Just two more shots from the boat parade
Pictures like this are a challenge because the lights are easy to see but, if you allow the automation to select your exposure you end up with muddy pictures or, end up with such a slow shutter speed that subject motion turns all your lights into streaks. Since these are all boats in motion, their wakes make the water a little choppy and the motion can be multi-dimensional.
So, I increased my shutter speed to 1/100 and opened the lens up to it’s maximum aperture. That got the lights in focus and stopped but, still left the picture underexposed. Here is a straight from the camera jpeg of the Pig Wreath above.
Post processing was enlightening. Normally, brightness and contrast are enough to adjust exposure. These are linear function though and as a result you start getting a lot of grey coming into the dark parts of the picture. I then remembered that Gamma correction is non-linear and tried that using the free Faststone image viewer which includes some decent editting functions for quick fixes including an ‘enhance color’ function. Increasing Gamma quickly added some brilliance to the lights and kept the dark areas clean.