This is a 5 bracket HDR of the Gateway Bridge, Brisbane, which was taken from the north side on the banks of the Brisbane river.  I placed myself in a position to have the palm trees in the composition because I think they are such an iconic image of the north-east of Australia and its temperate climate.

What I loved about how this image turned out was that the surrounding area has all been illuminated in the purple light source from the bridge. The grass I was standing on in this composition was really dark and was surprised at how bright it turned out in the exposures. I used no manipulation or tricks on Photoshop to achieve this. In fact I wouldn’t even know how to as my Photoshop skills are of a purist photographic nature. Shooting this I stood on the edge of a golf course and the only sounds were that of cars and trucks crossing the bridge as there wasn’t much else around. Using long exposure times allows you to get movement in the water and clouds and they both have the ability to create stunning effects. In this case I think the direction of the clouds was perfect and I have to admit there was a certain amount of luck involved in that ;-). It’s an important part of digital photography to try and take multiple composition of the same subject with multiple settings because you may never return to that location, and of course you can just delete any unwanted images at a later date. A big part of photography is being in the right spot at the right time and you may have to wait hours for elements to combine, spend hours in travel and time working the scene. On top of that you will spend time processing the image on your computer, which for me averages out at about 1 hour per image. So, there is a big process for creating images like this which take precedent over many things in your life, as being in the right place for a Landscape photographer is very different to the type of travel photography tourists will take. We may have been waiting in a spot since 5am when a tourist arrives at 1pm takes a snap but they both have their place.

*Tip- if you are shooting at night and you find your +1 and +2 are maxing out at 30 seconds, try opening up your aperture to allow more light in or bump up your ISO. I used ISO 200 instead of 100 for this reason. Using low f-stops will make your depth of feild more narrow but I personally like having only some parts of an image being in focus all the time.

Software Used:

Photomatix PRO – Is a MAC and PC HDR software for creating stunning HDR images. They have a free trial, but if you end up buying a copy of Photomatix you can get a 15% Discount with the coupon code LukeZemePhotography

– Topaz Adjust 5 is a great Filter program with a variety of choices, 15% off all Topaz software use discount code LukeZemePhotography

 On1 Photo suite  the complete collection of photo editing software from OnOne

Imagenomic’s Noiseware 5-noise removal software, discount code “LukeZemePhotography” for a 10% discount.

Image Location:


View “Brisbane Gateway” © 2012 by Luke Zeme in a larger map

thanks, Luke

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Please use this contact form for any enquiries and we will get back to you asap. Thanks, Luke