PRO
RuudMooi

The Hague, Netherlands



Views

1079

Likes

Awards

Runner Up in This Is Europe Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in This Is Europe Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in 80 Stays Around the World Photo Contest
Peer Award
Superb Composition
+14
Absolute Masterpiece
+4
Top Choice
+3
Outstanding Creativity
Magnificent Capture
All Star
Superior Skill

Emotions

Impressed
+4

Submitted to Photo Contests

Top ClassTM

Top 10 class
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Top 10 class week 1
Top 10 class
Top 10 class week 1

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Behind The Lens

Location
I made this photo in the centre of The Hague, Netherlands. The photo depicts the (old, medieval) houses of parliament and government. The small tower is still the official office of the Dutch prime minister. I visited The Hague with several members of my photo club, earlier this year.
Time
Having seen the place in the afternoon, i decided to return after dinner. As you can see on the church clock it was 10.25 pm.
Lighting
The buildings are lit by extremely bright lights in the pond. You can see some in front of the first house. The bright lights on the white wall and the dark skies in the back caused almost uncontrollable contrasts. That's why I took 3 photo's with two stops in between. I blended these photo's later on in photoshop.
Equipment
a tripod to be able to use low shutterspeeds (4') and a wide angle lens (11-16mm). When I want to use the blending technique I always make 3 or up to 5 photo's on a tripod. I use the timer and after that the camera does all the work.
Inspiration
This place is photographed to death. I like to try to picture places like this in a way that still suprises people. I find my challenge in that.
Editing
I use luminocity masks and blending techniques for night photography. I call them blending techniques as it is not HDR. With blending, you only use the best parts of each picture for your final image. The rest is simply masked out. The benefits, in my opinion, are enormous: less noise and far less ghosting as you will get in hdr. The results look far more natural. In this case I turned down the yellows quite a bit as I do in most night shots and added some colors for the sky and the water.
In my camera bag
I my bag you'll find a nikon d7100 with a 17-55 for almost everything. a 70-200 and a 35mm 1.8. These are the lenses i normally take with me. A flash and some filters and some cleaning stuff and that's about it. I bring a tripod or special lenses (like a 600mm) only when i know I'm going to use them. traveling light is the mantra here.
Feedback
Beautifully lit buildings in the night always draw a lot of attention from photographers. Shoot in RAW. Your camera will have a very difficult time to determine a correct whitebalance, especially at night with a lot of yellowish or neon lighting around. In raw, you will have the better opportunities to correct this. A lot of night shots have a yellow glow, which I don't like. i always try to add blues or purples to correct this. The brighter the building is lit, the harsher the contrasts will be, especially on a dark night. Make several photos, metered for highlights, darks and midtones and combine these in a hdr, or even better, in a blended image. Blending is not the easiest method but you will have great results once you master this technique.

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