Pont du Gard Roman Survival
The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River west of Avignon in Provence France. The bridge has three tiers of arches, standing 48.8 m (160 ft) high. The bridge was completed in about 60 AD and is one of the best preserved such bridges due to its use as a toll bridge in medieval times. It is a UN World Heritage Site.
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.
The first step was to copy back in the 0EV image as a new layer. The move tool was used to align the images after reducing layer opacity. Then a black layer mask was applied to the minus 0EV layer to hide it. This was brought back in with a white brush on sky highlights to bring back more detail.
Detail was brought back in with Topaz adjust with vibrant presets group with Crisp preset with adjustments. Some highlight areas were excluded from the effect by applying Topaz on a duplicate layer with a layer mask.
Vibrance increased 57 points.
Saturation adjustment layer blues used to decrease blue saturation in the sky.
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 47 amount and 47 radius. A mask was used to partly exclude the effect from highlights.
Tidy up with the clone tool and a crop for improved composition.
BEFORE AND AFTER
Below are the Before and After images. First the middle of the 3 exposures. Then the tonemapped image and then the final result.
Original at 0EV
Tonemapped image Detail Enhancer
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