Ortigas Center cityscape

I bought my Pentax k-r in Manila just 2 weeks ago, and the first set of photos I took was this amazing view of the Ortigas Center from my hotel window. I was still fumbling over the different settings on my new best buddy then but the k-r was such an ease to use it didn’t take long for me to finally get going on my own. Of course I had my dose of over and underexposures, after all it was my first foray into dslrs, but I was not a bit disappointed with my debut shots.

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A view of skyscrapers at night is one of that never fails to blow me away. But night photography, while magnificent, isn’t as easy as I thought. Shooting in low light Is actually challenging. Increasing the aperture and lowering the shutter speed made my shots vulnerable to blur, and increasing the ISO too high and I get those nasty grains they call noise. I didn’t have a tripod at that time, and no matter how I try to steady my hands, breathe long and hard, and support myself in a wall, a little zoom still shows a little blur.

The photo below is shot under daylight WB, 0.5s shutter speed, f5.6, and ISO 3200. It gave a fiery look and made the night clouds visible. I think I overdid something here, but it still looks amazing for me.

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This second night photo is shot with the same settings except that I adjusted white balance for tungsten light. It looks cooler and cleaner than the first one, and has a more realistic city feel to it. It’s quite interesting how such a simple change in lighting effect could produce a welcome twist.

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