THE LAZY EVENING
I didn’t have any plans this sunday evening. I had just woken up from my after noon siesta. I went up the terrace today and immediately rushed down back home to get my camera and my tripod. The sky was clear, the sun set looked beautiful, and the moon was about to show up.
First I shot these tanks. I’ve been living here for more than 10 years now. Never i had thought that they had a photographic value before, but this POV from my tripod and the evening setting sun made this look pretty good. That’s when I shot this.
Then I looked at the other side of my terrace, towards east. And I noticed more tanks. I liked the trees that surrounded this place. I never thought the place that I live in looks so beautiful. I set my tripod to get the frame right. Then shot the bracketed shots. Processed it at home later using nik HDR efex and topaz adjust to get this image.
The sun was setting low, and it was almost getting late in the evening. The birds were returning home and I could already see some bats flying around. There was this empty space. A vast land that seemed as if it was not yet corrupted by civilization. It’s surprising to see such a place in the middle of the city.
I didn’t feel like going back home yet. There was the moon which I was still waiting for. I was waiting for it go get dark so that I get a good shot. While waiting I was just trolling around on the terrace. There was not a soul in sight. It was just me and the beautiful evening. I forgot that it was scorching summer season in Chennai. The cold breeze made me forget all about it.
After much waiting the moon was bright enough and ready to be shot. And I got this.
I did all those shots using my Nikon l120 and my trusty tripod. Then I processed all of them using nik HDR efex. The moon shot was processed using nik silver efex.
All the first three pictures are HDR shots. I shot 3 bracket images at -2ev, 0, +2ev and processed them in nik HDR efex. Just like a normal HDR porcess, I first shoot the bracket images, load them in my computer process them in Nik HDR efex and correct the noise (if any), using the layer masking technique in Photoshop. I have documented my complete HDR process in here.
For the second image alone, I have used something called as the tilt shift technique. It’s where landscapes kinda look like miniature models. I do this by using layer masking technique. I create copies of the image in different layers in photo shop. Then apply lens blur of different densities to different layers, leaving one base layer untouched. The I layer mask the blurred layers on the untouched layer to create the blur at selected regions. Usually it’s best to selectively blur the foreground and the back ground area and leave the main subject, in this case, the building with the tanks, untouched. Here’s another example of tilt shift technique.
For the moon shot, well, thanks to the super zoom ability of my NikonL120, I could shoot the moon with ease. However, I must confess that It’s not straight out of the camera. I had to load it up in Nik Silver Efex, tone down the levels and curves a bit, and tweak up the structure slider to get that detailed texture on it. I normally use Nik Silver Efex for my black and white street shots and portraits. It’s the best, I’ve also documented my black and white processing work flow in here.