Let’s look today on one of my recent photos and how it was edited. This time it’s this late night panorama taken in Prague by the Charles bridge. This was a two tile panorama which I took without the help of a panorama head. Actually a lot of my panoramas are done this way. If you are far enough from the subject, and you are using a longer focal length, you don’t really need a panorama head. The stitching software is intelligent enough to work with the small amount of paralax effect you will get.
Here you can see bigger versions of the middle exposures I used.
Overall I used 10 exposure, I went from -2 to +2EV, as there were some quite dark areas, and also few very bright lights.
I started in Lightroom, where I only removed the chromatic aberrations, lens distortions and vignetting and corrected a little the white balance (it was too much towards red). From there I exported everything as 16-bit tiffs and loaded them into PTgui. For a detailed process how I combine shots there, check out the specific tutorial on creating HDR panoramas.
I continued in Oloneo Photoengine. As always, I just added a bit of strength, until I get a nice even exposure, from which I could start with. Setting of around 50 works the best usually. Same here. To continue I loaded everything into Photoshop and continued with the following edits (layers numbered from bottom up):
1. Oloneo Photoengine result
2. Painted in the +1EV into the water, to remove the blend of the moving lights
3. Merged copy, where I filled in few areas around the corners, that were empty form the panorama blend
4. Darkened the bright lights from the -1EV exposure.
5. Brightened part of the reflection, to make it more visible
6. Retouched out all the people on the bridge
7. Corrected a stray light on the bridge
8. Few more bright spots corrected from the -2EV
9. The tower in the back lost all the contrast in the blend, so I recovered it from the 0EV exposure
10. Color Efex tonal contrast, with settings 10, 15, 10 and 10. These are my most used settings for this plugin
11+12. Curves and color balance, to correct the uneven brightness and color of the photo. I made the right part darker and more saturated.
And that’s all I did with this image. To find out more on how I edit, check out the guides and before after categories on this blog, or check out my video tutorial series here:
A really long time passed since I added a page to the Top spots category and today is the day I added a new one. This time it Cesky Krumlova and you can see there a list of all the spots I like the most in the city. There again are 5 spots for you, and this time, also a suggested path, how I think is the best way to hit all of them in one go :)
Cesky Krumlov is a wonderful place for a photographer to visit. Many great views of the city, all within a few minutes walking distance from each other. So in this list, lets look at the spots I liked the most while being there.
This platform gives you just the best view of the city center. It’s especially great for when you are trying to take a panorama shot. There is one problem with this location though, that it is closed at night. So you can get there from around 7 in the morning to sometime in the afternoon (I don’t remember there being opening times written on the door). The entry is free, and of course you can use your tripod there.
This spot will be probably the first you visit as is right at the entrance to the center of the city. It gives a very nice view of the castle, and from what I have seen, they don’t close the gate to this place even at night. Be ready for it to be quite filled with tourists.
A really adequately named street, as to get there you have to go up the stairs from the city center. The view of the city, and especially of the cathedral in the middle is nice from here, just have a higher tripod, as there are bushes here and there in the way.
Right when you are entering the center of the city, you will see a small parking area on the right side, that looks like its private and off limits. But it isn’t. Just go there, and you will even find benches under the trees. It gives another very nice view of the castle and the rivers bend.
Another very nice view of the city center, with one big problem. The problem are the very strong flood lights that you get right in your face. So if you want to get a photo from here, either do it during the day, or do as I did, include more of the bridge. Like this you will hide from the lights.