Report of a shooting


Report of a shooting

The plan…

…was to leave home in time with the tripod, go get the DSLR, left at work, and go to a new location. Try to get some blue hour shots of the city and some night time shots with the lights on, then blend them in post processing.

What actually happened

After convincing the son, that it is better to make a cake with mother than to stand around in the cold for one hour doing nothing, I finally leave the house too late. I still need to go to work and get the DSLR and then go to the shooting location. Halfway to work I notice I forgot the tripod, so I spontaneously buy my birthday present, a Gorillapod Hybrid, to now use it with the small machine, a Panasonic lx100, which is always in my bag. Back in the car, I pass our residence (which you might know from this post: Enhancing local contrast vs. global contrast. ) and decide to shoot in the gardens as the light seems to be good there and I am already late.

So I set up the typical symmetrical and boring shot…

…and feel quite disappointed. I wander around and find a nicer view with the castle framed by a tree, a statue and the residence. I reset up, connect my camera via WIFI with my mobile so I don’t get shaky images and start taking multiple exposures.

After about 45 minutes of shooting as the sun goes down, including some totally failed experiments in light painting, I pack my things and go back to the car. Still in the gardens a couple approaches me, whether I know how to get out as the gates are closed. We realize that all the gates are closed and there’s no coming out, after all they built those old walls and gates high for a reason.
We finally can talk to somebody still working in the residence and he calls somebody else, who then calls somebody else, who then drives into the city, is stuck in a jam and in the end opens a door for us. Yes, for us as we are 7 people in the end, who didn’t read the small sign which said closing at 17:00, 3 romantic couples and one nerdy photographer…

The Processing

So now I am back home with a ton of mutliple exposures and do the usual routine, develop tiffs in RT, blend them with Hugin and then finalize them in RT.

The result is as expected. I have done this before and I know It is good but it doesn’t surprise me on a processing level, even though it is surprising how a blended image looks when the contrast of the scene was more like this:

As my original goal was to go for an Elia Locardi inspired blending of different times, I thought let’s do the exposure blending in Gimp by hand using masks. So I chose three exposures which I thought represented al the image. And right away I ran into one of the typical long exposure problems: wind.
I had not noticed it but it was enough to move the leaves on the trees and thus I have artifacts there which are tedious to correct by hand. finished the processing anyway because I wanted to see how, apart from these artifacts, I would fare with the blending and finally got result I very much like.

I upload this unperfect image here on purpose, because:

  1. it is part of a fun evening
  2. it shows the potential of the technique and
  3. it also shows the problems, like moving parts and proper masking of the transitions between the exposures