Portmeirion by night, hand-held using Night Scene HDR (Image heavy)


PeterKR

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 19:41
Portmeirion is a wonderful place by day but becomes magical at night with lots of feature lighting.
When I tried to capture this, hand held, by using Tv and 1/15 to 1/25s I got very 'washed out' results as the lighting overpowered the subject matter.

I found that my wife's Lumix LF1 has a 'Hand Held Night Shot' setting and when we used this it took 3 exposures in rapid succession, which I thought must be an HDR mode ? (And the results were very impressive !)
I then looked for something similar on the K70 and, sure enough, in the Scene mode selection there is one for 'Night Scene HDR' !
I therefore chose this and the results were MUCH better.
There is still a little bit of blur from hand-held 'camera shake', as I didn't have a tripod with me.

I've pasted some of the shots below - all c&c welcome.

NOTE: These are all the Camera JPG's with no PP apart from some straightening and cropping !

However, in future I think I will have to take a tripod !
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Thanks for looking
Peter
Last Edited by PeterKR on 06/09/2017 - 19:44

McGregNi

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 21:35
You had me worried there for a moment Peter ..... I thought you were going to post photos taken with a PANASONIC

Luckily no, you sensibly chose the K70, with its much better (obviously ) Night HDR Mode!

Its rather good I think. Yes, sure, a tripod would have helped, there's a little softness in places. But they are realistic looking and retain the atmosphere of the night. Most importantly (for me) the highlights of the light sources are well controlled (we so often see these blown out in a glaring ugly manner). Here they are bright, but not uncomfortable to look at, and there's plenty of detail around them as the light fades from the light source.

I imagine a more agressive HDR setting or processing profile would raise the shadows more, and give us a better glimpse into those deeper darker recesses, however it might be at the expense of richness in the blacks. In reality we probably only see that sort of detail in the flesh if we stood still and stared for some time at the darkest places, so our eyes can adjust. Just walking around and taking it in I think the reality would be quite similar to your images here.

It mjust be really good to wander around there after dark ... do you have to be staying there to do that?
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Last Edited by McGregNi on 06/09/2017 - 21:37

PeterKR

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 22:08
Many thanks for those kind comments, Nigel.

I've never been one to use the 'Scene Modes' as I'd always felt they were for people who didn't know how to set their own exposures !
How stupidly arrogant of me - I've now learnt my lesson !
On my first wildlife photoshoot after getting my k-r the professional photographer , in reply to someone asking about how to use manual exposure settings, replied "you can either spend a lot of time trying out different settings or simply leave it to those clever Japanese engineers and put the camera on Auto !" How right he was !

I was certainly very pleased by the Night Scene HDR response in balancing the lighting and you are right about the slight softness - after all, my old eyes saw things that way in the dark !

Yes, you do have to stay there to wander around at night - Day Visitors have to leave by 7:30 pm so another of the pleasures of staying there is that it is very quiet and you can frame shots as much as you like. You don't need to be a Noel Coward (who was an early visitor to the Hotel), or Patrick McGoohan (who stayed there before writing 'The Prisoner' after falling in love with the place) as there are a number of the houses available as self catering holiday lets, and we have stayed there with our family several times. They book up very quickly, especially for the school holidays, so our son booked for next year before we left and got the last available week in a house big enough for all of us !
So, NEXT year I WILL take my tripod !

Thanks again
Peter

MrB

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 22:08
Peter, did you set 'Auto Align' in the 'HDR Capture' section of Camera Menu 3? I don't know if it applies to the Night Scene HDR Mode as I have never used any scene modes, but I do know that Auto Align is quite effective when taking hand-held HDR shots using one of the main modes, e.g. Av.

Philip

PeterKR

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 22:15
MrB wrote:
Peter, did you set 'Auto Align' in the 'HDR Capture' section of Camera Menu 3? I don't know if it applies to the Night Scene HDR Mode as I have never used any scene modes, but I do know that Auto Align is quite effective when taking hand-held HDR shots using one of the main modes, e.g. Av.

Philip

Thanks for that comment, Philip. The short answer is "NO" because I didn't know that existed !
I'd never used HDR before (nor any of the Scene Modes), but I did notice that on one shot, when I didn't hold the camera still long enough while the 3 shots were fired, the result was badly blurred.

I'll have a look on the Camera Menu to check and also study the Manual before trying again - so thanks again for alerting me.

Best regards
Peter

PeterKR

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 22:36
MrB wrote:
Peter, did you set 'Auto Align' in the 'HDR Capture' section of Camera Menu 3? I don't know if it applies to the Night Scene HDR Mode as I have never used any scene modes, but I do know that Auto Align is quite effective when taking hand-held HDR shots using one of the main modes, e.g. Av.

Philip

Just checked my K70 settings, Philip, and the HDR settings on Menu 3 are 'greyed out' when on Night Scene HDR mode. The manual says this uses Auto HDR but doesn't say anything about Auto Align.

Checking the camera HDR settings on Menu 3 they are all available in every other mode and other scene settings (and Auto Align appears to be ON by default), so I might experiment with using my own HDR settings on the plain 'Night Scene' mode and see what I get ?

Thanks again
Peter

MrB

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 22:56
Yes Peter, I just got the camera out and had a look. Unfortunately, as you have written, the HDR Capture option in menu 3 is greyed out in the scene mode. Perhaps next time you might try similar in-camera HDR shots in one of the main modes, e.g. Av, where you have several options for the way the 3 shots are captured. It often works quite effectively for me when taking daylight shots in challenging lighting, but I haven't tried any night shots yet.

Philip

cardiffgareth

Link Posted 06/09/2017 - 23:15
Viewing off a mobile device so not brilliant my end but I'm impressed with how it's handled the HDR. Nice depth to the images

I prefer depth over an aggressive HDR look, more natural
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thingsthatihaveseen

Link Posted 07/09/2017 - 20:58
Really like these Peter... haven't seen shots of Portmeirion at night before... there's a real sense of larger than life other-ness from the colour scheme... almost like being inside a cartoon...

Best
Bill

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PeterKR

Link Posted 07/09/2017 - 22:41
Many thanks for your kind comments, Gareth and Bill.

I was really pleased by the way that Night Scene HDR mode handled the difficult light conditions.

Thanks again
Peter

droopsnoot

Link Posted 12/09/2017 - 20:00
Some nice shots there, I wondered what the place would look like after dark when I was there earlier in the summer. There is a bit of softness as has been mentioned, but not everywhere.
Real name: Mike Edwards. My homage to seventies Vauxhalls: www.firenza.net

Camera - Pentax Kx, 18-55 kit lens, 18-200 Sigma, 50-500 Sigma, 500mm Tamron mirror

PeterKR

Link Posted 13/09/2017 - 22:05
Many thanks, Mike.
I've posted a couple of shots, slightly sharpened in PSE11, on the gallery, for comparison.

Thanks again
Peter
PS: My first new car was an HAH21 Viva SL90

droopsnoot

Link Posted 15/09/2017 - 13:11
Now I look again, I'm starting to be a bit unimpressed by the lighting around the place. I think they could have done more interesting things to really bring it to life after dark. I know that they have people staying there (and living there?) so there's a need to have lights so guests can actually see where they are going, but that seems to be the bulk of it, just illumination rather than creative lighting. Other than lighting one arch in blue it all just seems a bit bland. Maybe there isn't scope to do anything else.

I hope it's clear I'm disappointed with the place itself, not your photos Peter.
Real name: Mike Edwards. My homage to seventies Vauxhalls: www.firenza.net

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PeterKR

Link Posted 15/09/2017 - 20:50
droopsnoot wrote:
Now I look again, I'm starting to be a bit unimpressed by the lighting around the place. I think they could have done more interesting things to really bring it to life after dark. I know that they have people staying there (and living there?) so there's a need to have lights so guests can actually see where they are going, but that seems to be the bulk of it, just illumination rather than creative lighting. Other than lighting one arch in blue it all just seems a bit bland. Maybe there isn't scope to do anything else.

I hope it's clear I'm disappointed with the place itself, not your photos Peter.

Hi Mike. I tried to be selective in the shots I posted here (to prevent the thread posting from being too long). The main point of the lighting is for the benefit of the residents but there are also many other floodlit features. Overall the effect was very attractive and magical.
To get a true impression I'm afraid you will just have to stay there and see for yourself !

The other reason I posted this thread was to illustrate the power of the Night Scene HDR mode that I'd not come across before.
To illustrate this I'll now include one of my attempts from the night before using 1/15s on Tv. As with the original HDR shots this is also an unedited camera jpg. I think you will see the difference in light capture ?

Peter


droopsnoot

Link Posted 18/09/2017 - 12:33
Yes, very much so. I would imagine there's a limit as people are around, and to be fair I'm not familiar enough with the place to be able to suggest what would make it "better" for want of a better word.
Real name: Mike Edwards. My homage to seventies Vauxhalls: www.firenza.net

Camera - Pentax Kx, 18-55 kit lens, 18-200 Sigma, 50-500 Sigma, 500mm Tamron mirror
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