ElleBruce
ElleBruce

New York City Double Exposure Bokeh - Elle Bruce



In my opinion cities are at their best when all lit up at night.

Wish I could have caught up with the Trey Ratcliff Photo Walk Tour in this fair ci...
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In my opinion cities are at their best when all lit up at night.

Wish I could have caught up with the Trey Ratcliff Photo Walk Tour in this fair city.

Looking towards TImes Square, NYC.

© Elle Bruce 2014
www.ellebruce.com
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5 Comments | Report
dalen
 
dalen October 02, 2015
Love the colours, I agree with you about city's at night. Brilliant shot. Hope to go back there one day.
ElleBruce
ElleBruce October 08, 2015
Thanks dalen! I'm looking forward to getting back there again too! BTW - love your photo of the kids on the beach... her expression is wonderful! Great capture.
amg800
 
amg800 April 25, 2016
Wow this photo has such a magical feel to it, stunning!
Photodynamic_sierra
 
Photodynamic_sierra June 24, 2016
Beautiful lights, but why is it tagged under "Food?"
ElleBruce
ElleBruce June 24, 2016
Thanks Photodynamic_sierra. Tagged under 'food' because the "night" button was right beside it :P Pure accident.
adavies PRO
 
adavies November 18, 2016
Love this! I really like how you captured the bokeh in the foreground...don't see that too often...really nicely done! :)
If you haven't done so already, please consider joining my Bokeh-licious Night challenge:)
https:// viewbug.com/challenge/bokeh-licious-night-photo-challenge-by-adavies
EdithNero
 
EdithNero March 13, 2017
Beautiful shot!Very nice colors and lights!

Behind The Lens

Location
I was in New York City a while back and couldn't help but snap a bunch of photos of all the lights. This photo was taken through the window of my hotel room. We were lucky enough to be on a higher floor with a view towards the epicentre of lights in Times Square.
Time
The thing I love best about a city is the lights! A city at night is a magical thing... the grit and grime gets washed away by the shadow of night and bathed anew in the multi-coloured glow of lights. Alright, I admit - that's a bit pollyanna but you know what I mean right?
Lighting
The key thing for this image was to make sure the full dynamic range was captured. I wanted detail in the shadows without blowing out the highlights of the bright lights from Times Square. For that reason I bracketed the shot - taking 5 images that I later combined using software.
Equipment
This was shot on a Nikon D700 with a 85mm f1.4 Nikon lens mounted on a Really Right Stuff tripod.
Inspiration
This image is the result of my attempts to blend photos that are related to create a new image with greater impact. My new experiment on this New York image was inspired by several things - a love of bokeh lights, tilt shift and double exposed images. I got wondering what would happen if I combined all these things I loved. This image was my first crack at it.
Editing
In this case I took several photos of the same thing - 5 focused exposures tone mapped in Photomatix, and 2 out of focus images of the same thing with nice round bokeh of the lights. I played with the with bokeh to get the right intensity on the colours, then created a tilt filter effect on the in-focus HDR layer using Topaz Lens Efex and and finally stacked them up and used the lighten blend mode in photoshop to give the feel of a double exposed image.
In my camera bag
My full kit is usually in the bag when I travel and consists of two camera bodies and three lenses. My workhorse camera has been the Nikon D700 but I have recently picked up the Sony A7r in the hopes of lightening my load. I have three lenses I always carry that do a fine job of covering off 99% of what I want; Nikon 14-24mm (great for landscapes), Nikon 28-300 (my "does almost everything" go to and walking around lens) and Nikon 85mm f1.4 (a fixed lens that took me some time to master - but that I now love). Of course I don't go anywhere without my tripod - a sturdy but highly collapsable thing from Really Right Stuff. My current bag is an F-stop backpack which houses all this gear in two internal camera units which I can also take out and place in a flight friendly wheeled case from Crumpler (Dry Red) for longer hauls. The only thing left on my gear acquisition list is one of the sweet new messenger bags from the collaboration of Trey Ratcliff and Peak Design which would allow me to carry a smaller portion of my gear in a more discreet and hip way when I do urban exploration.
Feedback
If you are looking to create your own sparkling city images - here are few tips you might find helpful: PICK A ROOM WITH A VIEW: You can use google maps to locate a hotel that might have a good view. Perhaps one that overlooks the skyline or a well lit landmark of interest. Once you have chosen your hotel you can check trip advisor to get suggestions from previous guests as to what rooms have good views. To narrow down your choice further, try www.room77.com to actually see and compare one room’s view to another. GET A CRISP SHOT: Shooting through glass at night can present some difficulties. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you get the best shot possible; - Turn off all of the lights in the room and try closing the curtains behind you to block out the light and get rid of your reflection in the glass. Take a few shots and look at them closely before proceeding to see if you have any unwanted reflections. - Stabilize your camera. Either bring a tripod or be sure to place your camera on something stable - sometimes the window ledge is deep enough other times you may need to get creative with furniture or use your luggage to prop the camera up on. Be careful. Damage is not the goal. - Get as close to the glass as you can with the end of the lens. (But please don’t lean against it - I’ve heard terrible tales of glass breaking). If you are using auto focus, mind that the focus is on the city and not on the glass - you may have to flip it to manual focus to stop the camera from “hunting" for focus. Once you get the focus right, if you haven’t already, lock it in by carefully (without bumping the focus ring) switching the camera to manual focus so that it doesn’t shift back when you depress the shutter button. - No flash please. You may need to open up the aperture (low f-stop number) and or increase the ISO to get the exposure right. To start, I place the camera in manual mode, with my aperture at f9, ISO at 100 and shutter speed in bulb mode. I then press and hold the shutter button and start counting. At 8 seconds I let it go and check the shot to see if I am getting what I want. I adjust the length of time I hold the shutter open either up or down to get the right exposure. TAKE MULTIPLE SHOTS: - Try taking a double exposure. Some cameras will let you do this in camera. If not - take multiple photos. Take a set of in-focus bracketed shots to get the full dynamic range and then take one purposely out of focus and combine them in post processing. HAVE FUN It’s actually not that hard to get some interesting shots… and you have the added benefit of being warm and dry so take your time and experiment.

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