Going back tomorrow - How can I do better? - Night shots

Started Dec 6, 2013 | Photos thread
Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 34,982
"Just keep at it" is right.

Color in the urban environment has always vexed me.    Before I had the sense of color manipulation I have now, I'd resort to monochrome to avoid the frustration with color.   That practice working with tones only was a lesson for exposures and post exposure brightness tweaking.

Your second image is outstanding.   The first is a confounding one color-wise (and exposure-wise).    As I'd take on color challenges like this, as I was learning what is possible I had to settle for what I could do with it, and just "keep at it".    WB, HSL, Vibrance, Saturation together provide a lot of subtle variations, but it takes time.   Before I became comfortable with the HSL control of color, I did everything without those options, experimenting with getting what I thought I wanted and settling for what I could fashion.   Heck, I'm still doing it like this.  Push colors/shadows, see how far and how much NR and sharpening can be applied.   No matter what I fashion, there's always a "shoulda, woulda, coulda" related to exposure or developing chops.  Not happy?  Start over from scratch, practice practice practice.   I recall someone being excited when LR introduced the HSL controls.  I didn't get what that offered for a few years, but when I exhausted what I could refine without HSL, only then was it time to turn to that to toy with and eventually come to terms with.  I was too overwhelmed with everything else that I was trying to master, at the time, to take on HSL.

I'm rambling now, but the gist of this message is in the subject, as Art rightfully suggested.  Though, too bad DetailMan isn't around lately, I think he and you would get along rather well.  You might want to look for his posts from a year to three ago.

But mainly, DANG you have a lot more about you with the craft than many - give yourself a break while you bang your head on all this stuff.   So the first shot isn't what you want.   Take more exposures and work them in post, but show the ones that do work out while you're wrestling with what doesn't.   You're developing a relationship with your sensor, exposure meter, software, and your sense of expression, and relationships take time.   But I'm just repeating myself now.

Here's two interpretations (out of many potential interpretations) of the problematic exposure.

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...Bob, NYC
"Well, sometimes the magic works. . . Sometimes, it doesn't." - Chief Dan George, Little Big Man

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