Light Painting, Single Image


Another one from the Dupont Underground. A simpler photo than yesterday's light painting image. It's a single exposure not a combination of images. Let's take a look at the evolution of the image through post-processing. The untouched raw image is below; you can see it underwent a few changes to reach the final product. I did actually shoot multiple exposures where I lit different areas of the tunnel. However, when I went to combine them it just wasn't coming together as an interesting image. I went back to this exposure to work it as a single image. I chose it for the good overall lighting of the fence and the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is from other photographers working a different part of the tunnel. Happy accident.

Hilz_120219_1254 - Version 2

The most significant adjustments I made were to cool the image off and some heavy cropping. I was thinking all that junk in the foreground would be interesting, grungy, gritty elements. Not so much. Turned out to be just a bunch of distracting junk. Too much extraneous stuff weakens the image. The heart of the image is the fence and the light in the distance, which you can see I finally figured out.

Here we are after those initial adjustments:


To finish shaping the image I went into Color Efex Pro and used a variety of filters: Brilliance/Warmth, Tonal Contrast, Darken/Lighten Center and Levels & Curves. I wanted to create an ominous feel, as well as mute the tones and colors around the sides to push attention down the tunnel.