Tag: HDR Efex Pro

The Ohio River Bridges Downtown Span August 24-29, 2015

The Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. HDR Version
The Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. HDR Version

Last week the Ohio River Bridges Downtown Span grew another 180 feet in length. The cable stays on Tower Five were completed and the scaffolding to the top of the towers was removed. One of the cranes being used to build the bridge structure blew an engine but that didn’t keep the structural gang from completing the building of another 45 feet of bridge.

The photos in this post are both three frame HDR mergers and single frame images. In all cases the image was first adjusted for sharpness and color saturation in Adobe Camera Raw followed by a trip into Photoshop CS5 for lens correction when needed. I also used Topaz Clarity to bring out the texture and contrast which I applied to a separate layer; in several cases the opacity of the Topaz Clarity layer was reduced to between 25 -75%.

Surveyors William Moylan and Garran Wesseman

JNR_06_26_2015_105114_William and Garron_#2_HDR

 

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In this photo William Moylan is working with Garran Wesseman who is standing on the right hand end of a side girder on Tower Three of the Downtown Span of the Ohio River Bridges Project. This was the first section of the downtown span that was attached to Tower Three and marked another milestone in the construction timeline. After this section was placed all three towers were supporting sections of the new bridge.

The surveyors continuously monitor the placement of the bridge components in order to make sure that the bridge is staying true to the design specifications. Their survey equipment is all electronic and communicates the measurements to the surveyors and engineers in real time so that the decisions they make are accurate.

William Moylan talks with his partner Garren Wesseman as they measure the placement of the side girder and road girders of the downtown span.
William Moylan talks with his partner Garran Wesseman as they measure the placement of the side girder and road girders of the downtown span.

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William Moylan at work.
William Moylan at work.

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Nick Roberts – Using HDR Photography to Create Your Own Personal Style Workshop in Louisville, KY, United States Rescheduled to November 9, 2013

Entrance to the Big Four Bridge, Louisville, KY
Entrance to the Big Four Bridge, Louisville, KY

This workshop has been rescheduled to November 9, 2013.

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Nick Roberts – Using HDR Photography to Create Your Own Personal Style Tickets in Louisville, KY, United States.

I will be presenting another HDR workshop Saturday November 9, 2013. If you are confused about the How and Why of HDR image making this is the workshop for you. The workshop will cover how to shoot HDR,  how to process your images using NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and how to finish them in your favorite image editing software. We will also touch on using plug-ins from OnOne, Topaz Labs and other NIK software apps.

The workshop structure is very hands on; you will be working on your own laptop using files I provide to learn how to merge and finish them as HDR images. Afterwards we will use images that the participants provide on their own to better grasp the core concepts.

Construction Cranes

Cranes are the backbone of the construction process.
Cranes are essential to the construction process.

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One of the most iconic pieces of heavy equipment on any major construction project is the crane. These monsters are essential to the Ohio River Bridges Project. Wherever I see cranes I can be sure there is some heavy work being done. They are used to move the massive steel beams, heavy timbers, sheet piling, concrete forms and other large items on the ORB. The crane operators have to be able to move their loads into very precise positions in order for the people on the ground to perform their tasks. The hand eye coordination required is incredible especially when you consider that almost all communication with the crane operator is done via hand signals. The more I am around them the more respect I have for their skills moving items that weight in the tons safely and precisely.

The difficulty I face when shooting cranes is my desire to include their long booms in the composition. Unless there is something else in the sky they can become nothing more than tall vertical elements. When I shoot them I look for mornings when the sky is filled with clouds or the sun is rising behind them. In this image I was able to include the heavy clouds for a background. I used the cranes themselves as repeating forms that provide strong diagonal lines within the composition and convey the scale of the scene.

This image is a HDR created from my standard three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV. I merged them in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and did my initial tone mapping there. I then returned the file to Aperture 3 where I adjusted contrast, color channels, saturation and vibrance. Finally I applied my sharpening and added a small vignette to focus the viewer’s eyes within the frame.

Funnel Cake Fourth

Fourth of July Funnel Cakes
Funnel Cake Fourth

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This past week I attended the Fourth of July event in Louisville’s Waterfront Park to capture some fireworks images. While waiting for the fireworks show to begin I wandered around the park looking for images that spoke to the idea of festivals and the attendant support services that are needed whenever large groups of people gather for a celebration. The sky was leaden with the remnants of our unrelenting week of rain and thunderstorms so I went in search of some color to shoot.

As I strolled through the park I came upon the food vendors area and was immediately drawn to the scene you see here. I liked the graphic quality of the signage and the lights on and in the funnel cake vendor and decided to create a composition that incorporated it. I found a place behind the food wagons that also held some promise of a strong foreground element. I set my tripod up and shot this image because I enjoyed the strong diagonal lines and the contrast of colors between the booths and the park’s water feature. I also liked the way the stainless steel rails contrasted with the concrete and the angles that they created.

I shot a three frame bracket set using +2, 0 and -2 EV to be sure that I had a wide dynamic range to work with. Back at my computer I first took the three RAW frames into NIK Sharpener Pro and pre-sharpened them. I then opened the three images in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 where I merged them into a HDR image. I applied the Deep 2 preset and then adjusted the amount of tone mapping and contrast to suit my taste. After the initial tone mapping was completed I returned the HDR image to Aperture 3 where I adjusted the individual color channels to bring out the reds and yellows of the signage. I also added some additional adjustments to the contrast and sharpened the image before adding a small vignette to it.

Louisville’s Downtown Bridge Is Underway

The first phase of construction on the Downtown Bridge is underway.
The first phase of construction on the Downtown Bridge is underway.

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This is another HDR image of  Waterfront Park looking west toward the crane that will be part of the skyline for the next couple of years. I shot this from the ramp to the Big Four Bridge overlooking the Swing Garden. I shot a handheld bracket set of three frames +2, 0 and -2 EV. I was able to hand hold the shots because it was mid morning and the light was high which resulted in relatively short exposures.

I first took the three RAW frames into NIK Sharpener Pro and applied adaptive sharpening to all of them. I then opened them in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 where I merged them and applied  the Deep 2 preset which I tweaked a bit to reduce some of the luminance and saturation. I then returned the merged image to Aperture 3 for final adjustment, sharpening and added a small vignette. In Aperture 3 I also adjusted the exposure and contrast as well as tweaking the individual color channels in the green, yellow and blue areas.

Reflections of Louisville

The Highlands Reflected in the Leatherhead Front Windows.
The Highlands Reflected in the Leatherhead Front Windows.

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I have been trying to represent each of the eclectic business districts of Louisville in a single image for a couple of weeks now. I tried various angles but each time I wound up with too much pavement  in relation to the amount of architecture. While shooting one morning last week I discovered that I could show businesses on both sides of the street by using the reflections of one side of the street in the shop window across the street.

I shot all the images in this post in three shot brackets that I merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished them in Aperture 3. I built a preset in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 that I used on all these shots so that I had a consistent feel to the images. By using the preset I could quickly get the HDR image where I wanted it and then take it back into Aperture 3 for final processing.

Plehn's Bakery and Jimmy John's Deli Reflected in 60 West Windows in St. Matthews.
Plehn’s Bakery and Jimmy John’s Deli Reflected in 60 West Windows in St. Matthews.

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I used the same processing for the rest of these images.

St Mathews Hardware Window
St Mathews Hardware Window

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Highlands Businesses Reflected in Leatherhead's Front Window.
Highlands Businesses Reflected in Leatherhead’s Front Window.

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St. Matthews Reflected in 60 West Front Windows.
St. Matthews Reflected in 60 West Front Windows.

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Doo Wop Shop Facade With Highlands Businesses Reflections.
Doo Wop Shop Facade With Highlands Businesses Reflections.

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Doo Wop Shop Facade #2
Doo Wop Shop Facade #2

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