HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

View from the top

First off, happy belated Mother’s Day to all you moms out there.  I didn’t get a chance to post anything yesterday, so I missed the chance to actually send the wishes on the actual holiday.


I spent the afternoon yesterday with my family at my sister’s apartment on Mt. Washington, which is featured above and many other times on this blog and my flickr page.  I hadn’t planned on taking very many pictures, as it seems like I have every conceivable view from the various overlooks that watch over the city, but there is just something about being up there that you can’t help but take a few brackets.  I did try something a little different (which you will see in a few days), which was put the 70-200 2.8 on and get some HDRs at 200mm.  That is an incredible piece of glass, and I think that I may start using it more often.

I also tried to do something a little different with today’s shot in terms of composition.  Most of the time that a photographer is up there (myself included) they get so mesmerized by the skyline that they forget about Station Square, which is right below the far overlooks.  In the summer, the trees grow so thick that you can’t really see through them, but they aren’t quite at that point yet, so I thought that I would give a view both of the far end of Station Square as well as the skyline.  It was pretty cool how the entire city was glowing, even Station Square, and how the parking lot looked like some kind of spaceship ready to take off.

This is a seven exposure HDR processed with Photomatix with some touch up work done in CS5.  I masked in the entire +3 exposure, as there wasn’t a whole lot of noise in the sky, but I wanted to even it out a bit.  I also used the -3 exposure to mask in all the names you see on top of the buildings, as the HDR process really blew them out.  Adjusted the red tones down slightly, as they seemed to be too warm for the rest of the shot, and then ran it through both Color Efex (Tonal Contrast and Color Cast Removal) and onOne PhotoTools (sharpening) to give it more punch.

I was going to post the shots that I posted over the weekend, but I don’t think that they really fit the other shot.  You are more than welcome to head on over to my flickr site to check on my posts from Saturday and Sunday.

So for some reason last week, my e-mail address associated with my blog was not allowing me to comment on any other blog, no matter the host site.  I’ve since updated my e-mail so I should be back to commenting as normal.

Hope you all had a great weekend and have a happy Monday.


22 responses

  1. Hi Dave,

    Awesome shot with lots to focus on. Thanks for sharing how you process these great images. Always interesting for sure!

    May 9, 2011 at 7:25 am

    • Thanks Craig! And no problem at all! I figure that I am always curious as to the settings and methods, so that’s why I share!

      May 9, 2011 at 8:39 am

  2. Dave that’s SICK! That may be my favorite shot of all of your wonderful work, it just totally screams AWESOMENESS!! Great work my friend. Jim

    May 9, 2011 at 8:01 am

    • Thanks a lot Jim, I really appreciate that! I tried to come up with a different perspective of a very over photographed spot!

      May 9, 2011 at 8:40 am

  3. Wow what a fantastic photo. I could see this on a post card. Great shot! And your right the 70-200 2.8 is a great piece of glass.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

    • Thanks Ryan, I appreciate you stopping by! I really need to start using it more, I have a bit of wide angle addition though. I’ve been taking the 50 1.4 out a bit more to get away from seeing the world at 16mm!

      May 9, 2011 at 8:40 am

  4. Great stuff Dave. I love the composition, the water, the bridge… all around awesomeness dude.

    May 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

  5. Great photo, Dave.
    Man, that’s some view. Ryan is right, postcard ready. 🙂

    May 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

    • Thanks Jimi! I may have to end up printing this one!

      May 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

  6. Just a ridiculous shot! Love all the colors! I’m glad you included Station Square, it does a great job balancing out the scene!

    May 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

    • Thanks Chris, for as many times as I’ve been up here shooting (25+) that’s the first time I thought about doing that!

      May 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

  7. Freaking amazing man! So much light going on here, it’s great!

    May 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

    • Thanks Aaron! It’s a photographer’s dream!

      May 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

  8. Very nice final rendering. I agree with the others, the foreground detail turns a generic sky scraper scene in to something unique.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:56 am

  9. Thanks for stopping by Wayne!!!

    May 9, 2011 at 11:58 am

  10. Ok, glorious is the first word that comes to mind as I view this image! The purples and golds keep me glued to the frame that’s non-stop light! So much more than the typical skyline.

    May 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    • Thanks a lot for stopping by Barbara! I appreciate that!

      May 10, 2011 at 7:17 am

  11. Great work on this, from composition to processing!

    May 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm

  12. That’s one amazing shot, Dave! Definitely deserves to be published in a high-profile medium.

    May 10, 2011 at 7:12 am

    • Thanks Rob! if only I could get the city to notice my work!

      May 10, 2011 at 7:17 am

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