This image has been taken three minutes after yesterday’s. The sky may have been slightly darker if at all, the street lights had the same color. I could again have played off orange against blue, but with the strong light fall-off from top to bottom, I figured I would need more violent manipulations to make that image sing – if it could be brought to sing at all.
In that situation I normally go B&W. It’s easier, because when you raise extreme contrasts from shadowy corners, you often have to struggle with color casts. You can get the tonality that you crave for, but the colors betray you immediately. It’s not something that can’t be fixed, but for one it’s hard, and then, it may not even be worth it. There are scenes that cry for B&W, and in my opinion this is one of them.
This is not a church, it’s the town hall or Hôtel de ville as the French say. I don’t know how old it is, but in any case the lights are pretty new. Of course their color cycles through the whole spectrum, a fancy and tasteful effect never seen before 🙂
My camera and I preferred blue.
My new PEN-F has a 20 megapixel sensor, and while I can’t complain about its quality, it is only a very incremental change up from the E-M1.
On the other hand it is incredible how much of a game changer DxO is. This image has been taken with the PEN E-P5 (same sensor as the E-M1) at ISO 6400, f4 and 1/6s. I’ve shot it at night in a very, very dark part of the street. It looks like, well, maybe ISO 800. And it’s not only the lack of noise, it’s also the purity of colors. Buying DxO has given me the equivalent of maybe eight years of sensor development. That’s incredible.
OK, that’s just to put the improvements of the PEN-F into relation 🙂
F3.2, 1/13s, ISO 6400. Dark again, but not only is the blue in the image much cleaner than it was from Lightroom, this time you have to look at the red fringe in the background. It’s clean and vivid, while in Lightroom it was completely washed out.
Can you improve a correctly lit daylight image using DxO PRIME? No, you can’t. To the contrary, it will cost you detail. Not much, but it will.
Above ISO 800? Seems like a safe bet on Micro Four Thirds. At ISO 1600 pretty much every camera will profit, and at any higher ISO it will work pure magic. You see me impressed.
F1.8, 1/13s and ISO 6400? I suppose you agree: it must have been dark there 🙂
By the time you read this, the image should already be on Flickr in full size. Look at it at pixel level.
Not impressed? Ok, now look at the small red inscription on the green glass in the upper left corner. Look at the small yellow reflexes on the chrome against the dark sky. That’s what I mean when I praise DxO PRIME’s color purity. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
I remembered to have taken this image around midnight, but no, it was just early evening. It didn’t make a difference though. In mid-January it’s all the same 🙂
The image posed a challenge though. It was taken at an Underground station with light coming mostly from orange sodium-vapor street lights, along with some much cooler light spill from the station. Believe me, there’s no proper white balance for the whole picture. I’ve used different gradients with different white balance settings and different exposure / contrast /saturation / vibrance settings, I’ve generally taken out a lot of blue, and at least the bike itself seems pretty accurate to me now.
Was it worth it? Well, as an exercise in any case, and I like at least the composition 😀
Apart from being a cream machine, the other great use for the Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95 is of course as a low-light lens. This image has been taken in very, very low light indeed, and I still needed ISO 1000 🙂
March again! It’s spooky how time flies by, right? Well, this image at least is from a rainy night in October.
We (yes, dear reader, you an I) have spent long, long four days in Lisbon. In the meantime you’ve seen all of September and now we’re already in mid-October. It was a stressful time and the few images taken since will fly by as well 🙂
Just in case you wonder: no, I wasn’t drunk 😀
Actually I like that extreme kind of angle. It gives me a strange sense of falling, and along with the fact that you can’t fall in such a place (at least not in that direction), the feeling is somehow surreal.
Some time ago I’ve spent a few days in Lisbon. I arrived at night, spent three full and a half days and have seen what you can see in such a short time, mostly the usual sights. I have not been in museums, I have not been in the suburbs, but other than that, I guess I’ve got a good impression.
I returned with 1244 exposures, 226 of them did I find worthy to process. They could fill this blog until next summer, but I’ll churn through them a little bit faster, frequently using more than one image per post. I’ll also mix in a few of the images taken since. At least that’s the plan 🙂
Today’s image was taken after midnight, on a short walk through the Bairro Alto, a part of the city full of bars and night life. My hotel was in Rua Garret, directly at the western entrance to the underground station Baixa-Chiado, two minutes from Largo de Camões, a place where I saw this figurine of Angela Merkel in the window of a shop. It made me smile 🙂