Cirque Du Boston explained

If you recall, on September 17, I posted this photo (bottom of this article) which I titled Cirque Du Boston. I mentioned that I would explain why I chose to use the HDR technique to photograph the scene. Here is why…

Regular Exposure
Regular Exposure

The morning of the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk it was pretty hazy and disgusting in Boston. When I looked at where Brian Matiash planned our Photowalk route, the gears started turning. I knew that I would need a lot of post processing to break through the haze in the sky. I really wanted to capture just how grand the Cirque Du Soleil tents looked from across the water, but I knew that the sky would not allow me to do it with a regular exposure.

Here you can see a few of the brackets I captured of the scene. Using the Promote Control I tried a set of brackets with 1 EV intervals, 2 EV intervals and even .3 EV intervals. In the end the best processing came from nine exposures at 1 EV intervals.

My first try at processing the photo was a flop. I decided to convert the photo to Black & White which is a trick that many photographers do to try and salvage a photo (even non HDR photos). I didn’t like how it looked as a Black & White either so I kept going at it. A few months later and many attempts at processing the same scene and I am finally happy with the result.

Take 1 - Black & White processing
Take 1 - Black & White processing

So that is it. That is why I chose to shoot HDR and you have seen start to finish. Maybe next time I’ll be able to make a video of the entire experience.

Here is the final image which can also be viewed larger on the original Cirque Du Boston post.

Cirque Du Boston
Cirque Du Boston

Final Processing Notes:

If you’re interested in some of the software I use for processing please visit my Gear and Discounts pages.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,


PS.  For fun I thought I would share this fun screen capture with you.  This photo is on the Boston Fan Pier facebook page  I added a red circle showing where I was standing when I took the Cirque Du Boston photo.  Apparently that photo was also taken 10 days prior to the Worldwide Photowalk.

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