Always when I edit a photo taken with the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 lens, I just cant believe how sharp it it. Al my other lenses are sharp, but this one is just crazy sharp. But I’m not complaining :) It just could be a little lighter. The first year I had that lens, I almost never used it, as I never had it with me. But now I take it every time.

Btw. how about a little editing tip :) It easily can happen, that when you use Photoengine or Photomatix, your results look less realistic. It’s very dependent on the settings you use, but the biggest reason for this is, that the light distribution is not as it should be. The results have usually everything in the same level of brightness. It just isn’t like that in reality. But there is a simple way you can make it much better. Just take the HDR result from Photoengine/Photomatix and load it into Photoshop with the original 0EV photo in separate layers. Put the original on top of the HDR and set it to 20-40% opacity. And that’s all. This will darker the areas that should be dark, and brighten the areas that should be bright. The effect is subtle, but the photo looks much more realistic after that.

I also used it for this photo. This is a HDR created from 5 exposures in Oloneo Photoengine, finished in Photoshop.
A small part of the city

I can’t wait until they repair this bridge and it again will be accessible. It should look a little different, and be a tram bridge, not a road bridge. I already plan to get a nice long exposure during the blue hour, with the trap creating a light trail through the whole bridge :)

This is an older shot, from when I was testing the HOYA ND400 filter. That’s the reason why the water is so nice as its from a 32 second exposure. This is a HDR created in Oloneo Photoengine from 6 exposures (I did the +3EV for the bridge) and finished in Photoshop.
Long exposure sunset

Strange to see the winter over, with only one week of snow after us. Not that the winters in Bratislava are very cold, but usually we get at least few weeks of snow. Funny, that last year, and the year before, I had problems with my travels due to heavy snowing. This year, of course, when I don’t travel this month, no snow in sight. But I got few photos with the little snow, and here is one.

This is a manual blend from three exposures.
A little snow

I never tried to shoot stars in the middle of a city, and I haven’t seen many photographers doing it either. But after the experiment I posted two days ago, I thought I give it another try. Of course shooting just stars does not work that well, but shooting star trails works much better. You don’t need to have so many stars visible in the shot, to be able to get visible star trails after blending.

As this was only an experiment, I was really not sure if I get something usable. The sky looked so clear, until we got to the spot, and then few almost invisible clouds started moving across the sky (I seen them only when checking the photos). But still, I seen enough stars on the shots, to give it a try. Next time I just need to take many more shots, as the trails are shorter than I hoped for.

This is a blend of 48 exposures for the sky (30s, f2.8 and ISO 100), and additional 8 exposure HDR for the foreground.
Midnight experiment

I just could not fall asleep yesterday. It’s possible it was due to the full moon shining directly into my bedroom window. But as the sky was very clear yesterday I got up and set up the camera on the balcony of my flat. Just for fun, to see what I get. And I was pleasantly surprised with the result. Even while shooting in the middle of a city, I got very nice star-trails. This gives me a lot of ideas where to try this next time :)

This is a blend of 86 exposures in Photoshop. The big bright line on the top is of course the moon. Looks almost like a falling asteroid, like in the movie Armageddon :)
Armageddon

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