Day 93 – Staying Out Late in the City   11 comments

This is the Art Gallery of Alberta, located in downtown Edmonton across from city hall. It’s a stunning building that stands out dramatically from its rather boxy neighbours. Unlike most of my recent posts, this is most definitely not a heritage site. In fact, when I looked it up in Google Street View I found it was nothing but a skeleton of a building – all steel bars and construction site. The new AGA opened just over a year ago on January 31, 2010.

I shot this last Tuesday night at 10pm. It turns out downtown Edmonton is a bit on the quiet side on a Tuesday night. There were very few cars and only a handful of other people out on the street. To capture this shot, I stood at the entrance to a subway station so there was a bit of foot traffic. I don’t wander around dark, quiet cities at night with expensive camera equipment often enough to be entirely comfortable with the prospect. You never know if there are unsavoury characters lurking around dark corners. Of course, I am armed with a pretty solid tripod…

Processing notes: HDR from five separate JPEGs that I generated from a single RAW file. I processed this in Photomatix Pro and in HDR Efex Pro. I preferred the latter which gave me a better sets of presets to start from and access to selective controls to shift exposure in specific areas of the shot. I added tonal contrast with Color Efex Pro to add a bit more punch to the photo. That added a bit of grain to the sky so I ran Dfine 2.0 to reduce noise in the overall image. The lens flare from all the street lights left me with a couple of spots I didn’t want so I removed those with the cloning tool. I added the border with Silver Efex Pro and retained the colour in the shot by blending with luminosity.



11 responses to “Day 93 – Staying Out Late in the City

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  1. Sparkly! Very cool, and quite different from its daytime look.

  2. This is very interesting, I like night photography and the effect HDR has.

  3. You did very well with this long exposed shot. Love the colors, shapes, besides the sparkle.

    • Cheers Sasi! The metadata obviously didn’t make it through my processing, but this was a 30s exposure stopped way down to get the sparkle from the lights.

  4. A beautiful dance of colors and shapes! Love this image!!!

  5. Interesting, I’ve always heard that one can’t manually build HDR from a single raw file, but it looks like you have popped the bubble on that myth in this photograph. Nicely done. I’m envious of the subjects you have the opportunity to shoot way up there in Alberta.

    • When I first moved here, I really felt there was little to shoot, but coming up on 100 days I still have lots of ideas! And yes, no worries building an HDR shot from one RAW file. I just saved the RAW as five different exposures and it worked really well. HDR Efex Pro actually lets you create an HDR image from just one shot. I think it just tone maps it so it looks HDR-ish.

  6. Pingback: Day 126 – Contrast in Style, The Art Gallery Revisited « Blog Archive « In Search of Style

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