Over the Rhine || Cologne, Germany

View this Spot on Locationscout.net

View this Spot on Locationscout.net

As the locals say "Home is where the Dom is", and it's not a bad place to call home.  The massive bridge leading up to the Cologne Cathedral is completely covered in "love locks".  Where lovers lock in their love or lock away a secret and throw away the key into the Rhine.  

Taking this photo for me was a great memory and a great experience.  I met up with a local photographer to Cologne and enjoyed some locals German beers as we witnessed an amazing sunset over the Rhine.  In most cases social media can be a dangerous thing, but as a traveler it allows me to connect with people all over the world and make connections I would never be able to make on my own.   

Technical Stuff: 

CAMERA:    Sony A7R

LENS:    Zeiss 16-35mm f/4 - Shot at 35mm

TRIPOD:    RRS TVC-24L w/ BH40 Ballhead

HARDWARE:    11' Macbook AirWacom Manga Tablet

SOFTWARE:    Capture One 9 - Photoshop CC 2015.5 - Nik Color Efex Pro 4

EXPOSURES:                        

Sky - ISO 50, 1/125 sec at F/8

Base Exposure - ISO 50, 30 sec at F/8

Super Highlights - ISO 50, 2 sec at F/8 

TAKEN:    August 10, 2016

TECHNIQUE: This was a difficult shot to blend.  Because there was so many spaces in between the bridge I had to make sure that I had a good luminosity mask to ensure a seamless blend.  I took a separate exposure (not shown) that had less clouds and more contrast between the sky and the bridge.  I used that exposure just to get the mask, once I got the mask I was able to delete the exposure.  This allowed me to seamlessly blend the "sky" exposure into the "Base" exposure.  Next was to blend in the "super highlights" to make sure that no areas were blown out.  Once the blend was completed some color correction was added to the water to ensure that it matched the brightness and tone of the sky.

TIPS:     If you are having issues getting a good mask, look at other exposures you took while shooting.  One of these may provide better contrast and provide a better mask.