Fortune favors the bold.
This is an infrared image of the moon, some clouds, and part of a bush, taken around 4:00 pm in my backyard. Apart from the clouds, there was a bright blue sky. The infrared capture and black and white conversion create the illusion of darkness. Actually, I would not know how to get a capture remotely approaching this at night, in which the sky is black but the clouds are fully illuminated.
As an experiment, I ran this through the HDR process in Photomatix, but I’m not sure it had any effect in the end. The bush is still mostly in silhouette. And just for reference, I’ll note that the HDR was from a single image even though I shot 9 bracketed shots. The clouds were moving so fast that using multiple images would have created a muddled mess. Instead, I created 5 artificial brackets from the baseline image, by making 4 copies of it, and setting the exposure at +/-1 and +/-2 on them. Although the HDR effect is not really ascertainable here, that is a good trick for making an HDR from a single image, as long as the raw file from your camera captures that much of an exposure range.
One last note, I was in the backyard shooting something else when I first noticed that the moon was up and that it was perfectly situated in a certain cloud formation. I decided to finish what I was doing before switching to shoot the moon, and very nearly regretted it. I had not considered that the clouds were not static and that waiting even 2-3 minutes might mean that the shot I envisioned would disappear. I just about captured this image before the clouds, which were moving right to left, obscured the moon for several minutes, before it reappeared , but was no longer framed by the horseshoe cloud formation. Had I been just a few moments later I would have missed the opportunity.
The post title is from “Marquee Moon,” by the band Television.
Very few real streets look like this. In fact, if you are watching a movie or TV show and see a street in the midel of a city that either dead ends, or ends with either an L intersection or T intersection, it is almost certainly a set. City streets tend not to have such a configuration. In Manhattan, almost every street ends on the water. Sets use these arrangements because it shortens the horizon and allows for shorter sets. This street, nevertheless, is completely real.
Processing this yesterday image was fun. I shot these brackets 8 months ago. It was a quick pre-work photo walk, and everything was hand held. I published a lot of shots from that day, but could not make this shot work. Finally yesterday I thought: how about giving black and white a try? So I pulled it into Nik Silver Efex and ended up processing with the neutral settings plus a color filter applied (I forget which but it was almost certainly red or green). Then I pulled that into Color Efex to do some Tonal Contrast filter adjustments, and here it is.
Except for one other thing I forgot. I actually shot 2 series of 9-exposure hand held brackets (I’m not kidding) that day. There were 3 people in the street. They did not move quickly enough for me to mask them out of either bracket set, but, after I did the PhotoMatix processing on one set, I pulled the result into Photoshop. Then I copied the neutral image from the other set of brackets in as a layer. The Photoshop Align Layers command is almost magical in its ability to align layers, even though I clearly moved between the two sets of brackets. Given the several seconds of time lapse between each set of brackets, I was able to mask out the people altogether and create the illusion of a completely empty street.
Below is a result straight from PhotoMatix that I prepared several months ago. You can perhaps see why I was unhappy with the color results, and can definitely see the people walking around.
I received enough positive feedback yesterday to keep me going with the Bus Stop series a while longer. I tentatively plan to stop making regular Bus Stop & Crosswalk postings when each series reaches 100. I won’t stop shooting or posting them, but they would no longer be a twice-weekly regular feature.