Spiral Up Heals

March 20, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Spiral Up Heals FinalSpiral Up Heals FinalSpiral Up Heals

This is another shot of the famous staircase at Heals Department Store on Tottenham Court Road with the changes made last year. The notable new feature is the chandelier going from top to bottom. There has also been an extension of the part of the staircase accessible to the public to the lowest floor but not the highest floor. This is a shot from the ground floor not previously open to the public.

The picture was taken handheld with a Sony A700 with a Sigma 10-20 wide angle lens at 17mm. 3 raw images 2EV spacing. As it was a bit dim down there I created an additional image by using the +2 EV image in Camera Raw and increasing the exposure by 2EV. Opened in Photoshop first and each image noise reduced with Noiseware Pro and saved as tiffs.


The 3 images at 2EV separation were outputted in Photomatix using Real Estate settings for a natural look

Camera Raw

I opened the Tiff image in RAW and adjusted the White Balance to get it looking right, went for a cooler look.


The image was adjusted in Topaz vibrant preset group and clarity preset. Adjusted settings to suite and added a viginette to focus attention towards the stairs.

Hue saturaturation reds decreased a little.

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 38 amount and 38 radius. A layer mask was used to exclude this effect from outer edges of the picture, again to focus attention towards the stairs..

A slight crop was used to improve composition.

Clone tool used for tidy up and in particular to remove some distracting areas of the bottom of the stairs.


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

Original at 0EV

Spiral Up Heals OriginalSpiral Up Heals OriginalSpiral Up Heals

Tonemapped image

Spiral Up Heals TonemappedSpiral Up Heals TonemappedSpiral Up Heals

Final Image

Spiral Up Heals FinalSpiral Up Heals FinalSpiral Up Heals

For licences and prints see Spiral Up Heals

Edwin Jones


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