I took a lot of photos from the same spot on my first evening in Manarola. I was feeling pretty lazy and spent the evening on my hotel balcony. This was one of the last, just before it got too dark to keep taking pictures.
If you’re interested in finding this “secret” viewpoint, I provide a few clues as to its location in Niagara Skyline. It’s a pretty cool spot to find, even if you’re not looking to photograph the area. It’s definitely a different view compared to what most visitors to the falls get to see. Once up there I decided I had to try to capture the whole scene. So, I framed up four different shots and bracketed each for HDR. I wasn’t positive at the time how I’d go about stitching them together.
It turned out it was pretty involved. I had a total of 28 photographs to work with. These 28 images could have produced 4 HDR photographs to then stitch together. This approach caused me all sorts of problems with ghosting. Another significant problem was setting the sliders in Photomatix so that they’d be optimized for all four images. I kept ending up with dark areas in the final result. So, I changed my tactic.
In order to get this to work, I wound up grouping the exposures for each image together – meaning that i had seven sets of four images ranging from -3 stops to +3 stops. I stitched each of these together to create 7 huge images that I could then run through Photomatix. Unfortunately, this pushed the limits of my computer’s capabilities and I kept encountering error messages due to insufficient memory. I had been trying to use Photomatix’s deghosting tool to clean up people and vehicles that had moved through the frame. Eventually, I decided I’d have to do this in Photoshop after producing the tone mapped image. This reduced workload appeased my computer, and I had an HDR image to work with!
I went into Photoshop and layered the seven original exposures under the tone mapped image and masked away any ghosting I could find. It was pretty time-consuming and I’ve spent ages trying to figure out how to do it, but I’m happy with the results. I’ll be producing more stitched panoramic images going forward. I’ve got an idea for another shot at the top of Horseshoe Bay using this technique. I’ll give it a try once the weather decides to behave itself again.
Another photo of Times Square. While waiting for something interesting to appear in the road for my foreground I spent quite a while being harassed by a very effeminate man promoting a comedy club. I became the butt of his jokes. At one moment he walked over and said, in a suddenly masculine tone, “don’t worry man, it’s just part of the act.”
This was contrasted with the naked cowgirl playing guitar across the street. I was hoping she’d come my way to fill the foreground of this shot, but the police apparently decided she was too naked for Times Square. Shame, she was hotter than the other naked cowgirls present.
Then, the iconic New York cityscape gained the iconic New York vehicle for it’s foreground and I got the shot!