My intention for flying the drone today was to shoot a panorama of Uptown looking south toward Columbus about 30 minutes after sunset. Wanted the color contrast of the blue light after sunset with the golden glow of streetlights illuminating the arteries.
The planned photo turned out as planned, above.
The better photo was the one I used for My Final Photo, below.
I intentionally underexposed by one stop to keep details in the upper contrast range of the lights. Letting the shadows go underexposed didn’t matter as the plan was to keep them dark for the contrast.
Also knew the shadows would go blue with only that color light reflecting back from the shadows.
There is a slight difference in the shadow color between the two photos. A portion of that is the blue reflection in the shadow area and there are more shadow areas in the top photo. I also edited the shadows to not be as dark to keep detail so they didn’t become blobs of black.
Two key elements in the editing.
Adobe Camera RAW is perfect for handling the first stage of editing RAW files. The DJI Mini 3 Pro shoots DNG, a version of RAW.
The second element is Luminar Neo. I’ve used a lot of Photoshop plugins over the years. As editing programs have evolved with new processors and video cards, being able to edit color as simple as it was to edit black-and-white simplifies the ability to control the final image. Luminar Neo uses sophisticated programming algorithms, now referred to as AI, to simplify some editing choices. Highly recommended for photographers. Download the trial version. Give it a try.
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Below, for paid subscribers, are more photos from “Uptown Droning,” including other editing choices in the top photo.