Light on the Fountain

The above is a low view of the cascading fountain near downtown, taken right at dusk. The fountain has been on my short-list of “things to photo” when downtown, but I’ve wanted to work the long exposures later in the evening or at night to get more interesting colors in the water. This turned out to be a fun, and somewhat surprising exercise in light. As the sun dropped behind the buildings to the left, the neons and street lights became the dominant light, transforming the color of the scene entirely. And once it was full on dark, the color changed dramatically again because directly behind me is a river lined with riverboats and casinos that cast their own hue into the water.

As for the image, it is only one exposure…but…the original had blown out the sky a bit. In post, I made a copy of the original .raw file, but set it a 1 ev down from the original and used the recovery slider a bit to pull back some highlights. I then fused the darker & lighter exposures in Photomatix.

10 thoughts on “Light on the Fountain

  1. Nice work — perfect length of exposure on the fountain to get a balance of motion while keeping some definition.

    For the blown-out sky you might be interested in trying out a little trick I learned in a kelbytraining.com tutorial by Dan Margulis. You can see a short description on my blog here (I promise I’m not just plugging the blog…I don’t monetize anything or have anything to gain by getting visitors): http://michaeltuuk.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/trying-out-the-lab-color-space/ (the sunset pic had part of the sky blown out like your image). Or, you might be able to find more detail by searching for Dan Margulis tutorials on the web.

  2. Shifting the exposure of the RAW and creating multiple versions is a great way to do an HDR, especially when you have a moving component in the image. I really like the colours here. The pinks and oranges really make the blues pop.

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