My plan was to go the Saturday Flea Market, but arrived too late after meandering small picturesque alleys (canals) in the city and ended up shooting the market place, esp Hudson’s Bay in here…
It would be better to rent a bicycle to have round trip of the city canals, but I took a walk due to winter breeze … Well… early Nov is not exactly winter time in Netherlands but I came from Taiwan, you know… :- )
Raw file processing
If you look this kind of raw file for the first time, may wonder what it could be at the end… But no worry, this is decently good raw file. It is under exposed deliberately to avoid highlight washout, in this case lighting of the mall.
Basic Processing in LightRoom
- First of all, adjust the color temperature. In night photography, the white balance does not mean much. The nighttime lighting is not a white light, but a mixture of various artificial lighting, mainly with tungsten lights. I adjust 3200, -19 to 4650, -2 (refer table below)
- Secondly, adjust the exposure. ‘How to’ will vary person to person, but for nighttime photographs for me, set Highlights and Shadows to -100 / + 100, then adjust White and Black. One thing to note is the picture resembled somewhat ‘HDR look’ in this method…
- Apply lens profile
Strange enough, LightRoom does not provide the Tamron 24-135 lens profile. Although it is an older lens, it does not seem to be reason why, as LR offers even older Tamron 28-200 lens’ profile. Here, I have applied the 28-200 profile which is the most similar type & age of 24-135 lens
- For Camera calibration, I used Camera Landscape profile
Long exposure effect
I took 5 identical pictures on shooting. In the case of the Sony A7R II, you can select the ‘Self-timer 2 sec + 5 exposures’ in the self-timer menu. The time of the self-timer can be changed to 2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, and the number of shoots can be changed to 3, 5, 7 shots, for your information. This is a convenient & flexible matrix for long exposures
I stack 5 photos of 8 second exposure in Photoshop (Stack> Mean) to get 40 seconds exposure photo. In this scene, the reflection of the light in the water varies on the exposure time, so it is necessary to combine several photographs to see what will be the best for expression.
Select 5 photos in LightRoom, then select Edit in > Open as layers in Photoshop
In Photoshop menu
- Edit> Auto-align layers
- Layers> Convert Smart Image
- Finally, select Layers> Convert Smart Image> Stack> Mean
Five photos are combined to create a photo with 5 times exposure
Final touch in LightRoom
- For buildings, use the Transform function to align the vertical lines.
- I added brush work to lighten dark areas around dock. If there is no black in the picture, it will be too soft expression. If there are too many, it will be a ‘rough’ expression. There is no right or wrong answer. Brush work is purely personal taste & intention how to express the photo…