Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque|HDR

When you are taking photos outdoors that contains external lightings, it is better to shoot at aperture around f/11 and above so that you have the kind of star feel to them otherwise you would end up with a hole of light which looks bad . This 9-shot HDR image taken at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhbai is a good example where photographing around f/8 noon is actually is not a good thing. In this case, the external light around the minarats in the background  was showing blow out highlights and the spread of light was so bad.

Note however, that I had to cheat a bit more than usual to compensate the very bright lights on two of the minarats. To cure this, I took the freedom to duplicate one of the foreground minarts on the left and copied it over for the background. (pssst – don’t tell anybody! ;-))

What’s your take on this? Do you think that this type of ‘manipulation’ is Ok in such instances?

How the photos were shot

  • Tripod
  • Nine exposures
  • Camera: Nikon D800
  • Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8

How the HDR image was tonemapped

  • Processed the images as Raw File in Photomatix
  • Changed the following sliders to get the tone mapped image-Strength, Color Saturation, Luminosity and Detailed Contrast.
  • Saved the resulting image as TIFF images

How the tone-mapped image was post-processed

  • The Resulting tone-mapped Tiff Image was then opened in Camera Raw
  • Changed the following settings-Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Blacks, Whites
  • Resulting File then opened in Photoshop
  • Topaz Adjust on Mosques Minarats
  • OnOne Perfect Effects on floors and Nik Color Efex for the overall feel and tone
  • Applied noise reduction (Topaz Denoise)
  • Sharpening
  • Watermarking



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