The secret to improving is to keep reading and examining photos from accomplished photographers. I often tear apart components in a picture, trying to figure out what it is about that image that I find attractive. I love night photography – the warm, yellow glow coming from buildings, the changing colours of darkening sky, the way headlights streaks offer a sense of motion to the evening. But it’s frustrating to capture. One site I’ve been studying made a recommendation that set all sorts of bells go off in my head.
Use the camera’s histogram.
I know I’ve read this before, and I use it extensively with Photoshop, but this time, it made resonated. Not sure why it did, but we’ll just enjoy the epiphany for a bit. I’ve prepared two of the photos to show. One I converted to black and white, the other I left in full colour.
Streets of Toronto photos
After setting up the tripod, I fussed with a number of settings and just watched the histogram bounce around. Adjustment, after adjustment and a couple of test shots and I was good to go.
This was fun. I found a good focus point and waited. Thank goodness for the remote clicker. Saved my hands from freezing off. This photo looked good in full colour, but the black and white brought out the mirror effect in the tall building. Instead of seeing just cars coming, my eye was drawn to reflections. I’m still working on the rest from this spot and will post more later in the week.
Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame
I’ve taken more photos of the Hockey Hall of Fame than I care to think about. It’s not easy to get. A lot is happening on that corner of Yonge and Front and that makes getting a good shot difficult. But, I have to say, this picture makes me happy.
This was epic. When I set up on the corner of Front and Yonge, suddenly the traffic evaporated. And I wanted to capture their lights. I waited and waited. Finally, cars and trucks appeared.
The warm yellows and deep blue came out so well in this series of shots. The building remained in focus and the street signs tie the photo together. I managed to capture the truck rushing by as well. I did a little happy dance on the street when I reviewed this one. So, yea, if you were down near the Hockey Hall of Fame last night and saw a small woman dancing around a tripod, that was me.
I shouldn’t be, but I’m surprised at the sharpness. It all boils down to using the tripod and watching the histogram. There were no blown highlights, so I had lots of room for adjustments in Lightroom. I think, this is the first set of photos I’ve taken that I’m truly proud of because of all the work I put into understanding the basics.
I have more photos to process, so check back later in the week for another round. Also, in March there will be a super moon, which is why I’m so hot on learning more. Fingers crossed the weather will cooperate. Check out these earlier night shots I took in December and compare them to these new ones. Research & experimentation my friends. That’s the secret.