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Old Dec 18, 2009, 10:56 PM   #11
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Very many thanks for the glowing praises, Walter!

Yes, I always leave my camera set to f5.6 aperture-priority. There’s no real reason other than it’s the lowest my camera can go most of the time and I wanted the fastest speed always.

I switched to shutter-priority for that one photo in #1 because I remembered spy’s suggestion of taking a picture of the shoppers with a slow shutter so they’ll all be just a blur. (spy also suggested taking the shot from a higher elevation but I couldn’t find a second floor building window with a clear window.)

I also have a shot of the same "alley" but with aperture-priority which I think came out better in terms of "proper" exposure. I just liked (personally) the composition of #1 better. Here is the aperture-priority shot:

#6. Shoppers.


By all means, feel free to "look over my shoulder" but there may not be much to see . Most of the work is done by DPHDR and Photoshop Elements. (I use MDIS for batch resizing of the 3 bracketed shots because it’s a one-click operation and for the "auto levels" which I do after running DPHDR to brighten the image and make the colors "jump out", to use shoturtle's expression. )

Basically, I do the following on all my pp’s.

- Darken the pavement. The pavements are usually too bright, IMO. Some time ago I googled why Hollywood scenes have wet roads. The answer I found was it simply looks better. So I try to make my pavement look "wet" if I can.
- Darken the buildings in the background (even when they’re behind the trees). Like pavements, buildings are also too bright IMO (from being directly lit by the sun) and blown out. Darkening a building brings out the grids outlining the windows and lots of other details. (This is where I got the idea of darkening the glare on spy’s frozen waterfall photo.)
- Sharpen with Photoshop Elements.
- Use your guidelines of around 70 saturation and 0 vivid colors in DPHDR.

Then sometimes I do the following, too:
- Make the grass and leaves greener.
- Use PE's dodge tool to bring out detail from my main subjects' dark jackets, etc.

There are still so much tools in PE I have yet to learn and am excited about them.

I say I feel like I’m imposing sometimes because I didn’t enroll in any photography course and now I’m getting everyone’s critiques for free . Thanks for telling me to keep posting. I now feel I can keep posting and solicit everyone’s expertise with some impunity for free just kidding!

I added some more photos:

#7. Still there are places for some peace and quiet.


#8. Stall selling Christmas merchandise.


#9. Celsius Restaurant. It has a "spectacular view of the park and rink" according to the Bryant Park website.



#10. Celsius Restaurant at night.


#11. Night sky over Bryant Park.


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Old Dec 18, 2009, 10:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
...the guy standing there checking his bag to see what he forgot...
I hope he's not in a lot of trouble flying all the way to NYC forgetting to bring what he came here for lol!
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 11:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bynx View Post
What a world of difference that last shot would look like in August. All nice shots.
Thanks, Bynx!
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