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07-06-2008, 12:40 AM   #1
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The scene I'd been waiting for for a long time ("auto art" from street lighting)

I'd recently made a post about some shots I'd been hoping for, and planning for a long time. You can read about it & the plans & conditions surrounding it here... https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/31391-been-meaning-take-...tml#post284663.

The next evolution of that that I'd been hoping for occurred this evening; I had several spots in NYC in-front of this great colored building all to myself... at least enough spots so no other cars were in the frame. (I did chase one away that wanted to park behind my car... well, chased isn't correct -- I asked nicely and there were plenty of other spots a few dozen feet down the road ) The color on the car is from the reflected neon sign of the Lyric Diner behind & to the right from where I was taking the photos.

I'm posting these in the critique section because I really think they're about the best I can take, and post process. Thoughts, opinions, critiques and/or recommendations? Though, there's a near infinite number of other ways I could post-process the images; there's a fairly limited number of ways I could change the aperture and shutter speed to make a decent pic however.

These are processed 'darker' then in my other post, because I took care to make a note in my head of exactly how my eyes saw it, and these are as best I can remember "true to life" in light balance.

One thing I KNOW, is I need an off camera flash; I plan to get a 540...

(you can click the image to load where I posted the image, then click the link on the bottom of the image to get the full-rez originals if you'd like; well, not "unaltered original", but rather post-processed original )





(that white molding going across @ the car's roof line is actually level, or real close)

What I'm particularly jazzed about is the detail I got @ night-time. Such as the safety glass wire visible in the window behind the security screen that's glowing green. And in the last image, getting the foreground subject detail while still having enough DOF so the painting on the wall, and all the wall texture also in vivid detail. Hey, I'm one to never stop down, but I did tonight ... and this was a night shot!

07-07-2008, 02:41 AM   #2
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I really like these. I'm not sure what happened to the trees though? They look almost plastic? Did you perhaps use a bit harsh unsharp mask? Or were the lights really strong enough to blow the highlights of the leafs?

Really great shot, I like the second crop the best.
07-07-2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
I really like these. I'm not sure what happened to the trees though? They look almost plastic? Did you perhaps use a bit harsh unsharp mask? Or were the lights really strong enough to blow the highlights of the leafs?

Really great shot, I like the second crop the best.
much thanx for the comment & opinion! I see what you mean. I wouldn't have, and didn't as you can see , consider the leaves.

Surprisingly, I'd say it's not the unsharpen mask. I amazed myself and was very light w/the sharpening. I chose Lightroom's standard "Landscape" sharpening to begin with, which is a level of :
- Amount of 40/150
- Radius of 0.8/3.0
- Detail of 50/100
- & masking of 0/100.

However, I found the electrical conduit (bright silver) going across on the wall just around center frame in the 1st & above center frame in the 2nd had "the jaggies" at that level. So I used that to select an appropriate sharpening level. ...and that left me with
- Amount reduced all the way to 11/150
- I did raise radius to 1.1 - 1.2 which is still really low for smoothness.
- The rest stayed.

I'd have to attribute it to these points:
- That tree's leaves are on the small side with a waxy texture.
- There was an extreme difference in exposure for the leaves getting light from the [seemingly 1000W] spots on the wall above [not totally blowing those leaves, only in some spots, but real close when getting direct light], to little to none on the other leaves w/o a direct line to the light, & I was measuring exposure off the car; mostly off the rear wheel that was only getting ambient light from "the city" [street lights, light from the diner's windows, passing car's headlights on 2nd Ave or turning onto 22nd street right before the exposure completed, notably in the 1st] and from the red neon sign from the diner.
- With the 10 second & 25 second exposures respectively, all the branches (& leaves) had from some smear to a heck of a lot of smear (as you can really see in the 2nd) depending on how much each separate branches moved.

This conspired to smear all leaf detail & make blobs, I guess 'waxy blobs' of all the leaves ....me thinks.

Hm... what can I do? Perhaps two remotely triggered 540 flashes aimed @ the trees, & one @ the car, and a shorter exposure? I fear I'd lose the bg "brightness" then tho...

I bet you'd say the leaves looks better here:

I converted this one too, but didn't post it here. I was going for a darker exposure on the car & wheels, as my eye remembered it, which was the 1st two. The car was a bit brighter here then how my eye saw it, but I do think the leaves do look better here.

Last edited by m8o; 07-07-2008 at 03:02 PM.
07-07-2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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I remember your first post with this setting. This one looks much better with the other cars in the pic. I really like the first one. How long did you have to wait for an opening? Better yet, how long before somebody parked there? Parking spots in Manhattan don't last for very long...

07-07-2008, 03:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxwell1295 Quote
I remember your first post with this setting. This one looks much better with the other cars in the pic. I really like the first one. How long did you have to wait for an opening? Better yet, how long before somebody parked there? Parking spots in Manhattan don't last for very long...
Did you mean to say "much better than with the other cars in the pic"? or do you mean you like it w/the other cars better? I imagine it 's the former, but wanted to check.

That's why we love NYC in the summer... everyone leaves for the Hamptons or Poconos or Catskills, etc., on the weekend I normally/mostly live out on LI, and stay in our NYC place for a few days [usually starting mid-week going into the weekend] anywhere from every few weeks to once in several months ;my wife stays in NYC a bit under half the year so she doesn't have a 2-hr each way commute. But I definitely step-up the time & times I spend in NYC during the summer for this reason.

I parked there Thursday night; Friday was the 4th. The cars left Saturday night. I was out there from around 1am to 3:30'ish am, both times. There was only one time when I had to ask someone to not park behind me, pointing them to either of two spots just ahead. They were very kind and said no problem. ...but that really speaks to just how empty NYC is on a weekend during the summer! Of course, it helps that our NYC place is not in any sort of "night life" area; it's a highly residential area @ the north eastern edge of the Gramercy Park area.
07-07-2008, 04:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
Did you mean to say "much better than with the other cars in the pic"? or do you mean you like it w/the other cars better? I imagine it 's the former, but wanted to check.
I meant to say "withOUT the other cars in the pic".
07-07-2008, 04:17 PM   #7
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very good colour balance

but if you went through all the trouble of chasing away other people you should have then also removed your front license plate

as i still havent seen a single car that looks good with one on it.
11-03-2008, 09:24 PM   #8
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Been whoring this around the picture threads of a few automotive forums I frequent today...

Would have been much better if the building [restaurant, Rolfs] in the background still had its lights on @ 2am, but I guess that's just in the summer. Oh well.

This one was done using the FA50/1.4 @f/8. I don't use that lens enough.

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