Thursday, November 18, 2010

#HDR Times Square at night - fun with a fisheye...

I'm a big fan of the super wide view one gets by using a fisheye lens. This scene was photographed with a Nikon 16mm fisheye lens, which by tilting, created the distortion of the architecture. This lens pulls everything together in an interesting way. Technically, if the lens is held level, you get an ultra-wide view without the bendy look. Perfection can be obtained with a tilt shift lens, but this is kind of fun, don't you think? I'd like to go back and photograph this scene with a tilt shift lens just to be able to create a different look, on my list for next time!

Another way to create a different look is to convert an image to black and white. This changes the dynamics a bit. Instead of color, other elements in the composition become more important such as texture, pattern, light, shadow and contrast. Black and white has a nostalgic and timeless look, think Ansel Adams. I used Nik Silver Efex Pro to convert this image to black and white. However, if you want to have a little more fun, add a layer mask and brush back in some of the color in the image. This has a lot of impact if you have a singular subject to "color" in the composition, but it works well for general eye popping results too!

If you want to go for complete vintage, try a sepia look. You can do this right in Nik Silver Efex Pro using one of the Stylizing Toning presets. This is also super simple to do in Photoshop. Create a Hue Saturation adjustment layer. Check Colorize, and change the Saturation to 12 and the Hue to 36. Play with those numbers to suit your image. This Times Square photo is an HDR image created with Nik HDR Efex Pro, which allowed detail to be retained in both the highlight and shadows areas of this very high contrast composition. Can't wait to get back to NYC! ~ Deb