Manhattan Bridge HDR (B+W) / 2005-2006 / SML
Manhattan Bridge HDR / BW1
Canon EOS 10D
Canon 17-40 f/4L
CRW_35498: ISO 100, 30.0 s at f/9.5, 17mm
CRW_35499: ISO 100, 30.0 s at f/13, 17mm
CRW_35500: ISO 100, 30.0 s at f/6.7, 17mm
When I shot these photos, I did not have a timer cable release with me. If I were to shoot these at a small aperture, I would have to set the camera on bulb while keeping my finger on the shutter release for the entire exposure. To minimize the risk of completely ruining the photos, I've decided to vary the aperture values for the different exposures instead of varying the time and keeping a constant aperture value.
Note that it is generally not recommended that you vary the aperture values for images intended for HDR (Wikipedia: High dynamic imaging) processing. If you use software like Photomatix to perform tone-mapping, for example, the varying levels of focus on the photo will create blurry results. I have had to apply a bit more USM (Wikipedia: Unsharp Mask) than usual for this image. And if you view large, you can see that the grains are quite visible.
I am happy with the HDR result though--the wider aperture gave it enough exposure to show the golden reflection under the bridge, and the small aperture contribute to the oh-so-gorgeous star bursts from the lights.
Black + White Processing
By using Photoshop's channel mixer for the black and white conversion, I was able to manipulate the the local contrast further. The absence of color united the tonal values of the two orthogonal axis of the bridge. The overall composition seems to have improved, and now looks like a giant extruded plus sign with very heavy industrial ornaments.
The result is very rewarding and I'd like to thank Moxette for her suggestion to process this as a black and white photograph. :)
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