Thursday, November 22, 2012

Night Panoramic Long Exposure of Putrajaya [Photography]

Last weekend I attended and shot several photos of my cousin at her wedding reception in Putrajaya, and as I was driving home from Putrajaya Lake Club, I decided to stop by at Seri Wawasan Bridge and shoot the cityscape of Putrajaya as seen from the bridge. The result of many 30-second exposure shots stitched together can be seen below.

I had several problems with the panorama that I shot. I wanted to keep the Millennium Monument and the Iron Mosque in the center of the panorama, but as you can see, about half of the panorama is dark and featureless, and so the photo looks imbalanced and heavy on one side.

The original file is about 15Mb large, not appropriate for display on blogs, so I did not upload the original image file here. You can try to see the image at the highest resolution possible on flickr by going here.

Below are some cropped version of the above image, focusing on some parts of the more featured side of the panorama.

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The interesting part of this photo are the sparkling lights. You can capture light sparkles like this when you do long exposure at night of stationary light sources. You also must keep your aperture at a small enough opening --- f/11 or f/16 would be good enough to produce the sparkles in your photo. Remember to keep the ISO setting at a minimum (100 or 200) especially when you set your exposure time to be beyond 10 seconds.

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This would be one of the motivations for long exposure --- to smooth or soften out the ripples in the lake so that you get a nice reflection of the lights above, especially those illuminating interesting architecture such as the Iron Mosque and the Seri Saujana Bridge. This crop would already be a great photo if the Millennium Monument wasn't exactly in front of the mosque, but from the vantage point of my shot, there was no way I could get the monument to be out of the shot of the mosque. Next time, I am going to focus more on shooting the Iron Mosque, probably from a vantage point on the Seri Saujana Bridge where the view of the mosque would be not be obstructed by any tall structure.

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Here's a closer crop on the Seri Wawasan Bridge. Actually the bridge is illuminated by lights that continuously change color, so I half-expected it to come out as white. I think the end result is more bluish because the light colors they use for the bridge are mostly bluish in hue, and the reds and greens have less share of the time.

My next Putrajaya night outing will probably feature the Iron Mosque itself, so be on the lookout for that!

Oh and by the way, comments and criticism on my works are very much welcome and appreciated!

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