Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   HDR (
-   -   Emptying the Streets of People (

vvcarpio Aug 26, 2010 3:26 PM

Emptying the Streets of People
This is probably old news to some of you but I found out I can “empty” the streets of New York of people -- or at least thin the crowd -- which is not an easy thing to do as New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps” by combining really slow shutter speeds with HDR.

I try to use the smallest aperture at f/22 where I can. Sometimes, dark scenes force me to shoot longer than 30 seconds for my overexposed brackets so I set the aperture to around f/14 or so. An added bonus of a small aperture is I get the best possible depth-of-field.

These photos are taken during morning rush hour except the last two. I used DPHDR then processed with Topaz.

#1) Bryant Park. Many people walk through the park (including yours truly) to get to work.

#2) Entrance to 42nd Street Subway Station at Port Authority.

#3) Fifth Avenue in front of NYPL.

#4) Air Force recruitment at Times Square. People occasionally stopped in front of my camera to take pictures. As you can see, there’s practically no trace of them.

#5) Grand Central Terminal at noon when the crowd is just as heavy if not more. You will never see Grand Central Terminal with this few people. It's almost like an art gallery with no one rushing to get anywhere.

#6) Sometimes, however, I think there’s only so much you can do especially when you’re shooting level with the crowd as this Fifth Avenue photo taken at noon would show.

Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.

Edufloyd Aug 26, 2010 10:14 PM

Awesome set mate!!! My faves are #4 and #5

mtngal Aug 26, 2010 11:20 PM

LOL! Amazing what a long shutter speed can do. You might try to add a ND filter into the mix for even longer shutter speeds, it might be interesting to see what you would get.

vvcarpio Aug 27, 2010 8:45 AM

Thanks a lot, Edufloyd and mtngal. Yes, an ND filter would be fun -- I'm still shopping for one. One of these days I'll buy an ND filter and make it part of my -- as Ordo would put it -- weaponry :).

#7) Only the ones standing still remain.

hanalwala Aug 27, 2010 2:22 PM

All are very beautiful......I too will try the HDR soon....I think it is quite interesting..

condorman Aug 27, 2010 7:47 PM

Hi Vvcarpio,
Man your seriously talented. I cant express how much I like the last 3 pics. The truck is amazing. I love looking at your pics, there seriously stunning.

vvcarpio Aug 31, 2010 12:46 PM

Thanks, all, for the compliments.

#8) I think this photo is too cluttered -- it's hard to make out the plane with all the back-of-the-building clutter and the stairs covering most of the plane. I wanted to include some sky but was hard to get a good angle, at least none that I could see. Anyway, as before, people were constantly walking in front of my camera while taking this photo.

#9) Another shot of Grand Central.

mtngal Aug 31, 2010 3:33 PM

I like your "only the standing remain" one of Grand Central better than your last one. That one has too many ghosts and blurred people, which the other one has very little of. And I like your plane - yes it's very busy, but it seems appropriate given the location. Your HDR conversions are lovely, very pleasing (since I forgot to mention that before).

Acapulco Sep 1, 2010 1:11 AM

Love this set VV ! as always, your style of HDR imaging just goes to show how HDR has grown as a tool for photography !

vvcarpio Sep 1, 2010 9:05 AM

Thanks a lot for the compliments, mtngal and Acapulco.

I took another bracket of shots inside Grand Central this morning at rush hour. This time I also took a single shot at ISO 800 so I can get a fast enough speed to show the actual crowd. As you can see the difference is quite dramatic -- much of the crowd is eliminated.

#10) HDR/Topaz. Slowest is 30 seconds @ f/22.

#11) This was taken at ISO 800, 1/15th second to show the actual crowd. I used Topaz Denoise to remove the grain.

Believe it or not I also tried midday in Times Square, when the place was packed, traffic was at a gridlock, and the sun was directly above that even at f/22 I cannot go slower than 1 second. As I should have expected (I was hoping for some miracle) it didn’t work.

Below are from 5 exposures each processed using DPHDR and Topaz Adjust’s “HDR – Sketch” preset.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 8:30 PM.