Low Light Photography at Coney Island

Post by fotolistic on June 22nd, 2010   In Category : DSLR Photography 101, Meetup, Photography   

It’s been a while since I shared any photos shot during events from my Digital Photography Workshop Meetup group. For those of you who didn’t know, I run a photography hobbyist group with Meetup.com in New York City. We go around town and photograph a variety of subjects at different times of the day to experience how to better their skills as a photographer. And occasionally, I’ll host workshops on how to use the DSLR and Photoshop/Aperture software.

Our objective for this event is practicing low light photography and slow shutter camera handling. Where else in NYC could we all get some of the best night photography settings than our famous Luna Park Amusement Park at Coney Island. I compiled a couple of before and after photos from the images I shot during this event, and these will show you how a just a few minutes of tweaking can help turn a mediocre photo into a better photo. You can also see more of what the other members shot in my meetup group gallery.

The following photographs were shot handheld in Raw Format with my Canon 5D using Shutter Speed Priority.
I used either a 16mm – 35mm f/2.8 Lens or the 50mm f/1.4 Lens at ISO of 640 to 1000. Daylight White Balance.
Post processed with Aperture and Photoshop CS4.

ISO 1000 | ƒ/7.1 | 1/100s | 35mm
Right: Original. Underexposed, loss of detail in shadow area, white balance that was too blue.
Left: I wanted to go for that vintage look in this photo. I increased exposure for 25%, warmer WB, increase overall contrast 15%, increased mid tone contrast 15%, increased highlight brightness 10%, added yellow tint to highlight, added purple tint to shadow, plus 5% saturation.

ISO 1000 | ƒ/8 | 1/100s | 31mm
Bottom: Original. A bit underexposed and too warm.
Top: increased exposure for 10%, color balance for greener highlight and mid tone, increased overall contrast 20%,
increased mid tone contrast 15%, added purple tint to shadow.

ISO 1000 | ƒ/5 | 1/100s | 17mm
Bottom: Original. Also underexposed.
Top: increased exposure for 10%, increased overall contrast 20%, increased
increased highlight contrast 15%, added magenta tint to the blue, increased 10% saturation.

ISO 1000 | ƒ/22 | 0.5s | 35mm
Bottom: Original. Exposure was almost there. Just needed to correct the color balance and recover some highlight detail and color.
Top: increased exposure for 10%, increased mid-tone brightness 15%, white balance for a cooler tone, color balance sky to a greenish tint, increased saturation 20%, recovered highlight
from the boardwalk and the hot dog shop by increasing highlight brightness 20%.

ISO 1000 | ƒ/4 | 1/100s | 16mm
Bottom: Original. Way underexposed. Lost of detail in the shadow area. Again, I want to go for that vintage look.
Top: Straighten, increased exposure for 25%, increasde highlight brightness 10%, slight shadow detail recovery, color balance sky to a greenish tint by removing magenta from the blue, add magenta tint to the shadow area, increase saturation 20%.

ISO 640 | ƒ/22 | 0.5s | 16mm
Bottom: Original. A bit under exposed and too warm overall.
Top: slightly cropped, increased exposure for 15%, increased highlight brightness 10%, 20% cooler white balance, increased saturday 10% over all, increased saturation 20% to the red and yellow only.

ISO 640 | ƒ/8 | 0.3s | 20mm
Bottom: Original. This shot was almost perfect. Just some slight color adjustment.
Top: increased mid tone brightness 10%, increased saturation 15% over all, added slight green tint to the sky,
increased highlight and mid tone contrast by 15%

ISO 640 | ƒ/2.8 | 1/100s | 21mm
Bottom: Original. Way underexposed. See how much detail I recovered from just increasing exposure?
Top: increased exposure 20%, cooler white balance, increase saturation 15%, increased highlight contrast 10%,
added little magenta tint to the dark color.

ISO 640 | ƒ/7.1 | 1/15s | 50mm
Bottom: Original. Other than the composition, everything else was wrong with this one.
Top: increased exposure 30%, 50% cooler white balance correction, increased overall contrast by 20%, increased highlight contrast by 10% for her hair and lights in the back, increased saturation by 20%.

ISO 640 | ƒ/6.3 | 1/15s | 50mm
Right: Original. This one was just slightly underexposed. I thought it could glow a bit more and a bit more vivid in color.
Left: increased exposure 5%, increased contrast 10%, recover some detail lost in the shadow area, increased saturation 15%, color balance for a bit more magenta on the mid tone to shadow area.

ISO 640 | ƒ/10 | 1/4s | 50mm
Bottom: Original. Slightly underexposed, a bit on the warm side.
Top: increased exposure 5%, increased overall contrast 10%, a bit cooler white balance, decreased saturation 10%,
added some purplish tint to the shadow area.

Not bad for a bunch of handheld slow shutter photography, right?

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