DCA Sunrise

Couple weeks ago I arrived at the Reagan National Airport right before sunrise and as we got out from the plane and waited for luggage we had about 2-3 minutes of this incredible sunrise. I had my carry around NEX-7 in my bag, so I quickly pulled it out and snapped a few shots of this light show. I always take photos in RAW format so I can do a bit more post processing in the photos. I decided to process this photo with HDR technique and without. So here are two photos, one is processed first with Photomatix and then finalized with CS5. Another one is processed only with CS5. Which one do you like the most? Poll is at the end of the post.

Photo 1:

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Photo 2:

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14 thoughts on “DCA Sunrise

  1. First one. I don’t really like the blue tones in the second one as they make the photo a bit too cold for my taste and even though you can see more ground details in the second one, I don’t really think that is the point of interest of this photo…

  2. The second one looks overly lightened to me, which washes the rich tone out of the clouds, and even creates hot spots were there were none in the middle of the image which becomes distracting. Agree, the majesty of the natural color, not the plane or ground is the focal point. What a view, tho… always good to keep a handy camera with you! I have GOT to get myself something like that for when a DSLR is not on hand.

  3. I chose the first one. It is incredible! The second picture looks slightly washed out, having less contrast. Also, the bright light coming through the opening in the clouds in the center in the second picture doesn’t feel very good. The darkness of the fuselage in the first picture actually adds perspective to the scene. However, I see what you wanted to achieve using the HDR technique. If only the airplane fuselage was brightened, and not the bluish hue of the skyline behind, HDR would’ve worked.

  4. A combination of the two!! I would take the sky from the 2nd image as its nicely saturated and then mask in the airport from the 1st photo as it should be darker and show less details to keep the viewers eyes on the sky! Thats why I didn’t vote for either 🙂

  5. Hi everyone, thanks for commenting. Personally I like the #1 photo, it is more natural. The bottom part was not this dark, but the one done with HDR has a bit too much blue and it is probably die to how I did it. HDR from a single frame is usually does not produce best results. Interestingly the vote is split almost in half, with latest being at 58% for #1 and 42 for #2.

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