The Merlion is probably Singapore’s most famous attraction in the heart of the central business district. It’s an obvious picture to make with the statue set against the glowing skyline. So obvious that I’m sure it’s a snapshot made by many a tourist.
I like to think that my version is better than the average. Set on a tripod and with a decently large sensor, I’m sure the image quality is superior to the average smartphone snap. It’s also elaborately post-processed to optimize the urban glow. But, the image is far from perfect and is actually hard to shoot well, as I discovered.
The Merlion is a great deal brighter than the surrounding skyline and unevenly lit. Any effort to brighten the buildings would completely overwhelm the statue. The obvious solution is HDR, a technique that I often used in the past, but hardly ever do now. In fact, back in 2014, I made an HDR of the same scene. I think this version looks better.
It’s surprising, actually, how dull the HDR looks. Perhaps an advancement in sensor technology and a big improvement in post-processing have enabled today’s better photo. Still, I could do better. I prefer today’s composition to my 2014 version. A stronger angle and a longer focal length improved the relationship to the skyline.
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