The Space Port at Night

So I've spoken in the past about my admiration of the fantastic HDR work that Tours Departing Daily has done.  They were a huge inspiration when I was trying to figure out how to do my own HDR photos and get them to look good.  Well, during the learning process, there was a point in time where I was trying to emulate a fantastic shot they did of Star Tours - The Adventures Continue... but no matter what I tried to do, I couldn't quite capture the right color balance, control the oversaturation, or attain the crispness desired in my mind's eye.

Recently, I had the opportunity to pass by Star Tours at night after most people had left, and I figured I'd give it another shot.  This time, though, I simply shot in RAW, rather than use the multiple-exposure HDR method. I also turned the angle around.  The results are definitely different from TDD's luxuriously luminous HDR photos, but I was still able to cleanly capture a large range of exposure, thanks in part to the benefits of the photo format. Unlike a regular JPEG, RAW photos hold more information gleaned from the camera's sensor, that dynamic range can be recovered in post processing. 

The result is not quite the same as a good HDR--that "everything is aglow" effect doesn't quite make it, but if you're using HDR more to get a crisp, evenly exposed shot more parallel to what the human eye sees, RAW will certainly get you there as well.  Two different methods... two different results that still retain similarities... that's the nice thing about photography--there are different twists you can put into it!

Star Tours has closed for the evening, but flights will resume tomorrow.


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