Location:Blackstone, near the junction of Redbank Plains Rd and the M15 (Cunningham Hwy)
General location: Australia, South-East Queensland
The Setup:This picture is a total exposure of 1 hr 44 mins. The location has the transmission towers for foreground interest, but also has a lot of interfering lights. I set up the camera and intervelometer, then hid away in the car, checking periodically. I was actually out there for half an hour more than this, but the battery seems to have died shortly after the 1h44m mark.
I spent several hours over two days editing and pondering about the final effect. This is plainly overprocessed, and is not a realistic picture by any measure. I think there's perhaps a bit too much going on here, however it does fit in with the recent theme of light painting.
Since my lens hood has not yet arrived from HK, I blutacked some black cardboard to the side of the lens, though that only helped with the side flare.
The camera & lens:Camera: Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 USM IS @ 15mm
Exposure: 1h44m" @ f/8.0, ISO 100 (13 x 480 second exposures combined)
- Load and combine all 13 exposures.
Here it gets slightly non-linear. I ended up with two different treatments of the image (version 2 and version 3) that both had good and bad points, which I'll lay out below. Lightroom 4: Version 2 -
- Import version 1
- Presence: highlights +75, shadows -100, whites +75, clarity +80
- Curves: lights +70, darks -85, shadows -100
- Noise reduction: luminance +50
Lightroom 4: Version 3 -
- Import version 2 as a basis
- Presence: exposure -0.75 stops
- Luminance colour shift: red -40, orange +25, yellow -100
I wanted some aspects of version 2 (the orange transmission lines), and some aspects of version 3 (more stars, more colour splashes). I couldn't figure out a way to achieve this in Lightroom, so exported both as TIFs and moved to Photoshop. Photoshop Elements 7: Version 4
- Loaded version 2 as one layer, and loaded version 3 as another layer with 50% opacity.
Lightroom 4: Version 5 -
- Import version 4. All edits below are in addition to all of the edits above.
- Presence: Clarity +100, exposure +0.85 stops, shadows +75, white clipping +100, black clipping -70.
- Noise reduction: Luminance +50 (this last step of adjustments brought out a lot of noise).
The wash-up:Having my lens hood would have helped. Having a battery in better shape would help as well. As below, my (now) 5.5 year old battery has trouble keeping up with this high usage.
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!