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Old Feb 12, 2010, 10:49 PM   #1
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Default Grand Central Station

I was at Grand Central Station this morning and saw sunlight coming through the window and acting as spotlight on the flag hanging from the ceiling.

I used DPHDR's ultra-contrast tonemap and converted to B&W in PSE.

#1 .


#2. Increased contrast in PSE.


#3. This is the color image before changing to B&W. I also increased contrast in PSE.


C&C welcome. Thank you!
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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VV - these are amazing. I'm a huge sucker for patriotic themes and this scene does it for me. I think the first is my favorite. The lighting and the emphasis it places on the flag is fantastic. My eyes go for the window and follow the path of light to the flag. The latter, though, considering the flag's colors and that great ceiling, is also hard not to like.
May I save the first for a personal desktop wallpaper?
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 11:36 AM   #3
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Yes, Aaronb, I'm pleased (and honored ) you liked it and want to turn it into your wallpaper -- you have my full permission . I'm also happy to hear about your patriotism.

Thanks a lot for the comments and compliments!
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 4:04 PM   #4
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I really liked the way you captured the rays of sunlight... they almost seem to purposely be there for the flag... great shot.

All the best.

Ned
Jyväskylä, Finland
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 8:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eetu View Post
I really liked the way you captured the rays of sunlight... they almost seem to purposely be there for the flag... great shot.

All the best.

Ned
Jyväskylä, Finland
I cant imagine that flag is hanging that way by coincidence. Great shot VV. Im kinda partial to the color version living in the 21st century and all. Now when I see pics like this I stop for a second and wonder if you were questioned about taking pics. We live in paranoia times similar to the cold war days when everyone was a communist and we were only a heartbeat away from nuclear annihilation. The govt doesnt trust the people and the people dont like the govt.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 9:09 AM   #6
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These are great! I too am partial to the color one. Just so I'm clear, this was an HDR, correct? My shots like that would typically blow out the light from the window (but I am using a P&S which would have less DR to begin with).

I really enjoyed them. I'm going to have to pay more attention next time instead of running through Grand Central!
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 9:37 AM   #7
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I really enjoyed them. I'm going to have to pay more attention next time instead of running through Grand Central!
That is the whole point... that you enjoy not only the feedback... but now you want to take time and not rush through Grand Central! That is part of the neat thing, at that I like about photography, is grabbing the camera and stopping to smell the roses... I enjoy your photos. Thanks for sharing them, and hope to see more...

All the best.

Ned
Jyväskylä, Finland
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 9:39 AM   #8
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By the way, my son came in and saw me looking at this photo... he was really amazed... this is a great shot... for such shots, it is good to take a number of shots, even messing about with exposure and all... those rays on the flag, well you don't always see such a thing... It is just a great shot, colour or B/W.

All the best.

Ned
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 11:01 AM   #9
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Thanks a lot, Ned, Bynx, and Jazzer251, for your kind words!

Bynx, fortunately, GC and other terminals (Port Authority Bus Terminal, for one) is one of the places where they let anyone take pictures for as long as he or she wants. I always see a tripod somewhere even one time a big boxy camera which reminded me of those ancient cameras where the photographer hid his head under a blanket. The photo below shows the National Guard on the left completely ignoring me.

Still, I can't help but think about my actions with care. I had the feeling that if I acted in any way not like a photography enthusiast or tourist would, I will be viewed with suspicion. That may just be me but after 9/11 I'm probably not alone in that thought as your question implied.

Jazzer251, yes, this is an HDR shot.

Ned, yes I took a number of shots. I walked over to the other side, too, but I think the light was not as dramatic. The sunlight had also gone down some.

I had shots that were very dark but don't know how to process them correctly. I could not get the sunbeams significantly brighter than the rest of the scene without blowing out the windows' grills. I actually spent a lot of time (practically the whole day ) before I came up with those I posted.

(Maybe I need not have spent too much time if I had realized early on that's what DPHDR's ultra-contrast was for...)

Yes, I think the ceiling's center is the natural place to hang a flag so I think the sun shining on it was just coincidence.

I went there early morning because I wanted to see if DPHDR's halo-matix tone map will work well on GC's marble walls as it did (I think) on Saint Thomas' Church.

But when I saw the sun shining on the flag, I took advantage of the moment. I knew I only had minutes before the sun continued on its rise. I also recently read about Winter Solstice and learned that the sun changes angles with the seasons. The window where the sun was shining through is also lined up with 43rd Street facing east and so was not blocked by any skyscrapers. All that added to my belief that this must not have been planned but simply coincidence.

Still, while taking the shots, with the light as dramatic as it was that another photographer quickly took position behind me when he saw what I on the floor with my gorillapod was taking pictures of, I can't help but think about the early American settlers' belief in Divine Providence.

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