Deansgate Manchester in HDR / by Neil Alexander


Early Friday morning I headed into Manchester to shoot some more streetscapes. It was right nippy, and I haven't managed to locate my photographer's carpenters fingerless gloves for some time now. However I still managed to put in some time with some long exposure using some ND filters. I shot this with an ND400, and merged 3 separate expsoures together (3, 7 & 15 seconds) in Photomatix. These are the 3 original exposures:

3 Secs
7 secs
15 secs

I found that once the exposures had been merged and the result tone-mapped, there were issues with the text on the signage to the right. There must have been just enough of a breeze to cause it to flutter slightly and become rather blurred in the tone-mapped output. I opened this tif and the raw file from the shortest of the exposures and proceeded to use a layer mask to just let the sign from the sharpest image (the shortest one) show through. I also had to use curves a little to bring out the sign, as being from the shortest frame it was a little dark.

Having shown this image to a few people over the last couple of days, one or two suggested that I crop out the "Offices" sign as it was distracting for them.  I tried it in Lightroom, but I have to say that I prefer it with the sign in as I feel that it adds to the overall feel of the image. If I get a chance later, I'll append a cropped version for you to judge yourselves.