Posted Saturday, April 28, 2012
License: CC-BY-NC-SA (What does this mean?)

Tags:

A bright light shining at the camera with surrounding graffitied area.

Location:

Seven Hills TAFE, Brisbane
General location: Australia, South-East Queensland

The Setup:

Alan Warren, AKA The Best Photographic Buddy A Guy Could Have, obtained permission to be on the property and access these abandoned buildings. I arrived (very) late, and then hung around after everyone else had gone home.

This picture is a composite of two shots. I tried a few different ideas, but my attempts to do this in one shot weren't working out. I was starting to get a bit creeped out being along in this place and I didn't have the patience to do a full five minute exposure.

The first shot of this composite was me shining the torch directly at the lens for about half a second during a 30 second exposure. When this did not capture any of the ambient scene, I took the second shot with me behind the camera, lighting the scene with the screen of my phone for a 25 second exposure. I then combined them in Photoshop (details below).

The camera & lens:

Camera: Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Lens: Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX-DC @ 30mm
Exposure: 25" @ f/8, ISO 800 ((Torch photo: Intervalometer used with 30 second delay so I could get in position in front of the camera). Ambient photo: Exposure: 30)

Post processing:

Photoshop Elements 7 -

  1. New image, with the two source images each in their own layer.
  2. Adjustment layer set to Lighten Colour, with opacity 100%
Lightroom 4 -
  1. Presence: exposure -1.1 stops, shadows -100, whites -100, blacks +27, clarity +100
  2. Curves: darks +70, shadows -25
  3. Noise reduction: luminance +50
  4. Graduated filter to bring some detail back into the picture on the left: exposure +0.7, clarity +100 (again!), contrast -100

The wash-up:

Doing the exposure for five minutes would probably have worked out in one exposure. I'm happy with the result of combining the two shots though.

What would you do?

You are welcome to have a go at editing this photo yourself. When editing in browser, maximum size is 1600x1200px and edits can be saved as a comment if you want to share your work. Go crazy!


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