Getting Painterly in Piedmont Park

The City of Atlanta as seen from Piedmont Park at night with a saturated purple, pink, and orange sky and bright green leaves on the trees with reflections of the city in Lake Clara MeerThe City of Atlanta as seen from Piedmont Park's Lake Clara Meer

Nighttime in Piedmont Park

I took a walk down to Piedmont Park on Monday night to get some photos of Lake Clara Meer and the city. I only live a couple of miles from the park and I'm there a lot, but I go for walks with friends and don't always have my camera. 

I had a specific intention of getting a painterly photo and I feel like I achieved that. I did it by underexposing the shot quite a bit.

This was shot at 1/4 sec, f/5 at 200 ISO on a tripod. 

When you bring up the shadows, it produces a lot of digital "noise" in the photo. Most photographers hate noise, and if you want a super clear, sharp, every-detail-showing photo, then noise is definitely the enemy. 

I like the noise when I'm aiming for painterly - something I love to do. The original shot looked like this:

The first, underexposed shot of the City of Atlanta from Piedmont Park

The underexposed shot of the city

I underexposed the shot and then brought up the shadows which brought in the expected noise. 

I softened the noise in Lightroom which made the details less sharp. I also used a paintbrush in Lightroom and painted in some brighter and darker areas.

The buildings weren't as underexposed so they stayed clear and sharp without a lot of noise. 

When I was out shooting, I got talking to another woman, Danielle, who was also out shooting. We agreed that the sky didn't look that great, and I told her I was going to replace the sky in this shot.

As the evening wore on, we could see some purple and pinks creeping in and I was pleasantly surprised with the sky when I uploaded the photos. I tweaked it a little but I was happy with this, though for fun I still might try a different sky.  

Photo Fun in Atlanta

I went to the park by myself but I ended up talking to so many people. I love that about Piedmont Park and Atlanta. 

There have definitely been some issues in and around Piedmont Park and the city, but I find people to be mostly friendly. 

I ended up taking quite a few shots of people with their iPhones and cameras! It was a fun evening. 

I should have waited a little longer and gotten some more photos at regular exposure but I still had a half-hour walk home. The city is mostly friendly but I didn't want to walk on the Beltline much later. 

It was a good Monday night!

And, I was happy to see that my recent camera sensor cleaning did the trick. I had a pretty big spot in the middle of my photos that I kept removing from all my shots. It's gone now - yay!

Have a fantastic rest of your week! We need some rain:)

See you between the raindrops!


I've added this one to the website. You can find it here.