This weekend i have been experimenting with some LE HDR (Long Exposure HDR), creating reflections and adding fireworks into an image.

First of i needed an image which would look interesting and had a dynamic feeling and look to it, so i decided to head for the Erasmus bridge ( i know, again…). After finding a parking space near the bridge, i had to walk for about 5 minutes to reach the spot were i was going to look for a nice composition and to wait there till blue hour arrives. As some of you may know about now, i am into the blue hour, its really one of my favorite times of the day to shoot some cool pictures.

Oke, so i found my composition and got everything ready to go.

  • Settings? Check!
  • Focus? Check!

For this image i shot a total of 7 images from -3 to +3. I quickly changed my composition after getting those shots and tried a different angle. I always try to capture as much information as possible as this gives me the most possibilities in my post processing. So sometimes, for like when you are shooting strait into the sun i might even go from -5 to +5 and most of the time i don’t even use all the files but you only have that one occasion too get it like you want it and then its better to be safe then sorry. (Always check your histogram and set your camera to show the ‘blinkies’).

Got home and made a cup of coffee to get the creative engine running. For this image i needed an hour to process it and get it the way i wanted it too look.

After importing the images into Lightroom, i did the lens correction and fixed the chromatic aberration on the middle exposure and selected all 5 images i wanted to use in order to get all the dynamic range possible and synchronized them. Then i chose Edit in  –>  Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop CC. This option creates a 32bit file of the selected images. You can choose to use the option – Remove ghosting, this will usually work good but not always as it will try to clear the merged image from moving objects in the image.

When its done in Photoshop CC i close the image and chose the option – Save. By choosing the option – Save it will instantly import it into Lightroom after saving it. Now you have a 32bit file within your grasp and it is ready for you to unleash some epic post processing skills unto it. Did some fine-tuning and duplicated my picture. Flipped it horizontally and added  some motion blur to it, masked out the parts above the shoreline to have a nice looking reflection. Then i added some fireworks and since the fireworks was very bright and it was shot at night i did not have to do much else then to scale it and put the blending mode of the layer into – Lighten.

Hope you got any useful information from this post and if i can help you out in any way to create some cool shots feel free to mail me or drop a comment down below!

Thanks 😉

Technical info:

  • 5 images
  • @ 16mm
  • f/9
  • iso 100
  • middle exposure @ 20 sec

Programs used:

  • Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom 5