La Grande Arche La Defense Paris

June 03, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

La Grande Arche La Defense OriginalLa Grande Arche La Defense Paris Final

Today’s Tip of the Day is about creating a warmer look in an image. See end of this post.

This shot was taken at La Defense the modern Paris Business District. The Grande Arche was built to commemorate the bicentennial of the French Revolution and was designed as a 20th Century version of the Arc de Triomphe which it dwarfs in scale. It is located at the far end of an Avenue which goes for miles back to the Arc de Triomphe and each Arch can be seen from the other.

The picture was taken handheld with a Sony A700 with a Sigma 10-20 wide angle zoom at 10mm. 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 Detail Enhancer. Click the Camera name top right on Flickr for this image for Exif details and the settings used.


Detail was brought back in with Topaz adjust with Vibrant preset group, Summer preset to improve detail and add extra warmth. A layer mask was used to partly exclude some areas of the Arch to avoided over doing the detail there.

General adjustments in levels and curves to enhance especially to lighten the Arche

Vibrance increased 24 points.

Brightness layer with layer mask to decrease brightness in the sky visible through the Arche.

Saturation adjustment layer yellows used to increase yellows in the clouds on the left for more of a sunset look.

Colour Balance adjustment layer and Photo Filter Warming adjustment layer used to increase overall warmth.

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 63 amount and 63 radius. A mask was used to exclude the effect from some highlights.


Below are the Before and After images. First the original, then the tonemapped image and then the final result.


Original at 0EV

La Grande Arche La Defense  OriginalLa Grande Arche La Defense Paris Original

After Photomatix Detail Enhancer Tonemapped Method

La Grande Arche La Defense  TonemappedLa Grande Arche La Defense Paris Tonemapped

Final Image

La Grande Arche La Defense FinalLa Grande Arche La Defense Paris Final

Tip of the Day

How to increase the warmth of an image. Try using the Colour Balance Adjustment Layer with a layer mask. A lot of delicate adjustments can be made. You can choose Shadows, Midtones or Highlights or a combination to get just the right effect without overdoing it. Generally moving sliders towards the reds and yellows gets the best result for this look. The Photo filter Adjustment Layer can also be used for a small adjustment but is perhaps somewhat less controllable.

Edwin Jones


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