I had the opportunity to hike Jangsan Mountain in Busan with members of the (Busan) Hobby Photographers group. I have always enjoyed getting out with new people because no matter if you have all the same gear or not, there will be different shots take. I love seeing the shots after and thinking about what made them take that shot. Of course there will always be the same shots, especially where we were because of the view dominating the sky line.
The Location: Jangsang sits right nest to Haeundae new town just off the expressway. The easiest way t get there if you are coming from Busan is to jump on the subway and to get out at exit 4 and walk around the corner and walk straight up a couple of blocks. You can take a taxis but they may get a little miffed due to the minimum charge.
The hike will take about 2 hours to get to the top. Depending on when you go, it is best to get up there or at least start hiking around 4 pm or earlier. We started around 5 and it was dark by the time we got up there. It would be wise to take a flashlight to help with reading the signs when coming down. Also note, that at night the paths may get a little hard to read and they may be a little dangerous because they are so steep in parts. Please be careful.
The Shot: This is not the breath-taking skyline shot that I have seen but I did the best that I could with what we had. There are certainly some more amazing shots taken from this very location. However, I did the best that I could with what was there. I realized that the whole area made this shot and getting closer would add more detail but would crop the scene. Thus a panorama would have to be made.
Before you take the first shot, I want you to turn the camera vertical. I have mentioned this before but the reason this is waaaay better is because you will make a more visually appealing shot rather than a long skinny image. Also take note of your settings before you begin, you don’t want anything to change. This is one thing that I kept for getting. If you leave the camera set on aperture priority it will adjust to the scene. That means as you get to one part of the shot where it is darker, your camera will make it brighter. Then when you stitch them together, you will see the difference and it will be painful.
The Post Processing: This is one that you must be carful with. For some reason during my usual post processing it came out really noisy. Also the colours were off. The other problem is that when using noise reduction software on scenes like this where there is a lot of detail that is really tiny, you will lose that detail when the software tries to remove the noise.
This is where photoshop comes in really handy. Whenever I reduce the noise, I create a separate layer using the keyboard shortcut cmnd/ctrl + J. Then run the software and then add a layer mask. Why I do this is that in most cases it is the solid colours that have the most noise. Those are the places that the noise is the most noticeable. Creating a layer mask allows you to brush back the detail where you want to.
If you don’t know what I am talking about take a look in the layers panel on the right side of your screen in photoshop. At the bottom, you will see a little box with a circle in it. When you click it, it will put a white box next to the current layer that you are applying it to. When you set your colours to their default state of black over white by pressing “d” When you click the white layer mask and paint the black, you are actually punch a hole through the layer to reveal what is underneath.
Now you can just paint in the areas that you want detail in and leave the rest. This is actually really cool and can be used in any sort of adjustments you’d like. Don’t worry if you go a little crazy with the painting. If you have to put back some places, just hit “x” and it will switch to white and you can paint the above layer back.
With the noise now in check, I wanted to cool down the scene without making it too blue as the temp slider in camera raw sometimes does. So going back to the layers panel, click the little circle that is black and white. Choose “photo filter” and then cooling filter LBB. This will add a more natural colour to the scene and tone down some of the orange nastiness created from the street lamps.
The last thing to do is go back into the layers menu and and go all the way to the bottom and choose “flatten image” this will put all the layers into one image. Finally save as a jpg. and you are all done.