This is a photo from my recent night shoot. It was the very last photo of the night but one of the first I saw that night. We were on our way to a monastery atop the city to photograph some night time cityscapes. I wanted to take the shot right away but was persuaded to get the shot on the way back (it was raining lightly at the time).
We took a number of shots of and from the monastery overlooking the city and on our way back, I set up my tripod and took two shots of this scene - exposure times were 2 seconds at f/8 and 2 seconds at F/22 - ISO 200. It had been raining and one drop of rain is still visible on the lens in the upper right of the photo. The shot was then taken into Photomatix Pro via the Lightroom plugin (see the plugin in action here - video) and then further processed in Lightroom.
What was important to me was to ensure that the wall lantern was not totally blown out. This I controlled partially in Photomatix and subsequently in Lightroom with the adjustment brush - to bring back some of the detail still embedded in the TIF file. Other than that, I hated the color in the shot so I decided the shot would work MUCH better as a black & white photo. The contrast was brought down to -10 and recovery to +10 to again work the lantern. Medium Tone curve was used, Lights (+50), Darks (+20) and shadows (-75). I needed to retain the night time feel - hence the reduction of the shadow values. A tiny bit of split toning was applied for the very slight "cooling" effect. Sharpening and noise reduction were handled by Lightroom.
Finally a number of grad filters were used to darken the areas of the photo most distant from the light sources and a slight amount of negative lens correction vignette blended the effect with the remainder of the shot.
What inspired me to take the shot in the first place was the beautiful light play of the two light sources on the cobblestone street creating this romantic old fashioned shot.