Edwin Jones Photography | Monolith in the Metropolis

Monolith in the Metropolis

August 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

PillarsMetropolisFinalPillarsMetropolisFinalPillars Metropolis Final

This is a shot of One Canada Square in Canary Wharf, London taken on a London day trip on the 10th August. The building was the tallest in the UK until the Shard usurped its title in 2010. Although the picture looks to be a long exposure it was actually faked in the processing . Setting up a tripod for a real long exposure would have been pointless as the Security Guards have a habit of pouncing in that area. 

The picture was taken with a Sony A700 with a Sigma 10-20 wide angle lens at 15mm.

There was some quite involved processing using HDR, Topaz filters and Photoshop. The mono conversion was done with Topaz B&W Effects. There is a lot of detailed control possible with this once you get out of the presets and use the adjustments.


After saving the RAW files as tiffs the 3 images as 2EV exposure separation were imported into Photomatix and processed with a fusion natural setting with a little extra contrast added in final touches.


To start various adjustments were made to the original colour image with various Topaz Plugins.

First Topaz DeNoise using the RAW moderate preset.

Next Topaz Clarity was used to enhance edges with a layer mask used on the photoshop duplicate layer to exclude the sky from the effect.

Next Topaz Detail was used with Micro Contrast Enhancement II as a preset and some adjustments.

The Mono Conversion was done with Topaz BW Effects. Some adjustments first in the Basic Exposure and adaptive Exposure panels. Then the most important part was local adjustments. This is the really useful bit. By using the Edge Aware Slider and pushing it to maximum I was able to edit the sky and buildings using the dodge and burn tools to darken the sky and lighten parts of the buildings. The edge aware brush confines the brush to within edges such as the area of the sky without needing to make a selection.

The false long exposure effect was a little complicated. The obvious way to do it is with a pan blur effect. However this results in the buildings blurring into the sky as well. I got round the problem by making a selection of the sky and pasting it into a new image with a transparent background. The pan blur effect was then done in photoshop with angle adjustments to the blur getting it coming in the direction I wanted. The sky was then selected and pasted back into the original image. Further adjustments were made in Photoshop using selections and levels and curves

The picture was given more punch using a clarity effect using unsharp mask with settings of 29 amount and 29 radius with a layer mask to remove the effect from the sky. 


Below are the Before and After images. First the original image at 0EV and then the HDR and then the final result.


PillarsMetropolis0EVPillarsMetropolis0EVPillars Metropolis 0EV Next HDR after Photomatix

PillarsMetropolisHDRPillarsMetropolisHDRPillars Metropolis HDR


 Final Image

PillarsMetropolisFinalPillarsMetropolisFinalPillars Metropolis Final

Edwin Jones


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