The Making of "The Devil's Bridge"

The Making of “The Devil’s Bridge”

This is a photo of the Stari Most (Old Bridge), a remarkable example of Ottoman architecture that links the two halves of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, by spanning the Neretva river. The bridge was rebuilt after being bombed during the Bosnian war in 1993, together with most of the city.

Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Stari Most, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Shooting

I took this photo at night, under heavy clouds. I used a Fujifilm X-E2 camera fitted with the Fujinon XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR lens. I set the aperture to f/8 to get maximum sharpness and the shutter time to 14s, checking the histogram to make sure I wasn’t blowing the highlights where the bright stone of the buildings was illuminated by floodlights.

Post-processing

I detail my post-processing steps in a video that I created some time ago for an article posted to Visual Wilderness. Sometimes it’s hard to capture nighttime photos of cities when multiple light sources with varying colors conflict with the color of the sky. I’ve seen a number of nightly cityscapes where the sky looks muddy brown or dark orange rather than a nice, deep blue.

In this video, I demonstrate a few tricks for these difficult situations to get those colors right and to create images with rich, vibrant, and natural colors. No software other than Adobe Lightroom is required, but it is imperative that you shoot RAW.

Here are the steps that are illustrated in the video:

  1. Correctly set the white balance.
  2. Apply global tonal corrections.
  3. Set temperature and tint.
  4. Use the HSL panel for more targeted corrections.
  5. Apply local corrections to problem areas.

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