London, England – Street Light (HDR) + HDR Tip!


London is amazing and taking photos there is challenging and fun! A tripod while shooting near the river Thames is difficult as the Police will shut you down. So set up, grabs your brackets quickly and move along…maybe you can catch the shot you are looking for! After being hassled on either side of the bridge, I started my walk back to get a close up of Big Ben. This shot is from walking over the Westminster Bridge. I loved the street lights stopped set my gear tip and grabbed the shot! Cheers!

Processing HDR Tip: Software these days is awesome! I have noted a big jump in sharpness of my HDR pics. Let me tell you my secrets!
1) I switched from using Photomatix to HDR Efex Pro. I feel as though HDR Efex Pro is sharper when producing tone mapped photos right out of the gate!
2) I add NIK’s Tonal Contrast filter to my HDR’s. Mask any areas that added additional noise due to the process (especially skies).
3) onOne Software’s Photo Tool 2.6: I use “Portrait Sharpen” filter on every picture! onOne rocks!! I can’t live without onOne. It is my favorite!

That is all! These three steps help sharpen my shots!! Of course start out with a sharp pic from the get go with a tripod!

Talke Photography Settings:

Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 22.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/3.8
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

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Prague, Czech Republic – Old Town Astronomical Clock

This is the famous Old Town Astronomical Clock in Prague.   A very cool sight to witness if you ever visit this amazing city.  Here is some info from the web:   The Astronomical Clock, built in to one side of the Old Town Hall Tower, dates from the 15th century. To fully appreciate the clock’s intricate construction, join the crowd in front of the tower to observe the procession of the Twelve Apostles: on the hour, every hour, a small trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a defiant statue of a Turk.  Below the Astronomical Clock are 12 medallions with the signs of the zodiac, added by Josef Manes in 1865. The Old Town Hall Tower, built in 1338, is one of the most striking buildings in Prague. Inside is a staircase and an elevator. For a fee, visitors can climb or ride to the top to experience terrific views over the Old Town Square and the rest of the Old Town.

Up in the tower is where I had taken the sunset shots of the city from pervious posts.  I cannot wait to go back to Prague…hopefully in the summer!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 VR f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 80.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/5
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro