I might be breaking a tradition here, as I hardly ever write more than 2-3 sentences to a post (mostly no words, at all) but there’s something, I really wanted to share with you guys.
A couple of days ago I went out to take a few shots in the city at night, as there was a nice little fog around which created quite a spectacular cityscape. For a change and to see what would happen, I’ve left my tripod at home and decided to go full manual and shoot from my hands. I took a few shots, amongst which were a couple that I liked – than got home to process them.
The results were OK-Good, but there was one particular picture that really got me. Not that it was an “oh so great” photograph, but it did have an awful lot of detail in it.
Here’s the shot resized:
As you may see, this is a tram stop, with an office building at the background, some benches and pavement in the foreground. Let me highlight some interesting details for you:
Starting with the center of the frame, have a look at the billboard. If you look back at the original image, you can see how it’s a lot brighter than most of the image itself, yet the details are rendered perfectly fine. The light reflects on the top of the tram stop, and on the side of the tram as well.
Now let’s take a look at an another billboard. It’s at the topper left side of the picture. (Yes, it’s Burger King, and no, it’s not a paid ad for them. I don’t even like their burgers, to be honest) You can see the lightstreams with shadows and highlights. A really great dynamic range in my books.
Looking into the details even further, on the lower left side, you can see the inside of the bus that’s nearby, even a face looking out from the window.
Looking back to the center, have a look at the benches. You can see the shadows they cast on the pavement, and you can see some garbage on the ground as well. Beautifully rendered details.
And finally, the last highlight: the rails. You can see the light reflect on them, it’s not distorted in any way.
I was really flabbergasted when I saw how many details can come up on a picture I shot in the fog over night from hand. I shot this on a Nikon D800 with a Nikkor 24-70 f2.8. Whilst I do realize the D800 is famous for its resolving power and dynamic range, I had no idea that it has the possibility to be the successor of the Nikon D700, the low-light-champ. Now I can safely say, I won’t hesitate to take it with me to low light situations, even without a tripod.
Oh and one last thought: please shoot RAW. Or film :)