Warp Speed on the Metro

May 13, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Warp Speed on the MetroWarp Speed on the Metro Final Image

This shot was taken on Metro Line 1 in Paris. This is marked yellow on the Metro Map and runs from Chateau de Vincennes to La Defence. It was the first of the lines converted to fully automatic. With no driver at the front just seats this sort of shot taken through the front window is possible. There is very little light so shots like this are only feasible as the train comes into a station. With the line quite busy the problem was in getting a seat by the front window. I used the method of sitting as close as possible and moving forward as passengers got off at stations.

My fellow passengers probably thought I was a bit strange as I got up as stations approached  to take pictures. By trial and error I found the best effect was at 2.5 seconds and then set the camera to manual. The camera was pressed against the window to cut down reflections.

The picture was taken handheld with a Sony A700 with a Sigma 10-20 wide angle zoom at 13mm. One Raw image with Camera Raw used to create 2 additional exposures -2EV and +2EV for HDR. Opened in Photoshop first and each image noise reduced with Noiseware Pro and saved as tiffs. 

Photomatix

Outputted in Photomatix to detail enhancer. Click the Camera name top right on flickr for this image for Exif details and the settings used.

Photoshop

Detail brought back in with Topaz adjust  and also colours enhanced a lot as the image would otherwise have been close to mono. I used Vibrant presets Vibrance with adjustments. Some areas were slightly excluded from the effect especially the highlights by applying Topaz on a duplicate layer with a layer mask.

General adjustments in levels and curves to enhance with layer masks to exclude highlights.

Overall brightness increased with a layer mask to exclude highlights.

Vibrance increased by 35 points

Saturation adjustment layer blues and yellows slight increases for some of the light streaks.

Layers flattened before going on to sharpening.

First duplicate layer Noiseware Pro and a little sharpening

Second duplicate layer with mask to apply extra sharpening and contrast with low amount and high radius using Unsharp mask (Clarity Effect) The settings were 38 amount and 38 radius. A mask was used to partly exclude the effect from highlights.

Slight Vignette added using Topaz Adjust.

BEFORE AND AFTER

Below are the Before and After images. First the middle of the 3 exposures. Then the tonemapped image and then the final result.

Original at 0EV

Warp Speed on the Metro OriginalWarp Speed on the Metro Original

Tonemapped image Detail Enhancer

Warp Speed on the Metro tonemappedWarp Speed on the Metro Tonemapped

Final Image

Warp Speed on the Metro Final ImageWarp Speed on the Metro Final Image

Tip of the Day

When taking bracketed pictures for HDR in a dark location bear in mind that if the +2EV exposure still leaves tones over dark you will end up with a lot of noise in those areas. Take test exposures and check the histogram view on the camera. If necessary use exposure compensation to shift the range of your auto bracketing shots. If a wider range is needed set this up in auto bracketing if your camera allows. If it does not and your camera is on a Tripod a quick way is to use Exposure compensation and take 2 ranges of brackets.

Edwin Jones


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