Lights of the City St Pauls

October 06, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Lights of the City St Pauls FinalLights of the City St Pauls FinalLights of the City St Pauls

When I stayed overnight in London for Open House last month I was able to get time and the dark for some light trail shots. This one was taken at St Paul’s Cathedral. This is looking towards it approaching from the west on Ludgate Hill Road. The road is busy with London Buses and the double deckers with the iconic red make for ideal light trails.

The picture was taken on a tripod with a Sony A700 with a Sigma 10-20 wide angle lens at 15mm.

Photomatix

The 3 images at 2EV separation were outputted in Photomatix detail enhancer with fusion natural settings. I made a fair few manual adjustments to the Photomatix sliders to get the image looking just right

Photoshop

The bright lighting on the dome was brought down by bringing in the minus 2 EV image in a new layer and applying it only to the Dome with a layer mask.

The image was adjusted in Topaz vibrant clarity and a layer mask to exclude from some areas including all of the light trail to retain a softer look to that.

Slight increase in brightness and contrast

Layers flattened before going on to sharpening.

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 45 amount and 45 radius. A layer mask was used to exclude this effect from the light trail to keep a softer look to this.

Verticals corrected using lens correction, Custom, Vertical Perspective. The image was then cropped but some parts of the left edge were filled in with the healing content aware tool to avoid having to crop too much.

A wobbly looking reflection in the bus window of the crossing pole was removed with the healing brush.

Some cloning to tidy up

BEFORE AND AFTER

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

Original at 0EV

Lights of the City St Pauls OriginalLights of the City St Pauls OriginalLights of the City St Pauls

Tonemapped image

Lights of the City St Pauls TonemappedLights of the City St Pauls TonemappedLights of the City St Pauls

Final Image

Lights of the City St Pauls FinalLights of the City St Pauls FinalLights of the City St Pauls

For licences and prints see Lights of the City St Pauls

Edwin Jones


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