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Indianapolis Skyline at Night with Shooting Star taken from JW Marriott Hotel

Shooting Star over Indianapolis, Indiana

This photo was taken of the Indianapolis skyline at night from the new JW Marriott Hotel and I was lucky enough to actually capture a shooting star in this photo! If you click on the photo it will enlarge in a new browser window, so be sure to check out the shooting star in the upper right corner!

Rose and I were sitting in our hotel room looking out the window and playing with the settings on my camera and I started taking some photos. It didn’t take long, but about 10 minutes into taking the photos, I took a photo and both of us thought that we saw something in the sky and sure enough after looking at the photo, I had caught a shooting star…BY ACCIDENT! I had always wanted to take my camera out in a dark field to take photos of shooting stars, but to date haven’t done it yet. I’ve taken a few photos of stars, but when shooting stars, you can’t have the shutter open very long because believe it or not, stars move. If the shutter is open too long, you will see the stars spiral around, which is also a very cool photo! For this photo, the shutter was only open for 0.8 seconds.

I took this photo in January 2012, less than one month before the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI 46 game, which took place just a couple blocks south of the JW Marriott Hotel at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Home of the Indianapolis Colts and 2012 Super Bowl XLVI 46

Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Home of Super Bowl XLVI 46

This photo (click to enlarge) was taken from a hotel room in the new JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis at around 3:00am on Sunday, January 15, 2012. In this photo you can see Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team as well as home of the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI 46 featuring the Eli Manning and the New York Giants against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Much of this area is new, including the JW Marriott Hotel, which opened around February 2011, less than a year ago.

In the foreground with the black roof is the Indiana Convention Center. You can also see the nearby Super Bowl Village, which was not yet opened at the time, but opened not long after this photo was taken. The JW Marriott Hotel serves as one of the main hotels for Super Bowl guests, journalists, celebrities, players, coaches and many others who are in town for the big game.

If this photo were expanded more to the left, you would see the Indianapolis skyline. While I was up late at night looking out the hotel room windows, I took another photo of the Indianapolis skyline at night with a shooting star that came out pretty amazing! As I took the photo, I thought that I saw the shooting star in my peripheral vision and sure enough when I checked, I had caught it on my camera. The shutter was only open for about 0.8 seconds, so really, capturing the photo was pure luck.

Please continue to enjoy the rest of my photo blog!

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Review of JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis

On a side note, the JW Marriott Hotel in Indianapolis was a very nice hotel to stay in. The JW Marriott is a luxury hotel line offering premium services, including beautiful and spacious rooms, city views and more. I would highly recommend the JW Marriott as a place to stay in downtown Indianapolis. Its location is near most downtown attractions including Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, Circle Center Mall, Monument Circle, Victory Field, the Indiana Statehouse, comedy clubs, restaurants and more.


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Licensing and Copyright Information

Printing this photo for public use or display without prior written consent is strictly prohibited. For information about the use and licensing of this photo, please refer to the Creative Commons license and copyright disclosure in the paragraph below. Newspapers, magazines and all other publications wishing to publish this photo can refer to my licensing terms and agreement or can contact me directly for any requests and inquiries not covered in my licensing terms.

Creative Commons License
Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at Night by Joey B. Lax-Salinas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.joeyblsphotography.com.

HDR Before and After of Newport, RI Boats in the Harbor

HDR Newport, RI Boats in the Harbor

This photo is a before and after of what an HDR photo looks like in its original form before being merged with others. The photo on the left if the original taken at regular exposure. The photo on the right is the result of the merging of three photos; one underexposed, one overexposed and one that is normal exposure. You can clearly see how detailed the HDR photo on the right is compared with the normal photo on the left. I also went ahead and removed some of the logos as well as the number on the boat in the foreground. The sky is much more enhanced and detailed and the water is much more reflective in the HDR photo.

There are a number of steps that I need to do in order to get a photo like this. First, I have to take at least three photos of the scene with a high quality camera that has a RAW format. I set the camera to take three photos very quickly and all at different exposures. After that, I merge the three photos with HDR merging software and export it as a 16 bit TIFF image. Then, I open it in Aperture and adjust the colors, hue, temperature and any other aspects of the photo to what I see fit. Next, I process my HDR photo with noise reduction software to clear out digital artifacts. I then go back into Aperture and sharpen my photo as needed. Finally if anything needs to be removed from the photo (logos, trademarks, etc.), I open the exported photo in Photoshop and digitally remove anything that I don’t want.

That’s it! It sounds easy, but it’s actually pretty time consuming per photo. The HDR photo above took me nearly a half hour to get it just right. Not bad I suppose, especially when the photo comes out so nice! But when you are like me and you come home from a vacation with over 3,000+ photos, it takes months if not years to really get through them all to do everything that I want to do to them. I took this photo in May 2011 as I was on an east coast road trip with my girlfriend Rose. We loved Newport, Rhode Island and are excited to return there someday!

Check out this other HDR before and after photo of the rocks along Ocean Ave in Newport, RI.

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HDR Before and After of Rocks along Ocean Avenue in Newport, RI

Before and After of Newport, RI rocks near Ocean Ave

This is the same photo, side by side. Well…basically. The photo on the left is one photo in a series of three which make up the photo on the right. The photo on the right is an HDR photo, a combination of three images merged into one. This was a great location to take an HDR photo because of the contrast of bright light in the sky and the darkness of the light on the rocks.

In order to get a beautifully clear HDR shot, it is essential for the camera to be mounted on a sturdy tripod. To ensure a clear photo, you should also have an external shutter release or a wireless remote to take your photos. This will ensure that the camera hasn’t moved from finger vibration while you press the trigger on the camera.

As mentioned above, in order to create an HDR photo, you need to take at least two photos, but more photos are preferred, especially if there is quite a bit of contrast in the photo. The photo on the right is merged with three photos; one underexposed, one normal and one overexposed. The photo on the left is the normal photo of the used in this HDR series.

It takes a good eye to know how to adjust the settings just right in order to capture all of the detail in the rocks and not wash out any highlights or underexpose and rocks. It takes practice doing this without making an image look flat. After the image on the right was created from three RAW .CR2 files, I exported it into a 16 bit TIFF file. Then, I opened it in Aperture and adjusted a variety of levels until I found a balance that I liked. I enhanced the reds and the yellows in the HDR photo as well as some of the bright green tones. I also removed some of the blueness from the sky and ocean to balance it out a little better.

I mentioned that this is the same photo on both the left and right, however you may notice some differences in the way the waves hit the rocks. For example, the photo on the right has more wave action on the rocks in the foreground than the photo on the left does. That is because when you take an HDR photo, because it is three separate photos, they are taken over a one second period, so the waves are different in the third photo than they are in the first photo. The HDR software merges all of the details and the brightness of the waves override the dark rock beneath it.

Check out my HDR before and after photo of boats in Newport harbor.

HDR Photo of Lake Placid near Mirror Lake and Crowne Plaza Resort and Golf Club

Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY

These are HDR photos of Lake Placid, NY mountain range just before sunset taken in May 2011. These photos were taken at one of the highest peaks in town, near the Crowne Plaza Resort and Golf Club.

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Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY.

Sunset over Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, NY.


Licensing and Copyright Information

Printing this photo for public use or display without prior written consent is strictly prohibited. For information about the use and licensing of this photo, please refer to the Creative Commons license and copyright disclosure in the paragraph below. Newspapers, magazines and all other publications wishing to publish this photo can refer to my licensing terms and agreement or can contact me directly for any requests and inquiries not covered in my licensing terms.

Creative Commons License
Lake Placid NY Mirror Lake and Lake Placid Mirror Lake by Joey B. Lax-Salinas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.joeyblsphotography.com.