Getting That Sinking Feeling Montmartre

May 24, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Getting that sinking feeling Montmartre final imageGetting That Sinking Feeling Montmartre Final Image

The Tip of the Day is about correcting converging verticals. See end of this post.

This location is just below Sacre Coeur where there is a steep grass bank with the Apartments behind it and nothing in the foreground to spoil the illusion. This is done simply by turning the angle of the camera to follow the line of the grass. I cannot claim to have thought of this idea as there are a number of similar images on flickr. However I wanted to try it for myself including of course an HDR look.

There were a lot of Tourists around taking pictures of the Church and of Paris in the far distance. They probably wondered why I was taking pictures of a grass bank, strange!

I had the wrong lens for this image a 10-20 zoom for inside buildings so had to crop a lot later.

The image was taken handheld with a Sony A700 with a Sigma 10-20 wide angle zoom at 20mm. 3 raw images 2EV spacing for HDR. Opened in Photoshop first and each image noise reduced with Noiseware Pro and saved as tiffs.


Outputted in Photomatix to the Exposure Fusion method which produces the most natural looking result. Click the Camera name top right on flickr for this image for Exif details and the settings used.


The -2EV image was brought back in and used with a layer mask to reduce highlights in the clouds.

Detail brought back in with Topaz adjust with Vibrant group of presets Crisp settings.

The intended horizon along the line of the grass was slightly off so used the ruler tool to draw a line along the grass and clicked straighten to automatically rotate and crop.

Adjustments in levels and curves to enhance with layer masks to apply the effects only to the building.

Vibrance increased 47 points

Saturation adjustment layer blues increased slightly and applied with a layer mask only to the sky.

Second Saturation layer blues used with layer mask to decrease the blues at the top of the building.

Layers flattened before going on to sharpening.

First duplicate layer Noiseware Pro and a little sharpening

Second duplicate layer with mask to apply extra sharpening and contrast with low amount and high radius using Unsharp mask (Clarity Effect) The settings were 40 amount and 40 radius. A mask was used to partly exclude the effect from highlights.

The pigeon was in that ideal position but there was some ghosting from its movement during the exposures. This was cloned out. Another pigeon was in the wrong position at the edge of the frame so this was cloned out. The angle of the clouds on the right would have spoiled the illusion so these were straightened with the clone tool.


Below are the Before and After images. The first image is a picture taken a few minutes earlier showing the correct Bank angle. Next the middle of the 3 exposures. Then the tonemapped image and then the final result.

Correct Angle of Grass Bank

Getting that sinking feeling Montmartre correct angleGetting Correct Camera Angle

Original at 0EV

Getting that sinking feeling Montmartre originalGetting That Sinking Feeling Montmartre Original

Tonemapped image Exposure Fusion

Getting that sinking feeling Montmartre tonemappedGetting That Sinking Feeling Montmartre Fusion

Final Image

Getting that sinking feeling Montmartre DoneGetting That Sinking Feeling Montmartre Final Image

Tip of the Day

Taking pictures of buildings with a wide angle lens will often lead to the problem of converging verticals. To correct or reduce this in Photoshop go to Filter-Lens Correction- Custom-Perspective Vertical and then the scale slider to crop. Depending on what you want to keep in the picture it may be necessary to compromise on how much you straighten. Bear in mind that depending on how even the tones are where you want to avoid cropping it may be possible to use the clone or patch tools to allow you correct the verticals more.

Edwin Jones



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