Night Lights

For my final monotone image of the week I’m returning to a partially built building in East London which offers a good (but not spectacular) view of London.

As with all of these kinds of shots, I love playing ‘spot the landmark’, and you’ll be able to see several iconic ones rising from the London skyline in this particular shot. I actually quite like this shot in comparison to my other night time, high up ones. When I first started to take them, a whole six months ago now, there was always an orange tint as I a) didn’t set the white balance in camera and b) didn’t have a clue you could use the ‘tungsten’ feature (or other WB features) in post. To go from that to this is pretty different.


I finally took the time to check out the new HDR tutorial from Matty over at I’ve read a few HDR Tutorials before, when first starting out, and have seen a couple of videos on the matter since so wasn’t too sure if Matty could offer anything unique in his one. It’s split into two parts:

Part One – Capturing the Brackets
This part quickly goes through the camera settings used when taking the initial shots of a scene and is pretty standard. I don’t feel I learnt anything here, but would like to emphasize the use of Aperture Priority mode when shooting for HDR. I’ve been on a few trips with friends who are learning and note that they are trying to set up the shutter speed themselves rather than leaving it to the camera and have certainly found better, more consistent results, in AV mode. Certainly check out this section if you are new to shooting HDR.

Part Two – Processing the Photo
Here Matty takes a look at correcting white balance, doing the initial tone mapping in Photomatix and then doing further post in Photoshop. I enjoy watching these types of videos, though rarely actually do bother to watch them. It’s interesting to see the way other people work though, and good to compare with the way I currently do things.
Straight off the bat here I started to learn things. Having only used the preset white balance options in Lightroom previously I was pleased to see another way to set the white balance which is likely to bring out better results.
I don’t think the Photomatix stage had much to add for me, I’ve become pretty familiar with this software over the months.
The final stage in Photoshop just made me realize that I really do need to learn how to start masking things properly, something that’s pretty new to me. I felt that this stage ended a little abruptly and would have liked to see a little more on the techniques used in post, though perhaps that would have only been possible with another image as the focus point of the tutorial.

All in all it was a good tutorial, and I would suggest that you check it out…particularly if new to HDR. If you’ve been doing this for some time you may not learn too much that’s new, but may find it interesting to see the way someone else works and, like I did, certainly learn a few things that will be useful for the future.

Check out the HDR tutorial now, and thanks to Matty for taking the time to produce and share it.

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