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Manhattan Lights
Manhattan Lights
Neil


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Hidden Gem -- 1,000th Challenge! (Advanced Editing VII*)
Collection: A Prints Pending
Camera: Canon EOS-350D Rebel XT
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Location: New York City, NY
Date: Jan 7, 2007
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/8
Galleries: Cityscape, Landscape
Date Uploaded: Mar 10, 2009

I thought this would do much better, but I guess the perception that it's heavily altered is the most important thing--even if it really wasn't. The sunset WAS this incredible. The major thing I did here, and probably goofed on, was to boost the contrast on the black side), and then perhaps brightened up the buildings too much. In fact, because of the backlight, the buildings needed the most work, but they brightened up very easily (and perhaps I went too far).

I did not use Topaz on this as some seem to think. Or tonemapping, or HDR.

Of course, the original RAW isn't this saturated. I may have touched the saturation in the last edits, but I think what i did mostly were levels and contrast changes. Oh and I ended up cropping it a bit more so the horizon was less centered.

I have these handy from the Archive POTW, so I'll point here. This is actually a different shot, taken a bit later. So the sky is a little different, and more localized, but you can see how intense and beautiful it was even there. It's mainly the buildings that need to be brought out.

RAW: ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/10000-14999/12253/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_752829.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/10000-14999/12253/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_752829.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Processed:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/10000-14999/12253/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_752895.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/10000-14999/12253/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_752895.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I was planning on entering this wider shot, but when it was reduced, even a little, I started to get worried people would see it as "too small" in details, making it lose a focal point. So I went with the one I did and made the mistake of a boost at the end.

And by the way, it makes an incredible print either on paper or canvas! An earlier edit of this photo was a Kodak Picture of the Day and will be printed in a book about how to shoot winning photos.


Statistics
Place: 164 out of 1129
Avg (all users): 6.2028
Avg (commenters): 7.0750
Avg (participants): 6.1866
Avg (non-participants): 6.2875
Views since voting: 1182
Views during voting: 735
Votes: 498
Comments: 88
Favorites: 5 (view)


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AuthorThread
03/21/2009 12:59:59 AM
should have scored higher. love this
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/18/2009 02:04:07 PM
Neil, for me this had several strikes against it. First, I felt inundated by sunsets in this challenge, so this suffered in comparison. Second, if my score is hovering between two numbers, and I see a letterbox frame, I'll probably go with the lower number, because I think a letterbox frame adds a quality that isn't inherent to the photo. (I realize that may be unfair, but it's my own personal pet peeve lately). Most important, though, as a result of processing I thought this ended up sort of "muddy." I agree with Ken that the print version looks more realistic and may I add sharper.

Originally posted by oldbimmercoupe:

call me a conspiracy nut, but I also detect an anti-NYC bias here.

Oh yeah, there's that, too. I *know* that's why my entry bombed. ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/18/2009 01:47:33 PM
call me a conspiracy nut, but I also detect an anti-NYC bias here. top of the rock is great place to watch sunsets and really feel the power of midtown far above I(most of) the damn tourists. this is a fine job of raw processing. this would be trite and boring without your heavy hand in processing. it would just be a snap, not art. super job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/18/2009 10:04:51 AM
I thought this would have scored better also, but to me it looks like the saturation was boosted, especially compared to your print version. The print version looks more natural, IMO.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
03/17/2009 11:58:24 PM
a little over the top, but then again, what about the city isn't ;-) nice shot. i'll bet you wish they had a frequent riders discount on that elevator...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 10:26:06 PM
Incredible sunset. Great reflections on the Hudson. City is all lit up without the characteristic "surround glow" of lights at night.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 09:19:54 PM
Awesome capture! 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 09:05:13 PM
Nice view of the city lights but feel it has been a bit over saturated.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 08:38:21 PM
well done
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 05:37:29 PM
Very dramatic!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 02:40:55 PM
I like it as much now as I did the first time I saw it, though I still prefer the wider one, personally :-) Hope you're faring well. I contributed an 8 to the total.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 10:24:00 AM
Awesome photo - Loving the color and light. Just beautiful to look at. A favorite. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 10:11:15 AM
Great colors, I love all the lights on in the buildings, really captures the feeling of a metropolis.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 10:03:08 AM
Nice scene but too heavily processed for my personal taste. Very cartoon like. I expect to see spiderman swinging from rooftop to rooftop any moment.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 09:29:57 AM
Dramatic sky and a nice pattern of city lights with the river in the background catching the red and adding interest. The tone mapping/topaz (?) post-processing gives the image an almost graphic novel feel - I can see this as the cover pages with a superhero in the foreground looking out over the scene :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 09:18:37 AM
Top of the rock? Spectacular sunset.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 03:52:57 AM
A bit overprocessed to my liking.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 02:58:12 AM
man you got lucky for this sunset!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/17/2009 01:56:03 AM
Fantastic shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 11:10:05 PM
Exceptional! All that foreground AND background detail.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 07:53:02 PM
Great colors, very nice picture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 06:25:05 PM
Like a drawing. Lovely.

Not voting yet.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 02:25:38 PM
Good shot. Almost looks like comic book material.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 01:34:10 PM
WOW, what a capture. City that never sleeps. I think this is taken from NBC tower, right? I have been there. Great shot indeed. 10+
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 01:17:10 PM
Seen this one before, but I don't recall whose it is. Looks like a nuclear bomb going off across the river. A little scary, actually.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 12:52:05 PM
wow. what else can i say. really. wow.

this looks like a scene from this book i read a few years ago called "so you want to be a wizard". i know it sounds corny, but it was an excellent 400 page book for 12-13yr olds. this could be the cover(if it was new york, i dont know if it is or not:/)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 10:49:16 AM
wonderful , seven from me
;D brano
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/16/2009 04:02:46 AM
nice shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 09:48:13 PM
What a beauty ... love the reflection in the river
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 09:15:53 PM
One of the best shots of NY I have ever seen. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 04:46:30 PM
Amazing colors and detail, congratulations!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 03:33:44 PM
Beautiful cityscape
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 01:12:06 PM
Bold and colorful
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 12:05:55 PM
really great with the super saturation, very illustrative in feel
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 12:04:25 PM
awesome colors. good clarity.. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 10:22:21 AM
Very nice image. It's good to see a few "great" images. This is a perfect reflection of your abilities as a photographer.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 09:34:52 AM
Great shot. Love the colors of the sky, and the lights of the buildings.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 07:45:33 AM
Beautiful colored evening view of the city.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 07:03:27 AM
The red is a tad strong, I would have increased the contrast more to brighen up the buildings a little. This is like a scene from SIn city. , 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/15/2009 05:53:33 AM
lovely night shot just stunning tone -8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 10:55:35 PM
That's dramatic and surreal looking. Probably too oversaturated but it certainly shouts out "Wow, look at me!".
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 08:07:24 PM
SPECTACULAR!!! Some people are going to tell you too much colour, contrast or sat but don't listen to them. You have a great style and this photo is perfect! Best of luck. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 07:53:40 PM
Good idea but way overprocessed...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 07:39:59 PM
Nice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 06:48:34 AM
Vibrant colours! Great sunset, well captured!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/14/2009 06:33:49 AM
Colors ar spectacular
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 11:07:38 PM
wow, another awesome cityscape of NY. The sky is gorgeous, and I like all the lights in the buildings. Great photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 07:22:43 PM
Extremely colorful sunset. I might have liked to point the camera just a bit more downwards. You would not have to lose too much sky and would bring in more of the city. It feels too cut off at the bottom for me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 06:32:34 PM
wow, real end of days sky there! Great pov over the city
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 06:07:13 PM
Very vivid colors. Nice lighting.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 04:02:37 PM
Great vantage point. I love the red sky.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 03:21:19 PM
I'm hoping to leave comments on as many photo's in this challenge as possible... out of (currently) 1124 images, I gave 31 of them a 9. Your image was one of those 31.

Lots of nighttime/sunset/cityscape type shots in this challenge, but yours is simply spellbinding. I've only ever been to Manhattan twice in my life, and it's one of those places you either love or hate. I love it, but I've never seen it rendered so beautifully. This wouldn't look out of place on any gallery wall. Two things make me jealous.. the fact that you're in New York and I'm not, and the fact that you have the skills to take such a wonderful photograph.

Good luck for a strong finish in this challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 02:48:59 PM
Wow - this is brilliant! The colors are great, the details are superb. Lovely!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 12:38:17 PM
great color in the sky
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 12:26:44 PM
Top of the Rock? Very nice indeed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 11:52:37 AM
Beautifully captured and presented. I love cityscapes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 09:46:11 AM
Beautiful picture!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 03:35:15 AM
Too over processed for my tastes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/13/2009 12:45:57 AM
Just a lil bit over done for my tastes. Just a lil bit. Still nice to look at. 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 11:18:02 PM
Great cityscape! Great capture of the lights and the sky!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 09:48:50 PM
wow firey love it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 09:23:09 PM
this is awesome, great sky color, this should be on a wall 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 06:49:03 PM
Wish to get a capture akin to this one, one day. Looks like mother nature didn't dissapoint either. The shadows look very pitch black on my screen. Would be excellent if just the slightest detail came out. I'd imagine this would look great on printed glossy. (no vote)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 06:18:53 PM
Beautiful sunset highlighted by the great angle of the shot. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 04:29:20 PM
almost pushed the colors to much...but quite the beautiful sky
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 03:47:40 PM
Wow...this photo is just beautiful. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 02:22:13 PM
Cool sky. Great colors. 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 12:31:02 PM
I like the lighting of this one. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 10:36:30 AM
Very nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 08:20:54 AM
Great job - very interesting image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/12/2009 03:07:28 AM
Defintitely got the WOWWWW factor!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 10:55:19 PM
Red sky does not look real.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 10:48:25 PM
I like the clarity, processing a little much for my taste
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 10:24:39 PM
its cool, and the sunset colors are fantastic, but I think the small size probably kills it. I don't know if its oversharpened, or over HDR'd but something just seems overdone here... However, I do like this image quite a bit on its own--it almost could be a spread in a comic book.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 09:12:01 PM
Cool shot. Love Manhattan! It's a little grainy though (might want to try smoothing out the sky).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 08:20:08 PM
Very nice cityscape.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 06:28:03 PM
Beautiful scene. Very well processed
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 05:48:26 PM
Interesting interpretation of the Big Apple. Incredible sky.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 05:12:51 PM
That blood red sky is almost apocalyptic. Quite stunning!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 04:58:12 PM
NShapiro? Really good shot you have here.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 04:36:38 PM
Great photo- I'd like to see more building detail around their lights.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 10:52:04 AM
Very nice capture of NY, Would look nice as a wall covering.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 09:31:22 AM
i wish this was done with a wider lens so you can see the rest of the buildings and not just the tops. great colors... looks almost cartoonish.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 08:57:28 AM
Looks like the apocalypse.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 08:22:31 AM
Very dramatic -- well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 08:17:02 AM
A little to much contrast for me but its a nice city scape.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 01:16:54 AM
This is so beautiful. You are lucky to have the opportunity to shoot this lovely scene!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/11/2009 12:57:42 AM
What a skyline! I wonder if you went to this vantage point because of the sunset or if you were lucky that day. You caught that at just the right time of day. I bet that a minute before and a minute after it wasn't nearly as good - the balance of the city lights and sunset is perfect!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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