The Arena District

Photo of the Day

Part of the fun of visiting Columbus this past weekend was the area our hotel was in. Columbus really has done a great job with what they call the Arena District. This is a great area that was once a penitentiary. It is nice to see that the city took that ground and made something beautiful out of it. Where we stayed in Columbus was very much in the Nationwide area of town. As you can see here much of the scene has Nationwide written on it. What you can’t see is that the road is also named Nationwide. This is a beautiful part of town that I would love to visit again.

Technical Data

This picture was taken on our way back to the hotel after dinner. I was going to take my camera bag with me, but I settled on one lens and my camera. Of course the sky would be awesome on the way home leaving me wishing I had my tripod and another lens. I made the best out of the situation though. I wanted this scene shown a little different, but I turned my camera so that I could at least get the two important components of the scene in it. I liked what I saw in my camera, and I knew that I had a shot for the blog. The main problem here was noise though. Shooting handheld I tried to walk the fine line between the noise of a high ISO, and the need to keep the shutter speed within my handheld range. I shot this at ISO 800 which I thought served to helped me get the picture with the least amount of noise.

I shot three images here with an HDR situation in mind. I often do this, but lately I haven’t been making the HDR image. I find that Lightroom helps me get the metered exposure looking very much like the scene did in real life. Here though I knew that the varying light would be impossible to capture so I would need HDR. The three shots were taken at -2, 0, and +2. I exported the images from Lightroom into Photomatix to get my merged image. I saved the 32 bit file, but I also tried to see what I could do with the tonemapping tools inside of Photomatix. I did get an image that I would have loved a year ago, but it looked a little too fake for me now. I did save it though thinking that I might be able to used some of the texture from it.

I brought the image back into Lightroom to use the sliders there to bring back the rich colors I saw that night. I loved how it looked, but I felt that it needed some more texture to it. I opened up Color Efex Pro to see what I could do. I applied the detail enhancer filter at 100% and the glamour glow filter at 50% to the image. Sending those back into Lightroom I realized that I had just made my noise problem a little worse. I then used another Nik plugin called Dfine2 to get rid of the noise. It is not completely gone, but for the sake of an internet picture I think that my job was done. All of this post processing might have been the result of watching the Trey Ratcliff HDR Tutorials again. For some reason they always make me work a little extra on my photos.

Lightroom 5

This is the first image that I have worked on using the just released Lightroom 5. I had used the beta a bit to see what the new tools could do, but I did not want to import everything into a beta so I had not used it in a while. While I didn’t use all of the tools that were now available to me I did enjoy the sleeker look of the program. I might have to go back and find some older pictures to jazz up using Lightroom 5.

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