Bradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris

July 24, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Bradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris finalBradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris Final

Last Saturday I took the Eurostar to Paris to view and Photograph the finish of the Tour de France in Paris. I stayed at an Ibis Hotel in the Commercial District of La Defence for 2 nights.

One thing to consider if you want to get a good viewpoint for the race to take photos is that all the best spots are taken by about 9.30 and all the railing spots are full by 10.30. The race arrives soon after 4.00 so about 7 hours of waiting for a good view. I travelled prepared with a lightweight folding stool, Kindle, and a copy of Cycling Weekly.

I checked out various viewpoints from pictures taken on the internet of earlier races. I settled on a sharp corner on the Rue de Rivoli. On the circuit this is just after the riders emerge from the Louvre Underpass. They then take the sharp turn into the Rue de Rivoli which leads up to the Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysee . I choose this location over the Champs Elysee because of the better field of view without the trunks of Trees in the way as well as double railings there.

There is normally a fast Metro Service from a station close to the Hotel to the Centre. Today however this was closed and I took a replacement bus service. Getting off at the Arc de Triomphe I walked down and followed the Gendarmes directions to divert round the excluded area by the finish line. Next snag was that my first choice of the side of the corner on the Rue de Rivoli, a square with a good view of the underpass, was barriered off contrary to other race years from the pictures I had researched. Plan B was the other side of the corner also known as Norwegian corner. I was there soon after 9.00 and was early enough to bag my railing spot and also attach my 5ft long Union Jack to the railings. I soon felt a little like a cuckoo in the nest with my Union Jack surrounded by many Norwegian ones. However we were cheering for the same team with their hero being Norwegian National Champion and Sky rider Edvald Boosson Hagen.

I need not have worried to much about getting bored as a whole lot of French racers turned up to do what looked to be an imitation race up and down the Rue de Rivoli for what looked to be a film.

This was followed by a real race round the circuit by riders all in yellow jerseys some looking a little rotund and flagging at the back. The hour long Tour de France Caravan followed at 2.00. This is a carnival on wheels supporting the Tours various sponsors. Unfortunately unlike in Dieppe a few weeks earlier no freebies were thrown into the crowds.

I was well sorted for the photography. I had 2 SLR cameras. One was set up on a Gorillapod a flexible small tripod which has bendy leg sections to wrap around things like lampposts and railings. An ordinary tripod would not be possible in the crowd. The object was to fire off 2 camera’s at once when the race arrived. One zoomed in to one spot and another on another spot with a wider lens. The riders would move from one cameras viewpoint to the next. Surprise surprise it did actually work. As the race arrived I had fingers on 2 triggers, cameras set on continuous shooting.

The riders do 8 laps of a circuit. The shot was taken from the Louvre/ Rue de Rivoli corner. This is just after the riders come out of the Louvre Underpass and as they line up to race along the Rue de Rivoli and cross the Place de la Concorde and on to the Champs Elysee. This shot is taken on the last lap. Team Sky are lining up Mark Cavendish to take the stage win as well. The Sky riders left to right are Bradley Wiggins in yellow, Edvald Boosson Hagen Norwegian National Champion and Mark Cavendish in the Rainbow Jersey of World Champion

The picture was taken handheld with a Sony A700 with a Sigma 10-20 wide angle zoom at 20mm. I used ISO 200 to gain a high shutter speed of 1/800th second. The image was opened in Camera Raw and 2 additional images were created at +2EV and -2Ev for a “false HDR” with each image having Noiseware Pro applied.  A Photoshop action I had saved was used to create the extra images automatically. The images were saved as tiffs.  

Photomatix

Outputted in Photomatix to detail enhancer. Click the Camera name top right on flickr for this image for Exif details and the settings used.

Photoshop

 In Photoshop a pan blur was applied using Topaz lens effects. A layer mask was used to remove the blur from the cyclists to make them stand out. This involved a lot of fine detail level brush work on the layer mask.

Topaz Adjust, Vibrance clarity preset.

Levels and curves to enhance.

The 0EV image was brought in with a layer mask to reduce a highlight on the building on the left

Layers flattened before going on to sharpening.

Duplicate layer Noiseware Pro

BEFORE AND AFTER

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

Original at 0EV

Bradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris originalBradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris Original

Tonemapped image Detail Enhancer

Bradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris TonemappedBradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris Tonemapped

Final Image

Bradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris FinalBradley Wiggins lead out to Glory Paris Final

Edwin Jones


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