City Entrance, Brisbane Australia

When the sun is rising or setting I either run around frantically clicking or I stay in one position and snap off a bunch of brackets to process as HDR images later. This morning was a mix between the two as there was a set of flood lights on my left and right just out of the composition that made it really hard to compose this scene without getting lens flare. Lens flare is the worst ! and is really hard to get rid of. So, I was always adjusting my position, focal length and tripod running up and down this bridge trying to get the best shot I could for the scene.

It’s surprising how much traffic there is at 5:45am when this shot was taken, but in big cities like this you will find from about 5:30 it is constantly flowing. How early must they get up ? and where are they going ? are the types of questions I ponder as I look down on their cars with my camera. Being able to stand directly over the traffic on this bridge has a really powerful impact on this image because we read images a bit like we read text in a book from left to right. Here we find ourselves invited into the scene through the road and we explore the city, the bridge and then the river plus the arts centre on the right. What had even more impact on this were the clouds which were coming from directly in front of me, S-SW, and were flowing straight overhead so with a slow shutter speed I was able to track this movement and it turns out that they worked like leading lines do and pointed to a space far off on the horizon.

I’ve been heading out 45-60 minutes earlier than a sunrise to get shots of the city like this, which is actually the morning blue hour. Most photographers consider the hour after sunset to be the blue hour but I’ve discovered the morning blue hour is just as beautiful, if not more. It’s also a fantastic way to wake up :-) and watch the rising sun with a coffee in one hand and your finger on the trigger of your camera… Oh ! and I’ve started wearing a beenie as it is getting a bit chilly here in Australia the morning air as “winter is coming” (no this is not a reference to the pulp culture series Game of thrones!). The reason we shoot night skies in the blue hour is not because we missed the sunset, haha, but because you can get these beautiful blue skies like this. If I had shot this exact scene an hour earlier the sky would have come out black and this really doesn’t look great at all, trust me !

Software Used:

– Photomatix Pro HDRsoft offers my readers 15% off with discount code LukeZemePhotography

– Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers - Get access to Photoshop, Lightroom, Behance membership and 20GB of cloud storage for $9.99/month

– NIK collection

– Topaz Adjust 5 Is used to add contrast to the image, 15% off all Topaz software use discount code LukeZemePhotography

Image Location:


View HDR print “City Entrance” Brisbane by artist Luke Zeme in a larger map

Post Processing info for other photographers:

I didn’t have to do too much with this image to get this look other than tonemap it with

  • Photomatix – 15% off use discount code LukeZemePhotography. I use Photomatix to tonemap my HDR brackets as I like the amount of user customisation.

and the Filter software I used were

Thanks guys and gals,
See you tomorrow !

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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