@Sanswam : If whatever I have said above makes sense. Here is an image I clicked last weekend, where I used manually blending to get the right amount of details.
Two exposures. One for sky and another one for rocks. manual blend in PS.
@Sanswam What Ankur said is the first thing to look out for. Matrix Metering Mode should be sufficient in such cases.
In case it is not (it should be palpable right by looking at your shot even in the camera LCD), try switching to "partial metering" and then take Big Ben into focus. Camera will try to expose correctly for Big Ben and leave the other stuff out while metering. Later in Lightroom, boost the shadows.
In the photo you have posted, I can see lack of contrast as well. Try bumping it up in Lightroom.
Lastly, I've seen difference of day and night when you use a quality lens for night shots. Do one thing for me, next time, from the same place, take one photo with your 18-55 lens and the other from 50mm prime. And let's see the difference.
@Ankur003 , I am trying to separate two things here, both fall under "Long Exposure" category however what Santosh pointed out in my case is a "night shot" whereas what you posted later is probably a "dusk/dawn" shot.
While what Ankur said about Manual Blending can be 100% correct, I personally don't do blending for night shots. The key here is "night". Dusk shots or Dawn shots definitely show up better with blending, however I personally don't like the affect blending has on the night shots.
The Oprah house photo that you liked is also take with a prime. So when we are at primes and Ankur has kicked off the streak for "Long Exposure Dusk/Dawn" shots, here is another favourite of mine. This is again a single shot with long exposure achieved through a filter.
I have never used my 50mm prime for cityspace or landscapes... I will also try to use it...!
Wonderful image Ashish bhai... This is what exactly I planned to do last weekend but I was late in reaching the spot... By the time I reached sun was already set and using ND10 was seemingly impossible...
I will try to go again next weekend...
Oh Sorry @Ankur003 bhai, my bad in phrasing that incorrectly, that 50mm suggestion was for @Sanswam.
And that suggestion was only to show Santosh how the quality that of a lens can improve the overall quality of night shots. I wasn't advocating usage of 50mm for landscape. As Santosh possesses that lens already, it will be easy for him to run a check and then move to a better lens (than 18-55mm) when he is ready.
Waise, I think, it just depends on the scenario, you can even use 50mm for the cityscapes captures. The Oprah House photograph was taken with a 90mm prime. I was on the other side of the harbour and therefore could take that photo with an almost semi-telephoto prime.
And before I conclude, two quick things for you Ankur,
1) I know you shoot landscape predominately with 11-16mm f2.8 Tokina. So wouldn't have said 18-55 for you.
2) How can I dare giving tips to you! You already shoot so well !
Ye to mera bakkad friend hai - Santosh, who is gracious enough to take them from me!
@Ankur003 I have just started using Aperture mode (from auto mode) after having an SLR for 6 years So I am completely naive and have started taking baby steps in photography. Your initiative projects and inspiring pics I see in BCMT daily, helped me do the switch... Special credit to our Pro @ashk for providing constant tips in the last 2 weeks which I am trying to implement...
Now back to the topic, I will check on the metering thing you guys referred (first learn what it is ) and will try to implement it this weekend...Will try the blending option which you referred, I am naive in photoshop & lightroom too...
@ashk I have been using only 50mm lens since we spoke but i was unable to control the over exposure on the lit up big ben... I tried to reduce the over exposure and also add contrast to the pic in picasa but there was lot of noise due to which I switched to the raw-jpeg file...
I will try to shoot this weekend with the suggestions and will post my pics for review
Meanwhile can you guys throw your expert opinion on the pics i posted in Creative Bookeh project