Snapped this from the Navy Pier when I was in Chicago. I always like night shots where the buildings are all lit up and you get the long exposure effect of objects moving and they blur. Think this image was 13 seconds long.
I knew when I started to edit this I was going to mask in a bunch of different layers. Each section of the image needed it’s own look and feel to make it balance the other out.
Once I was happy with the light I focused on the first layer mask which was the buildings. I really wanted them to put so masked in a layer that bumped clarity and sharpness. Next was the sky. As with any sky when there are blues you deal with noise so I picked something that was aggressive but not that much to just turn the image into noise. Then my final mask was on the water darken it and smooth it out a bit more. Final mask was noise out of the sky. There is something about sensor noise in skies that just annoys me.