Staircase Spiral to the Sky

April 11, 2013

Staircase Spiral to the Sky FinalStaircase Spiral to the Sky Final

My visit to London last Saturday included a visit to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich for the Ansel Adams Exhibition which finishes on the 28th April. I went first to the Queens House, a building which is part of the Museum which contains this brilliant spiral staircase. Built in 1610 it is one of the world’s earliest examples of a cantilever stair with no central core support.

The streamers coming down are a sculpture called Flower Helix' which is part of The Garden of England installation by Alice Kettle which is there until August.

The picture was taken handheld with a Sony A700 with a Samyang Fisheye lens at 8 mm. 3 raw images 2EV spacing. 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 detail enhancer with the Natural + preset for lighting.

Photoshop

The 0EV 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 from the window and lights.

My Topaz Software suite has just been updated with Topaz Detail 3. I gave this a go using first the protect highlights preset and then the Detail 2 preset. This worked out quite well.

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 31 amount and 31 radius. A layer mask was used to exclude this effect from some highlights.

The healing brush and clone tool were used to remove the distracting lights from the left of the picture.

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

Staircase Spiral to the Sky OriginalStaircase Spiral to the Sky Original

Tonemapped image

Staircase Spiral to the Sky TonemappedStaircase Spiral to the Sky Tonemapped

Final Image

Staircase Spiral to the Sky FinalStaircase Spiral to the Sky Final

For licences see Staircase Spiral to the Sky

Edwin Jones

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