Category: Waterfront Park

Using Photoshop CC For HDR images

Louisville, Kentucky cityscape at sunset.
Sunset cityscape of Louisville, Kentucky as fall approaches.

With the approach of Fall, I have started photographing Waterfront Park and the Louisville cityscape as the season progresses. I am also experimenting with using Photoshop CC to merge my bracket sets because Google is no longer supporting the NIK HDR eFex 2 software. Even though I have used NIK HDR eFex 2 for nearly ten years I realize that it will eventually be obsolete due to advances in both computers and operating systems. Rather than continue to work in NIK HDR eFex 2 I know it is time for me to find a viable solution to my desire to shoot and process HDR images. Adobe Photoshop CC does an excellent job of merging bracketed images.

For these images, I am using Photoshop CC layers and Topaz Clarity as a final layer to fine tune the contrast and color in the finished images.

Abraham Lincoln Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky.
Piers under the Abraham Lincoln Bridge at sunset. The shoreline is Waterfront Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

In this image I wanted to shoot from Indiana back across the river to Kentucky under the Abraham Lincoln Bridge. I set up my tripod just before the sun dropped below the horizon and hoped to get some good light on the piers that support the bridge. I was also taken by the rose color of the light and how it lit the forms of the piers. The sky was very pastel along the southern side of the river and I wanted to capture that feature of the sunset; as an additional element I felt it was important to include the clouds on the left to balance the composition.

This image too is a three frame bracket merged in Photoshop CC and then opened in Adobe Camera Raw to make most of my basic image adjustments. Once that was done I returned it to Photoshop CC and added an additional layer that I used Topaz Clarity as a filter to fine tune the final contrast and color.

Photographing Louisville at Night From The Ohio River Bridges Project, Downtown Span, Tower Three

Louisville's spaghetti junction at night from atop the western tower on pier three of the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Louisville’s spaghetti junction at night from atop the western tower on pier three of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

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A couple of weeks ago I climbed up on the western tower on Pier Three to shoot the Ohio River Bridges Project Downtown Span and Louisville at night. I was 300 feet above the river standing on the top of the tower and decided to use long shutter speeds to capture the light trails of the traffic moving through Spaghetti Junction. I really like the way the colors of the light change across the images especially the green of work areas vs the orange of the existing sodium lights along the roadways. I was also interested in the flow of the roads and the way the light trails emphasized their paths.

Louisville's spaghetti junction at night from atop the western tower on pier three of the Ohio River Bridges Project. #2
Louisville’s spaghetti junction at night from atop the western tower on pier three of the Ohio River Bridges Project. #2

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In this version I purposely emphasized the orange lighted areas to contrast them with the deep blues in the darker areas. The little hits of green around the construction offices really popped and added another dimension to the image.

 

Kennedy Bridge on I-65 at night seen from above .
Kennedy Bridge on I-65 at night seen from above.

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This shot above the Kennedy Bridge uses the orange of the roadway and along the river’s shore as unifying elements to integrate the foreground with the distant skyline.

Night in Waterfront Park as seen from atop the western tower on pier three of the Downtown Span on the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Night in Waterfront Park as seen from atop the western tower on pier three of the Downtown Span on the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Click on any image to enlarge it.

The final pair of images in this post show Waterfront Park and the Big Four Bridge lit up. I used the contrast of the straight lines of the bridge tower and crane boom as counterpoints to the arcing curves of the park to create this composition.

Night in Waterfront Park as seen from atop the western tower on pier three of the Downtown Span on the Ohio River Bridges Project. #2
Night in Waterfront Park as seen from atop the western tower on pier three of the Downtown Span on the Ohio River Bridges Project. #2

Click on any image to enlarge it.

In this final image the Big Four Bridge in the background and the lights in the park really stand out from the reflected light on the concrete tower and the yellow crane boom. The purple of the Big Four Bridge lighting is a great compliment to the green and aqua of the park lights.

I shot in three frame bracket sets of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures for HDR merging into single images. I used NIK HDR eFex Pro 2 and Adobe Camera Raw to do most of the processing as well as Photoshop CS5 to do some lens correction.

Carpenters in Section One during construction of the columns for the Kentucky approach to the Downtown Span.

Images from the Kentucky Approach to the Downtown Span

Kentucky Approach to the Downtown Span

Ohio River Floods Waterfront Park

Yesterday morning when the Ohio River crested I was on the Big Four Bridge to get some shots of the flooding.

Ohio River Sunset

Several different scenes of the Ohio River at Sunset.

Big Four Bridge at night

Waterfront Park Big Four Bridge at Night

Long time visitors to Speeddemon2 Photography know that I spent over a year and a half photographing the crew from T&C Construction as they converted the Big Four Bridge into a pedestrian bridge between Louisville’s Waterfront Park and Jeffersonville Indiana. At the time I thought that completing the bridge conversion was the final chapter in the building of Waterfront Park. Little did I know that it was simply another milestone in the plan by the non-profit Waterfront Development Corporation to give Louisville a signature park on the riverfront.

Big Four Bridge at night
Big Four Bridge at night

Not long after the bridge opened to pedestrians the folks at Waterfront Park launched a fund raising drive to light up the bridge with programmable LED lighting that would showcase the bridge at night. Now nearly two years after the first visitors walked up onto the bridge the Waterfront Development Corporation has once again surpassed expectations and finished the LED lighting project. The addition of these lights has really made the bridge a standout attraction for the city of Louisville.

Those of use who lived here in the 1970s fondly recall how the local FM Rock and Roll radio station WLRS would light the bridge with white light bulbs during the Christmas holiday season. At that time the bridge sat unconnected to either Kentucky or Indiana amid junkyards, ramshackle buildings, oil tanks and an asphalt plant. During the daytime our waterfront was a pretty ugly sight that greeted visitors to Louisville as they crossed the Ohio River on I-65’s Kennedy Bridge but at night, during the holidays, it was a magical transformation of light and form.

Thanks to the forward thinking of many people that image of Louisville has been erased and replaced with a truly amazing park. The way the bridge is lighted now really makes a statement about how beautiful this bridge is and how important it is to both Louisville and Jeffersonville. Now we have a wonderful park and can enjoy a view of the city that is simply amazing. The new lighting is capable of changing color and light patterns through programmed instructions. Not only that but there is also a sound system on the central sections that plays music which the lights are tied into and can change in time with the music.

Click on the image gallery to view these images in a larger light box slideshow.

All the images in this post are three frame brackets sets of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures that were merged into HDR images using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. After merging them I then took the resulting HDR image into Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CS5 to finish processing it. I discovered that using this method really allowed me to show the way the light played across the bridge and filled the insides of many of the bridge girders.

All images in this post are available printed on .040″ aluminum using dye sublimation technology in either Gloss or Satin finishes. They are available in any dimension from 14″ to 96″ wide with an appropriate height

Use the form below to contact me for sizes and pricing.

The First Sunrise of Fall 2014

The first sunrise of fall 2014 over the Ohio River Bridges Project construction site for the downtown span.