Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Combining exposures from the Fuji X-Pro2 to maximize dynamic range

Last night I crossed the Hudson to take some night shots of the city from the Jersey side. I had with me the Fuji X-Pro2 and three zooms, the 16-55mm f/2.8, 50-140mm f/2.8, and 100-400mm. That pretty much covered everything I planned on doing, and I used everyone of them at one time or another.

I did this image in both color and black & white, but ended up preferring the monochrome version.
I wanted to experiment with shooting at a later time than normal. Typically I try to finish my night shots by 15-30 minutes after sunset, while the lights balance out with the light remaining in the twilight sky. This time I worked into the dark with long exposures to blur the moving water. I also took multiple exposures one stop apart to preserve all the detail of the scene. Instead of using HDR to combine the exposures because I usually do not like the false look it creates, I did it by hand in Photoshop by layering all four or five different exposures and then painting out or using the opacity slider to smooth out the tonal transitions.

Taken with the Fuji X-Pro2 and 16-55mm f/2.8 lens set to f/11 and four different exposures one stop apart. It took about one minute to blur the water like this.
By combining several images like this I was able to increase the dynamic range of the scene without having to actually open up shadows in post processing, which would have introduced excessive noise. Instead I was able to keep the ISO at 200 throughout, and with the new 24mp sensor of the X-Pro2 this resulted in a large image with excellent detail and resolution.


  1. Looks great Tom! Wonder if I could use my astro imaging software to stack n process the images. As I don't have and can't use photoshop. To complicated for this old fart. I am enjoying using my xpro2 though. My email is one@xtra.co.nz cheers!

  2. There are several other software programs that can combine images with several varying exposures. Take a look at Photomatix Pro, and PTGui.