Challenge: Skylines (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Canon EOS-50D
Lens: Canon EF-S 15-85mm IS USM
Date: Jul 28, 2011
Shutter: 1/4 - 1/15
Galleries: Nature, High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Date Uploaded: Jul 29, 2011
|When this challenge was announced, I knew I was going to do a classic Madison skyline from across Lake Mendota. It's a skyline that has been shot many times with the capital towering over every other building in the city, lit up brighter than any other building, and always the focal point.
A few days after the challenge was announced, I went to Olin Turville Park to take my first stab at this shot. IT turned out only ok. The sky, while having some color, was mostly dull due to lack of clouds and being pretty late. The late light also meant the lights in the city were overly bright, causing me to stop down 2 full stops and bring it up in post (which never looks as nice). With that result, I was going to head out very early Saturday morning to get the first rays of the sun rise hitting the buildings.
But then Thursday night happened. I decided to go out and see what kind of rural scene I could find. Being in Wisconsin, there must be a farm atop a hill with a big tree or something? No? Damn. Well, I'll just ride around a bit while the sun sets and see what I see.
Suddenly, nature tossed my a hanging curve ball. The clouds separated from the horizon, and the sun filled the opening. I was excited, but knew I had to find a good scene to make this light useful. While driving down a county road, I looked out the driver's side window to see this. The sun kissing the tops of a soybean field with a perfectly placed tree, rolling hills, and textures clouds to match. I slammed on the brakes, sending my dog in the backseat flying, grabbed my camera, ran down through the prickly ditch to the edge of this field, and got my shot. As I drove home, I was smiling, knowing I had something special.
My one worry for this challenge was is this going to be considered a Skyline by votes. There is definitely a skyline in the shot, and the description just says that you need a skyline in the photo. So will some consider it a horizon instead? I don't know, but I did a lot of Google searches to figure out the differences between the two terms, and nothing significant came up, so this theoretically shouldn't make a difference.
* Chromatic Aberration
* Combine 3 exposures in Nik HDR Efex Pro (while watching for halo effects around the tree very closely)
* Topaz DeNoise
* Increased Black Point
* Increased Contrast
* Increased Saturation and Vibrancy
* Reduced blue saturation
* Light burn around the tree to reduce some halos that somehow crept in
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