So here it is, my first night photo op. Pictured above are the roses on the Red River boardwalk(ish) area I’ve posted before in B&W versions. When I set out, I planned to shoot from the other side of the river on the neon bridge featured in the background. When I found a good vista, the neons didn’t seem to be working properly. Only a few select sections were working. I then went after a riverboat but the best angle nicely had a huge, highly illuminated parking garage in the background that I couldn’t get around. So then I went across the river to settle on the roses at which time I noticed the bridge neons were properly running again. Oh well, roses it would be. I worked with exposure brackets so I could option for some HDR processing if needed and that’s when I noticed the lights on the roses changed colors (blue to pink to red) about every 20 seconds. I thought maybe the shift in colors would render an interesting HDR but actually the opposite happened. On top of it all, we had a cooler front move in and the wind started gusting in an angry mood, making me have to stake the tripod into the ground and tighten down all the clamps the best I could.
As for processing, the better shots caught a great deal of stars but they seemed to distract more than enhance so I cloned them out. I then had to lie a little. Two of the roses (#4 & #5 counting from the front) were not working. (It just wasn’t my night). So in PS I built some swatches by sampling a range of blue tones from the other roses. I then used the brush tool with the opacity and flow dropped to about 75%, screen mode, created a blank layer on top set to Color Dodge mode, and then lightly painted them. I brought the RAW file back into Lightroom and then reduced the noise a great deal which softened the image more than I would have liked.
Post Edit: After finishing this post, I worked the same image for my 365 Days of Black & White project. I’m much happier with the B&W finish and it was done in Silver Efex Pro 2.0. I downloaded the trial and I think it will be my henceforth B&W post-process tool. Here is a link: Roses in B&W