Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Evening Photography

Maybe our love with catch like fire, as it burns through me.

Part of the lyrics for the song, Beautiful Love, by The Afters. I just love the chorus part to bits – it reminds me of how the last rays of the sun illuminates the higher atmosphere like a burning torch, tearing through the falling darkness. Well here’s the video. [Edit]: The video uploader has disabled video embedding, so click here to watch the MTV. Thanks to Brandy for pointing it out :)

Sorry for spamming YouTube videos lately, but there are really some nice songs out there :razz: I think the song fits this post’s theme very well! This evening photography series leverage heavily on Photoshopped effects – I’m aware that some people feels that Photoshopping is comparable to “faking the effects of the actual scene”, but I think it adds a unique dimension and perspective to the image. I didn’t blend in extra objects – what I did was to enhance the intended effects and remove some flaws and dust speckles. The photos are presented in a “before and after” format, you can click on them to view the larger ones in a lightbox.

Sunset #1 - At my neighbourhoodSunset at my neighbourhood, #1 – The main “evening glow” effect on the road surface is enhanced by adding brightness to the area via color dodge, I faded it off at the sides a little to make it more natural. I’ve tried to create a pseudo-HDR effect, by darkening the sky a little and brightening to row of shophouses on the left. To achieve such an effect, the most important thing is you need to underexpose the photo – it preserves more details and colour information than whitewashed ones.

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Sunset #2 - At my neighbourhoodSunset at my neighbourhood, #2 – Another heavily underexposed photo taken right outside my home :grin: thankfully there wasn’t many cars on the road at that time, so I get to deal with less shawdows. I artifically created the glow effect on the road, I find it too dark at first. I just realised that I forgot to take the shadow of the house on the road, thus the slightly weird lighting effect. But heck, it’s better than the original one.

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Sunset #3 - At my neighbourhoodSunset at my neighbourhood, #3 – I decided to add a little bit of dramatic effect to this photo, so I vigenetted the photo a little. Darkened edges near the bottom is pretty obvious, but I like it the way it made the road a little darker and blue-er. Since there are obstructive overhead wires, I’ve ditched the color burn method to darken to sky but has opted to use the Shadows and Highlights options (accessible under Image > Adjustments > Shadows/Highligths… )

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Sunset #4 - At my neighbourhoodSunset at my neighbourhood, #4 – This photo is taken above the monsoon drain behind my neighbourhood, and a local resident is smart enough to transform it into a commercial plant nursery and he built a bridge across the drain for easier access. If you’ve noticed that there are actually quite a few electric pylons that surrounds my neighbourhood – there’s one in a previous photo and now here’s another. I’ve used Shadows and Highlights to artifically expand the dynamic range, plus used color dodge to increase the brightness of the potted plants in the foreground. If you’ve noticed, a did a little cropping to remove tha annoying branches to the left in the original photo.

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Sunset #5 - Over the expresswaySunset over the expressway, #1 – My neighbourhood is connected to the rest of the township with a highway – a pretty huge one. 17 years back when we first moved in, there wasn’t even a proper road that lead to our new home, but just a muddy, narrow and poorly maintained stretch of tarmac. Things have surely changed a lot over the years! Now it’s transformed into a bustling highway, carrying traffic from the township to the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

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Sunset #6 - Over the expresswaySunset over the expressway, #2 – This photo is one of the least photoshopped one. The only reason why I’ve included it in the series is partilaly based of my love for roadwork and construction – if you look carefully at the background, there’s actually 3 flyovers stacking over each other, with the topmost one still under construction :) wow, amazing isn’t it? Anyway I used the Patch tool to remove the lens flare at the bottom, bumped up the highlights and I’m done!

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Sunset #7 - Over the expresswaySunset over the expressway, #3 – This is the only landscape photo in the entire series. I think I’m taking way too much portraits. I liked how the expressway panned out towards the horizon, and of course, the glowing sun in the background. As you can see, I’ve managed to recover quite a handful of details from underexposed areas, although there’s a little more noise than usual. I choose not to use Photoshop’s noise reduction (under Filter > Noise > Noise Reduction) because it actually blurs out quite a lot of details, and this defeats the entire purpose of underexposing the photo. If I get a dSLR next time, the results will be better since most dSLRs have inbuilt noise reduction technology before the image is saved.

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That’s all for this series, I hope you like it :razz: have a great Sunday, enjoy yourself! It’s a little late now, so I will not be responding to your comments until tomorrow. And oh I owe quite a lot of people comments on their blogs too… sorry to keep you guys waiting! Tomorrow, promise.

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