Tag: hdr image

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%.

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.

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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

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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.

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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Beatersville 2015

A series of HDR photos from Beatersville 2015.

Pile driving crew placing a piling section for welding before driving further into the earth. #3

Pile Drivers Working at Preston and Jefferson Streets

Pile driving crew placing a piling section for welding before driving further into the earth. #4
Pile driving crew placing a piling section for welding before driving further into the earth. #4

Most of  these images are of the pile drivers working at Preston and Jefferson Streets as they rebuild Spaghetti Junction in Louisville, KY. These guys drive seventy feet long H-beams into the earth to support the foundation for the retaining walls and bridge abutments of the roadway for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Most of these images of pile drivers working are HDR images created using a three frame bracket set of +2, 0 and -2 EV exposures. They were merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and then finished using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop CS5. The light was pretty flat the day I was shooting these photos. Using HDR techniques allowed me to capture the scenes and reveal the details and textures that might have otherwise escaped capture in a single exposure.

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.

In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.

Ohio River Bridges Project Progressing Well

The work on the Ohio River Bridges Project is proceeding well as can be seen in the accompanying photos from Indiana and Kentucky. The girders from Indiana are heading south and soon will be connected to the first section of the Downtown Span at Pier 5 where the first section of bridge road deck has begun to take shape.

In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown  Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.
In this scene from the Indiana Approach Brian Kirker operates an excavator as they install drainage pipes for the new bridge. In the background the towers for the Downtown Span can be seen along with the girders that will connect the bridge to I-65 North in Indiana.

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The weather on this particular morning was changing from clear skies to rain clouds and made for a dramatic backdrop to my photos of Brian Kirker. Brian is an Operating Engineer who came here from Las Vegas to work on this project. I wanted to capture the towers on Pier 5 as well as his excavator when he happened to move into a perfect place for that shot.

As a rule I don’t pose people when I’m shooting because I feel it will interfere with the work they are doing but in this case I did motion for Brian to hold still while I shot a couple of bracket sets. I knew that due to the strong backlight and broad dynamic range the best approach would be to shoot this scene for HDR processing.

Back in my studio I took the three frame bracket set of -2, 0 and +2 EV exposures into NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 and merged them. I then applied a custom preset of my own creation (one I had used several months ago) to get the look I felt best accented the image. After I had done that I took the resulting image into Adobe Camera Raw for some adjustments to the Brightness, Exposure, Fill Light and Blacks. I also added a little Vibrance to the image and then opened it in Photoshop CS5.

Once I had the image in Photoshop CS5 I added a new layer and made a Curves adjustment in order to get pure white and pure black. I then flattened the layers before adjusting the Sharpening using the Smart Sharpen command. Recently I have been using ACR and PS CS5 more  in my processing workflow. I have discovered that doing so has allowed me to attain better results than I used to get from finishing the HDR process in Aperture 3. There is more vibrance in the colors and the whites are more pronounced.

Brian Kirker and David Preston are shown here as the drainage pipe is being installed on the Indiana approach to the Downtown Span.
Brian Kirker and David Preston are shown here as the drainage pipe is being installed on the Indiana approach to the Downtown Span.

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In this second image Brian is lifting a drainage pipe as David Preston, an Inspector with FIGG, verifies that it is being installed per the job specifications. Throughout the construction process outside entities like FIGG monitor the work being done to make certain that everything is properly installed.

I liked the way the composition worked and also the way the light played along the excavator bucket. Having David and the large concrete cylinder in the foreground with Brian and the excavator in the middle ground and the beautiful clouds in the background really makes this image work for me. I used the same post processing steps in this image as in the preceding image.

Early morning on Pier 5 after a short period of rain. The barge in the foreground is there to use as an assembly point for steel rebar and concrete form as the tower is extended up.
Early morning on Pier 5 after a short period of rain. The barge in the foreground is there to use as an assembly point for steel rebar and concrete form as the tower is extended up.

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The last two images in this post are from the barges alongside Pier 5 and give an idea of the scale of the work that is going on on the river. Near the center of the image workers can be seen near the tower base. The first section of bridge is in place and the deck panels are being installed. I liked the way the sky was reflected in the water puddles on the barges and the wetness of everything in contrast to the clearing sky.

Early morning shot of Pier 5 after a short period of rain. This view give a good overview of the progress being made on the bridge deck and towers.
Early morning shot of Pier 5 after a short period of rain. This view give a good overview of the progress being made on the bridge deck and towers.

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As with all the other images in this post I used HDR processing to bring out the details in both the highlights and the shadows while enhancing the colors in the scene. When shooting these infrastructure construction photos I find HDR techniques to be indispensable tools. I always shoot bracket sets with 2 stop intervals and most times I am able to use all of them in the final image. In the event that the subjects in the bracketed photos have moved too much for the software to accommodate I usually find I have one image that has a good enough exposure that it can be processed for an acceptable final image.