More HDR Pictures - At Night

Last night I walked around outside the Seminary (it was a beautiful night, with a slight breeze), and took some pictures using my D40 on a tripod to make some HDR pictures (HDR = take a few pictures with different exposures, then combine them to make a picture with a seemingly higher dynamic range - where highlights aren't blown out...). There are some areas of the Seminary which look beautiful with this method, and I'll show you those pictures here. All these pictures were taken in the RAW format at ISO 400, and converted to HDR images, then tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro.

Here's a picture of the whole Seminary building from the back baseball field. It was very dark, and I took 5 pictures, one which exposed for the bright building lights at about 1/10 sec., up to a 30 sec. exposure to expose for the darkest areas of the image:

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary at Night - HDR  

The next picture, from the Marian grotto on the east side of the Seminary grounds, is made from four exposures, from 1 sec. to 25 sec.:

Mary Grotto at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary - HDR

Here's a picture of the Seminary tower lit up at night, along with some eerie dark clouds in the sky behind it (4 exposures, from 1/60 sec. to 15 sec.):

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Tower at Night - HDR

And, finally, a picture of the St. Vincent De Paul statue in the courtyard - this one was quite hard to get, as the only lights in the courtyard are from either those little dim blue lights around the statue, or from the sky (very little light comes from the student rooms...). This picture was made from 4 exposures, from 1 sec. to 30 sec.:

St. Vincent De Paul Statue in the Courtyard - HDR

I love how that last picture looks like it was taken during the day, when in fact, it was taken during a very dark night (the moon was not even out). That goes to show one of the strong points of HDR imaging. I always try to make my HDR pictures look 'real,' though - I've seen many people take HDR pictures and make them look like some sort of pastel-colored design rather than like a photograph.