Tropical Isle, Bourbon Street

Tropical Isle, Bourbon Street - New Orleans, Louisiana

Tropical Isle, Bourbon Street – New Orleans, Louisiana

After the last few posts of muted film simulations, I thought I’ll spice things up with a blast of color. I think there’s a value in having the post processing match the mood and subject of the photograph. It’s one thing to have a dull and grainy photo of an old cemetery, but for my neon night shots, I like colorful and dynamic. That’s what digital does well, I think, compared to film.

With digital, with low ISO, even the dark shadows are clean without that film muddiness. And, with the latest technology, I can shoot these scenes, handheld without a tripod. Image stabilization was first offered in Nikon and Canon lenses, for film, back in the mid-1990s. But they don’t typically put image stabilization in wide-angle lenses. With the wonderful Olympus in-body image stabilization, even wide-angle lenses get the stabilization benefit.

As a result, I shot this on Bourbon Street at 1/5 of a second at ISO 200. The power of modern digital technology. It’s odd. I both appreciate the modern stuff but also what film can do, depending on the subject. The right tools for the job and the right look and processing for the mood, I suppose.


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3 thoughts on “Tropical Isle, Bourbon Street

  1. Love this photo! I’ve been wanting to shoot night photography for a little while, but I’ve only got a base model Canon. Are there any lenses you’d recommend? Or other hints or tricks to getting the best low light photos?

    1. Thank you, Phase_blog.

      This is a super wide-angle photo, so it’s wider than what a standard kit lens can handle. On the Canon, look into the EF-S 10-18mm lens.

      For the best night shots, you might need to shoot on a tripod, though this lens does have image stabilization which might be enough, depending on the subject.

      To not over expose neon light, shoot with a negative exposure compensation, like I did here. I was at -1 stop. Then, in post processing, you can brighten the shadows.

      Conversely, you can try to take at least 3 different photos, at 2 stops apart, on tripod to create a HDR photo. You will need special software, however, to do this, like Photomatix.

      1. Ah, thank you so much! I’d better get saving for another lens then! I’ve never been so good at the post-processing side of things, but I guess this is a chance for me to learn properly.

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