Gotta Love Venice

I really love Venice, even if there are heaps of tourists. The city is something out of the ordinary, and its magic just captures me. I got up early enough, to be able to see Piazza San Marco (almost) without any people. Photo by: Jacob Surland, www.caughtinpixels.com Licensed creative commons non-commercial v4.0. No derivative Work. Protected by Pixsy.com.

Palazzo Ducale or Doge’s Palace in Venice is a huge and incredibly beautiful building.

I really love Venice, even if there are heaps of tourists. The city is something out of the ordinary, and its magic just captures me. We got up early enough, to be able to see Piazza San Marco (almost) without any people (and of course to capture it in the right light). I think we got lucky with the weather.

About this photo

This is a 7 shot HDR, ranging from -4 to +2. I shot it using my Nikon D800 and my Nikkor 16-35mm f/4.

Venice Doge's palace

Why did I shoot from -4? They are almost completely black. One of the hard parts in shooting night shots, or blue hour photos like this one, is that street lamps are incredibly bright, compared to the rest of the photo. And often you end up, having completely blown out lamps. Sometimes, blown up lamps, can look great, at other times, lamps with full details can look great.

By shooting, and making sure, that I have all information, I have the artistic freedom, to choose if I want one or the other. A blown out lamp or a lamp with details. In the case of this photo, I went in the middle.

Venice Doge's palace - lamp

You could argue, that from -2 to +2 would have been enough, but if I had wanted to do something different when I got home, I couldn’t have changed my mind. So I made sure, when I shot the shot.

 

2 thoughts on “Gotta Love Venice

    1. Hi Alistair,
      There are many ways of doing this. Often, but not always, I get a fairly nice result out of Photomatix. In this particular image, that is the case. I did blend about 40% from one of the 7 shots, just to fine tune the look of the lamps. Another Approach I might use, is to take the layer that is almost completely pitch dark, except for the lamps, do the following:
      1) arrange the primary image below the image with the lamps.
      2) Add a mask to the image with the lamps.
      3) Make a selection of the whole image, on the image with the lamps, and press CTRL/CMD + C (PC/MAC).
      4) Then press ALT + left mouse click on the mask on the layer with the lamp
      5) And then paste the image copied to the clipboard.
      6) Select the original image again.
      What happens in this case is, that wherever the mask is bright, which means the lamps, it will blend the two layers. It might leave a couple of artifacts, but it’s often a good start.

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