharing, just my 2 cents ;p
Thoongeng>>>
I see. So the cloudy sky contributed much to the overall feel of the image. That's something I'll take note of and work around in future. Thanks for pointing it out.
And you have also underscored something that I found a lil weird when I was shooting at macritchie yesterday morning. When the sun was rising from behind the blocks, the blocks actually became darker. Shall take note that I need to choose wisely depending on the scene. Sunrise or sunset.

Thanks again! Very valuable pointers!
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#19
not the best of advices given i would say
1. i use ND filters before sunrise. on a day with the sun, i dont see why NDs cannot be used to lengthen the exposure time especially when the light is increasing fast.
2. HDR is one way but not necessarily the preferred way. many people do professional photography without HDR. don't understand what is heavy lifting though. if you are doing HDR then theres no reason to do shadow recovery at all.
Shiosaki>>

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts! You've got amazingly breathtaking photos, btw.v
 

Dec 12, 2012
871
9
0
Singapore
#20
For the dead on shot, i see some dark areas around the lotus. A result of improper blending? The pic looks kind of soft in your flickr too.
Macaroni >> You are right, I want careful during the blending and instead of only masking the struture, I ended up masking parts of the sky as well. I will learn to be more precise with the post production.

As for the blur, I think it is cos of
a. not very sturdy tripod
b. I didn't switch off the VC on my tamron lens when it was on a tripod.
c. Improper alignment during post.
I can't think of anything else. Shall revisit it and try and figure it out.

Thanks for pointing it out. Appreciate it!
 

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