City Skyline La Defense Paris
Today’s Tip of the Day is about how to use the Clone Tool to tidy up. See end of this post.
This shot was taken at La Defense the modern Paris Business District. This is a taken from the same footbridge as the last image and the skyscraper with the sharp edge is the one on the left. If you ever go to La Defense this is a viewpoint well worth finding. Looking at the Grande Arche from the east go up the stairs on the left. Follow the path to the left of the Dome between buildings and the then take the first path right to the footbridge.
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 bring in more traffic trails. I took a number of images with the same setup of Camera and Tripod from the same position. 3 more images were copied in as layers. A black layer mask was applied to all of them and then a white brush used to bring in only extra Traffic Trails.
Detail was brought back in with Topaz adjust with Vibrant preset group, Clarity Preset.
General adjustments in curves to enhance and increase contrast.
Brightness increased with a layer mask being used to exclude highlight areas.
Vibrance increased 23 points.
Colour Balance adjustment layer sliders moved towards yellows and reds to reduce the blue look more and give a warmer look.
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 40 amount and 40 radius. A mask was used to exclude the effect from some highlights.
Clone tool used to reduce some highlights by bringing in adjoining areas and tidy up where the edges of earlier brush strokes had become apparent.
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
After Photomatix Detail Enhancer Tonemapped Method
Tip of the Day
How to tidy up with the Clone Brush. When you do a lot of intensive editing with brushes in layer masks you may get problems with brush strokes being visible. This can often happen after sharpening when a brush stroke can become more obvious. For this set the clone brush to a low opacity and hardness. Use an adjoining area to brush over any hard brush stroke lines to merge the areas together. Another good use for the clone brush is any highlights not dealt with in previous editing. Highlights should not be pure white with no detail. Use the Clone brush with low opacity to bring a hint of detail in from adjoining areas. This works especially well with the sky.
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