Miami – an unexpected love affair – part four – night shots with Adobe Lightroom

miami south beach at night

When I took my dSLR camera to Miami in April I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I still don’t. But I don’t often attempt night photography.

However, I pointed my camera and clicked, hoping for the best. When I got home I was very disappointed as all the frames from that evening were so dark and indistinguishable I was going to delete them.

Well, here we are in November. Fortunately, I didn’t delete them. Instead I decided to open them in Adobe Lightroom to see what I could see.

miami south beach at night

Voila! The images transformed from unusable black rectangles to recognizable scenes!

One night we ate dinner at Larios on the Beach in South Beach, a Cuban-American restaurant. I ordered the grilled fish of the day (tilapia) with mojo rice and beans and a plantain. Yummmeeeeee. Don’t you think I would have taken a photo of the dish?

miami south beach at night

The reason I’m only showing the upper half of the outside dining area is because Ocean Drive is packed with cars cruisin’ up and down and I couldn’t get a clear shot at street level.

miami south beach at night

Afterwards we roamed around the main tourist area. But it was getting rather late, we had to be up early the next morning so there wasn’t a lot of time to explore. Above, my companions looking back to see where I got to.

miami south beach at night

A typical stretch of Ocean Drive looking like Las Vegas with all the neon. I love it…. not Vegas, the neon!

miami south beach at night

Plenty of outdoor eating places… don’t you love the strings of lights coiled around the trees?

At the time I wasn't shooting in RAW, just hi-res JPGs. Would have been interesting to see what the results would have been in RAW, but I will never know.

With this shot I was really trying to capture the clouds so that’s what I went for in Lightroom… however, I do remember them looking like this that night. At the time I wasn’t shooting in RAW, just hi-res JPGs. Would have been interesting to see what the result would have been in RAW, but I will never know.

At the time I wasn't shooting in RAW, just hi-res JPGs. Would have been interesting to see what the results would have been in RAW, but I will never know.

Anyway, I was surprised to see how much detail I could wrench out of the JPEGs with a little manipulation of the Exposure, Clarity, Shadows, etc. slider bars.

miami south beach at night

I am not pretending these are earth-shaking photos, but I am presenting them here, if nothing else than for the sake of my own memories of that evening in Miami’s South Beach.

miami south beach at night

 

I am also amazed at what I can do in Adobe Lightroom! People, buildings and trees appeared out of nowhere…

miami south beach at night

In future I won’t be afraid to merely point the camera at night and let Lightroom work its magic! However, yes, I do need to learn how to take night photos properly with the camera…

miami south beach at night

This beautiful classic car belongs to the owner of this restaurant. I liked the reflection of the neon sign in the parked car. I have another photo taken in the daytime of this car which will be coming up in Part 167 of this series (just kidding… maybe Part Five!).

miami at nightThis photo was taken when we arrived back at the hotel in downtown Miami… it didn’t require much manipulation in Lightroom for obvious reasons… it had plenty of light of it’s own. However, I am happy that it is relatively crisp for a handheld photo at night.

Just for the heck of it below is a sample of four of the photos in their original state. See if you can even figure out which images they turned out to be after Lightroom. (Okay, Adobe, you can send me that check now…. I only wish!)

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life Travels, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

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3 thoughts on “Miami – an unexpected love affair – part four – night shots with Adobe Lightroom

    • RMW December 1, 2013 / 11:53 am

      I enjoyed myself!

      Like

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