HDR Images of the Current Progress on the Downtown Bridge Project Site

Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing Construction Site

Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing Construction Site #2

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This HDR image was captured during a visit to the Big Four Bridge in Waterfront Park this past Monday morning. It was created by merging three exposures made at +2, 0 and -2 EV in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. I finished the image in Aperture 3 by adjusting the sharpness, contrast, exposure and color channels.

Looking out over the new downtown bridge construction from the Big Four Bridge

Ohio River Bridges Downtown Crossing Construction Site #1

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This version of the Ohio River Bridges Project construction progress was captured while walking on the ramp to the Big Four Bridge in Waterfront Park. I was intrigued by the way the shadow from the Big Four Bridge dominated the foreground and referenced the structure of the Kennedy Bridge and the construction crane booms along the construction route. As in the first image I used NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Aperture 3 to do my processing.

The New Bridge Approach Worksite in Waterfront Park

The New Bridge Approach Worksite in Waterfront Park

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This HDR image shows the construction site located in Waterfront Park where the new bridge will be anchored as it crosses the river. The river bank has been extended into the river to provide a platform for the equipment needed to place the pier casings in the river. After the piers are completed the site will be cleared and the original contour of the riverbank will be restored to it’s original contours.

The barge in the foreground has two caissons on it, these caissons are almost 120 feet long and 12 feet in diameter. Once the pier casings are in place and the drillers have bored into the bedrock the caissons will be lowered into them and concrete will be used to fill the piers. This too is a three exposure HDR image processed in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 abd Aperture 3.

 

Waterfront Park Winter in HDR

Louisville Skyline and the Ohio River Shoreline in Winter

HDR Winter Sunset Louisville Skyline and the Ohio River Shoreline in Winter

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Last week I decided to see what Waterfront Park looked like after several days of sub-zero weather and a couple of snow storms had blanketed the park. I wanted to emphasize the feeling of the coldness and crispness that winter on the Ohio River produces. I chose to shoot the above image because it seemed to encompass so many elements that identify the city and at the same time reinforce the brittleness and chill that was in the air. I was drawn to the complimentary colors of the gold in the sunset and the blue shadows on the shoreline. The river had been dropping for several days and there were shelves of ice layered one above the other at the river’s edge.

I knew going in that I was going to make these images as HDR images and shot my customary bracket set of three exposures at +2, 0 and -2 EV. I merged the three files into one high dynamic range image using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. After merging them I applied the Balanced preset, adjusted the Detail slider to Accentuated and the Drama slider to Deep before returning the merged file to Aperture 3 for final processing. I chose to make these images in HDR because there was such a broad dynamic range in the scene from very dark areas along the shore to sunlight streaming through the bridge and around the skyline in the back of the images. Whenever there is such a wide dynamic range I find HDR processing allows me to show the scene as I saw it during my shooting.

Winter Evening in the Swing Garden

Winter Evening in the Swing Garden

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 This second image is also a three frame bracket set taken much later in the evening. I was hoping to convey the quietness and solitude that a winter evening in Waterfront Park offers to those who venture there in January. I liked the way the street lamps illuminated the pathways and the shadows they cast across the ground. The lights on the Kennedy Bridge in the background are direct color compliments to the cobalt sky and clouds while the muted greens and yellows of the grass and street lamps that occupy the middle and foreground carry the eye along toward the river.

My HDR processing for this image was very similar to the first image though I did spend a little more time adjusting the color channels to get the feeling that I experienced as I surveyed the scene and decided to capture it. As with the previous image my goal here was to reinforce the icy cold that we are experiencing this winter here in Louisville.

Strolling Under The Big Four Bridge in January

Under The Big Four Bridge in January

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I have been photographing the Big Four Bridge for several years and because of that I have to really study the scene to come up with something fresh to shoot. For this image I wanted to capture not only the beautiful sunset but also the snow on the ground and the feeling of winter. Once again the complimentary colors of the oranges of the sunset and the icy blue of the shadows were primary elements in my composition.

This image too is another high dynamic range image using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and Aperture 3 to process it. My goal with my HDR work is to present a realistic, if heightened, vision of natural and manmade elements that evoke strong feelings in the viewer.

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Blue Morning in Waterfront Park

HDR Bright Blue Morning in Louisville

Bright Blue January Morning in Louisville

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This HDR image of Waterfront Park and the Ohio River was taken from the Big Four Bridge a couple of weeks ago. It was a cold crisp morning and the blue sky seemed Continue reading

HDR January Sunset Seen From The Big Four Bridge

January Sunset Seen From The Big Four Bridge in Louisville Waterfront Park

January Sunset Seen From The Big Four Bridge in Louisville’s Waterfront Park

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This sunset is another image from the photo shoot I did Monday evening from the Big Four Bridge in Louisville’s Waterfront Park. I wanted to include the Big Four Bridge with the Kennedy bridge and the preliminary construction for Continue reading

Panoramic HDR Sunsets Over Louisville Waterfront

Snow Cover in Waterfront Park HDR Panorama

Panoramic Snow Scene of Louisville Waterfront Park and Louisville Skyline at Sunset in HDR

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This panorama was captured yesterday evening as another winter storm was approaching Louisville. I wanted to shoot in Louisville Waterfront Park while it was covered in snow to capture the feeling of winter there. Louisville hasn’t had a winter with this much snow in many years and I wanted to get as much as I could before the temperature changes and it melts. I was walking up the access ramp to the Big Four bridge but didn’t take time to set up my tripod when I shot a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures at f11. That decision was made in order to shoot quickly and get as many photos as possible before I set up my tripod on the bridge itself and the light faded. In retrospect I should have opened up my aperture because the overexposed frames were blurred due to the long shutter speed needed to capture the low light levels in the scene.

Once I started processing the bracket sets I discovered that all my handheld frames that were overexposed were blurred from camera movement. This left me with only an underexposed exposure and a normal exposure to work with for my HDR merger. I decided to use only those two exposures, -2 and 0 EV, in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and see what sort of results I would get. Much to my surprise the merged files had great detail in the shadow and highlight areas even though I wasn’t using any overexposed frames. I merged the two frames, applied the Balanced preset, adjusted the Detail slider to Accentuated and the Drama slider to Deep and saved the resulting HDR files back into Aperture 3. After I had done that for the nine frames I shot for the panorama I took them into Photoshop CS5 and ran the Automate/Photo Merge to create my panorama. After they were merged as a panorama I flattened the layers into a single image which I then returned to Aperture 3 for final adjustment and cropping.

Snow Covered Waterfront Park at Sunset in HDR

Snow Covered Waterfront Park at Sunset in HDR

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I followed the same basic procedure for this image except that I used my tripod which gave me a bracket set for each shot of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures. I again used NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to merge each section of the panorama and applied the Balanced preset with the Detail slider set to Accentuated and the Drama slider set to Deep. I then took all eleven merged HDR images into Photoshop CS5 and created the panorama. After that it was back into Aperture 3 for final adjustments to Saturation, Luminance, White Balance, Definition, Contrast, Mid-Contrast and Sharpening before making my final crop.

Snow Covered Waterfront Park at Sunset in HDR

Sunset over a Snow Covered Louisville Waterfront Park and the Ohio River in HDR

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The last image is another tripod mounted series of bracketed images shot with +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures and merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 with the same preset settings as the other two images in this post. I followed the same processing steps using Photoshop CS5 and Aperture 3 to create the final image. I moved a little further north on the Big Four Bridge when I shot this set to give it a different perspective too.

Though I was able to salvage the handheld images I shot by discarding the over-exposed frames I still prefer to have a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures to work with whenever I’m creating HDR images.

 

 

January Sunset Over Louisville Skyline in HDR

Louisville Sky in HDR

January Sunset Over Louisville Skyline and the Waterfront Park Swing Garden

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I have a love affair with Louisville’s Waterfront Park and the views of the city I see from the Big Four Bridge ramp. I have been photographing Waterfront Park for several years and I still find myself amazed at the beauty of the park’s design. I consult the Continue reading

HDR Panorama Of Louisville and the Ohio River

Sunset On the City and River

Sunset On Louisville and the Ohio River

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Last night there was a snow storm moving into Louisville around midnight. As is usual when weather fronts come in around sunset the sky was amazingly colorful. I went down to Louisville Waterfront Park to shoot from the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge Continue reading