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Old Jan 18, 2011, 4:32 PM   #1
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Default A walk along the river (more blue hour)

Good evening,
when I was browsing the photos from my first try to capture the blue hour for the monthly challenge I was disappointed with the colors and the exposure of almost every image that I took for that purpose. Sure - there was that blueish sky here and there... yay. It was kind of a "nice try" bunch of pics, not more. The standard "auto" functions in PSE didn't help here obviously and I had been too lazy to start a more complex postprocessing. Also the strong vignetting (-like) effects and the "halo-feeling" near the horizon was not what I wanted.

I was already about to delete them when I had that idea of more than just a tiny bit of postprocessing. Why not have some fun with these shots before starting all over? Maybe some art filters? Black and white? HDR/tonemapping? Result: even worse for all images but one.

Normally I stay away from those overprocessed "HDR-wannabe" images, as I especially dislike the halo effects and the oversaturated and strange colors... but this one is different. I don't know why, but a somewhat drastic tonemapping created a painting-like appearance and while it wasn't really that dark when I took the photo the dramatic effect is just great to my mind.

I was so happy, that I took some other photos and started completely from scratch - and for some reason things went well this time.

This first image was taken at 4:16pm - still too much light for the blue hour, but it will be intersting to see how things develop. Be my guest and walk along the river with me... starting here:

Kind regards,
Th.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 4:44 PM   #2
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Just five minutes later I gave in to the urge to take a sunset picture. The good thing is, that you have a good idea about the lighting that way. Have a look at the first image and you'll notice the same metal construction in the centre. You see - I'm just a short distance away here.

The interesting thing is, how very different these two images already look. I took #2 at 4:21pm.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 4:50 PM   #3
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Now it's time for a little break. What about some coffee?

At 5:22pm we are back at the river and there is still a hint of a sunset. Now watch the church at the right side - the walls already have a red/orange tint. A bit too "warm" already... but on the other hand I wanted that last-bit-of-the-sunset-orange color on the left so I left it that way.

Btw: Already some nice blue here, right?
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 4:55 PM   #4
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Disappointed with the tint of the church walls I choosed another picture and experimented with setting the white/grey point and stuff and tried the tungsten setting (or something close to that), too.

After a while I thought the church looked fine/ok, as you can see at this nearly 1:1 crop:
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 5:01 PM   #5
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The real miracle happened, when I zoomed out. Now I know this is really(!) very basic stuff here - I mean, we are talking about white-balance, aye?

Nevertheless the results are very intersting in that case, what do you think?
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 5:09 PM   #6
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From here on I applied a custom white balance to the images with that tungsten setting in mind and tried for a "natural" look of the buildings - especially that little church as some kind of reference and I took whatever kind of blue that setting gave me .

Here is an image with just a few of those distracting bushes.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 5:11 PM   #7
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Now for another interesting effect. There is a bridge nearby, so lets face upstream first (you might recognize that image from the monthly challenge, but I am tempted to replace it with another one from this series...). Can you remember? We had that sunset in this direction...

Now watch that horizon, the color fading from blue to grey.
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Old Jan 18, 2011, 5:20 PM   #8
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Now lets cross the street and face downstream, away from the sunset. Is this a difference, or what? The impression of the sky is completely different, a much more unique color... a very dark blue already - and no "fog horizon line". And you can even see some stars . 10s and 15s exposure for these shots in case you wonder.

With these two images I'll call it a day - thanks for keeping me company and I hope you enjoyed the lil' tour. It's 5:53pm now by the way, all the images from the second bunch (after having a coffee) were taken in a timeslot of like 30 minutes. Oh... and can you see the street lamps just right of the blue-lit bridge in the last image? That's roughly the position from where I took image #3. So it wasn't a long walk at all.

Kind regards,
Th.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 6:13 AM   #9
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What a really lovely series !

I like all of these - not one that's just average. For me I like the shot in post #5 the best because of the great reflections and the foreground bushes are not as well exposed and therefore integrate better into the overall picture.

We certainly need to thank Patty again for introducing this topic and all the great shots that are coming as a result.
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Old Jan 19, 2011, 8:02 AM   #10
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Indeed a wonderful series - showcasing both your talents and a lovely time of evening. Hard to choose a favorite, but I really like the lines in #6 and the color/pattern of #7...
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