HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

King for a night

I believe that it has become almost customary that I post a shot from the Penguin game the day after, especially if I was there, which I was last night.  It was a pivotal game, not in terms of the opponent, but in terms of the confidence level of the team, as the ranks have been depleted with injuries, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz.  However, we got some big time play from some big times players, especially Jordan Staal, pictured here, who got the game winner with 18 seconds left in overtime, and the Pens were victorious 2-1 over the Los Angeles Kings (ahhh, there’s the reference to the title).

I have been blessed in terms of the area of the country that I live in and the sporting events that I get to attend.  As everyone probably knows by now, I am not a Steelers fan, however there is something to be said for the enthusiasm of their fans in the city.  I can’t really relate to going to Heinz Field, the home of the Steelers, to watch a game, however I can hear what it gets like on TV as well as hear how incredible it is from friends and family.  I obviously get to attend Penguin games, as my wife works for the team, and more nights than not the Consol Energy Center is rocking.  It can be difficult for fans to get really pumped up and excited for the forty one home games a year, compared to the eight that the Steelers play, but when you win in dramatic fashion like we did last night, you swear the building is going to collapse. 

With hockey, different than baseball and football when you can see a score coming, you never know if your team scored until that puck crosses the goal line.  And when it does, it is so exciting to see 18,000 people all jump up and starting cheering and screaming and high fiving everyone around them (whoops, don’t spill that beer!).  It is such a fast action sport, there is always excitement, big hits, breakaways, great saves by the goalies.  If you haven’t been to a hockey game before, it certainly is worth the trip!

Aside from hockey, we have PNC Park.  Now, we do have the worst baseball team of the past two decades, the Pirates, but that stadium is something to go watch a game in.  You have a view of the entire skyline of Pittsburgh, and on fireworks night, the city lit up in all the different colors, it is an incredible view!  I’ve also had the privilege of gong to several Penn State Nittany Lion football games.  You want an electric atmosphere, go to one of those.  You have almost 110,000 people in the same building, with upwards of 20,000 students, and half of the crowd has been drinking since five hours before game time.  During Penn State home games, State College (where Penn State University resides) becomes the third largest city in Pennsylvania.

Ok, enough sports talk for today and on to the shot!  I’ve already debuted the S95 on my flickr page and my blog, but this is the first HDR that I will have posted from it.  I took this last night at the game from the Brewhouse, the best place to get food and drink at the new Consol Energy Center.  It has a great view overlooking the city, and last night the lighting was perfect, a nice blue hour with a hint of sun on the horizon.  The warm glow of the traffic lights looked great against the sky!

For the processing, this is a three exposure HDR that I put the camera on the ledge, set the self timer and snapped away.  Put it through HDR Efex and then over the CS5.  Added a warming filter to cool off the blue just a bit, added some contrast, recovered from highlights from the skyline as well as masked out a slight halo.  Masked in one of the moving cars and lastly reduced the noise.  I wasn’t thrilled about having the church in the corner of the frame and you can still see a bit of noise it the roof, but I still like the shot.  For the picture of Jordan Staal, I adjusted the white balance (because shooting the arena is terrible lighting), decreased the overall saturation, reduced the red levels to give his face a more natural look and added a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex.

That’s all for this week amigos and amigas, take care and enjoy your weekend.

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