CREATE ARTISTIC EXPOSURES
Use exposure wisely to capture the energetic atmosphere of a city
there is a great deal of movement in urban locations. From traffic speeding through busy road intersections, to commuters flowing along pavements during the morning rush hour, cities are full of energy. it is therefore vital that we consider how this will appear in our images and take control of exposure, to ensure the dynamism of our subject shows through. Ultra-short shutter speeds won’t often find a place in an architectural and cityscape photographer’s arsenal, since the frozen movement these generate produces unnaturally static compositions. Long exposures can be used for a multitude of purposes. they can be employed to soften skies for contrast against sharp structural detail, and to produce a soft light quality that creates a painterly style. this balances the distribution of detail throughout the frame.
exposures of several minutes will also help to minimise distracting elements by removing people and traffic, providing they are not stationary for extended periods. semi-slow shutter speeds, in the region of two to three seconds, are best for occasions where you want motion to be visible. try this in places where people, vehicles and clouds are widely spaced, to give them room to move through the frame and remain discrete. Use 30-second exposures and above to capture traffic trails or to apply a silky look to skies, for a neutral backdrop to closer-cropped studies.
the main exposure challenge you will face in a city is the extreme range of contrast. the dynamic range of current cameras is excellent, but is not wide enough to maintain detail in the brightest highlights and deepest shadows. Moreover, it is mostly impossible to use an graduated neutral density filter, without artificially darkening the tops of foreground buildings. software blending options are the best choice in these cases, as full control over localised exposure problems is possible. However, it is then important to consider the method of blending, to avoid the halo effects and noise exaggeration that is synonymous with conventional HDr processing. intelligent exposure choice can ensure the effective application of creative technique and fundamental tonal management.
Above SOFT TONES By extending the shutter speed, sometimes to several seconds, lighting can take a soft quality under diffused lighting. A longer exposure will also soften detail in the sky, creating a pleasant andneutral background