Nelson Stairs Somerset House London

October 24, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Nelson Stairs Somerset House London FinalNelson Stairs Somerset House London FinalNelson Stairs Somerset House London

This shot was taken during a visit to London on 21 October which included a visit to Somerset House. The Nelson Stairs are in the South Wing near the River. Though the Stairs are in an area open to the public it seemed more offices than galleries so it was not as busy as some spiral stairs.

The vast Somerset House was designed by Sir William Chambers and built 1776-1801. The Nelson Staircase covers 5 stories. The description on the Somerset House website reads “In designing the Navy Staircase (later renamed the Nelson Stair) in the southern part of the building, Chambers had the space to give free rein to his imagination. Here he created a sweeping staircase, soaring dramatically into space over the drop to the ground floor. The Navy Staircase suffered severely from bomb damage in 1940 and was carefully restored by Sir Albert Richardson.”

The picture was taken handheld with a Sony A700 with a Samyang Fisheye lens at 8 mm. 3 raw images 2EV spacing.The low lighting resulted in too much movement in the last exposure so I decided to use the middle exposure RAW file to create the 2 extra exposures for a false HDR. The images were opened in Photoshop first and each image noise reduced with Noiseware Pro and saved as tiffs. 

Photomatix

The 3 images at 2EV separation were outputted in Photomatix 5 Beta using the new Contast Optimiser setting.

Photoshop

The -2EV image was opened. This image was then copied in as a new layer. A black layer mask was used to exclude this. Then a white brush at low opacity was used to build up detail in highlight areas.

Topaz Adjust Vibrant Clarity preset was used to bring in more detail

General adjustments in levels to lighten a little with a layer mask and brush used to exclude highlights.

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 55 amount and 55 radius. A layer mask was used to exclude this effect from some highlights.

The healing tool and clone tool were used to remove the distracting part of a curve from the right of the picture.

A brightness adjustment layer was used to add more brightness.

The crop tool was used to crop a little while straightening

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

Nelson Stairs Somerset House London OriginalNelson Stairs Somerset House London OriginalNelson Stairs Somerset House London

Tonemapped image

Nelson Stairs Somerset House London TonemappedNelson Stairs Somerset House London TonemappedNelson Stairs Somerset House London

Final Image

Nelson Stairs Somerset House London FinalNelson Stairs Somerset House London FinalNelson Stairs Somerset House London

For licences and prints see Nelson Stairs Somerset House London

Edwin Jones


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