Judith Ponti-Sgargi  

Skating by Judith Ponti-Sgargi

February 2021 - Skating

About the Image(s)

Settings: f16, 0.6 sec., ISO 2000, 32 mm, auto ISO, tripod with remote Nikon d7200, 18-300 mm lens,

Date: Dec. 7, 2020, 5:10 p.m, skating rink in downtown London.

This is a high dynamic range situation. Because people were moving, I could only use one exposure and not a bracketed set to create a HDR image. I did try editing from a single file but detail is lost.

To get the starburst effect in the lights, the minimum aperture required was f16. I tested this out on Christmas lights on house the prior day.

In photographing Christmas lights, it is best not to have a completely dark sky. The Christmas lights turn on at 5:00 and twilight ended at 5:20. (Photographer's Ephemeris). I was fortunate that the skaters were told to go off the rink for it to be cleaned and I had four minutes to get the image. I had set up my tripod while people were skating. When I went down the next day to retry the image, the rink had already been cleared and I would not be able to take the image.

Editing: In LR, applied camera calibration and lens profile, increased exposure and removed the sharpening. In PS, applied Aurora as a filter and with a single image, created an HDR image. This was saved to PS, flattened, a smart filter created and applied two filters 1) Viveza with control points on the people to increase brightness.; and, CEP tonal contrast and detail, with negative opacity in the sky. In PS, using a smart object, straightened the image (transform>skew). In PS, used a curve to darken the sky. Then used Topaz Studio 2 to sharpen and reduce noise.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
7 comments posted

Barbara Dunn   Barbara Dunn
Perfect scene; it looks like something off a Christmas card. The little hut balances out the 3 trees, and the lights are perfect, with starbursts. The reflections in the ice finish it off by adding interest with their horizontal lines.   Posted: 02/08/2021 18:30:22

Timothy Morton   Timothy Morton
This image is a very moving site, with the lights and staking and love the parent and child walking up to the hut, and in the meantime stay safe, and social distance and keep a mask when out.   Posted: 02/10/2021 05:19:59

Paul Swepston   Paul Swepston
I really like the composition of this photo. The ice makes a great foreground for both the reflections and the contrasting color and the horizontal lines. You are really lucky that you were there when everyone sat down. It couldn't have been fun waiting for that and freezing to death.   Posted: 02/11/2021 13:57:58

Steven Wharram   Steven Wharram
You can thank the arrangers of the rink and the public for a well composed image. I like the bottom half in particular with the people sitting down, the small illuminated trees and the reflections in the ice. For me, it's a shame about the tallest tree as, by including that, it has meant that you have had to include a lot of gray, blank sky. Having the top of the photo at the top of the second highest tree would have been better.   Posted: 02/12/2021 08:26:34
Judith Ponti-Sgargi   Judith Ponti-Sgargi

You have made a good point about the tall tree. I shall research and see if I can find an answer about whether it is alright to crop down further. If the tree was butting up to the side, I think there would be no problem. In this case it is plump in the middle.   Posted: 02/13/2021 08:31:43
Steven Wharram   Steven Wharram
The only way I can see as an alternative would be to crop just above the third highest illuminated tree. You lose the top of the other two but it doesn't look as though you've singled out the tallest. :)   Posted: 02/16/2021 08:27:24

Wendy Stanford   Wendy Stanford
Hi Judith, Lovely Christmas scene image, well composed, the people make the image very interactive, the lighting is well controlled, image is sharp and the reflections and horizontal line enhance nicely.   Posted: 02/13/2021 06:08:03