OK, after 2 rounds NIK is up 2-0. This is the last and final round. I found a tough sky/halo shot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Please note, again I used basically the same steps for each processed shot. Yes, the Photomatix shot can be improved, but I wanted to compare apples to apples.
NIK is amazing! It kinda makes Photomatix looks like a piece of old junk. Check out the overall light/shadow difference….
a) NIK handled the sky nicely…while Photomatix looks messy!
b) The Eiffel Tower’s upper section on the NIK looks nice…the Photomatix struggles to even the light flow and is dark and lifeless.
c) The light on the main big tree in the NIK version is fluid and eye pleasing…while Photomatix struggles with the top section light in that tree
d) The green tones above are softer in NIK. Photomatix must always be desaturated.
Of course NIK is not perfect. I see a slight halo on the lower left side of the tower. Any photo can be broken down in many many pcs…but in a quick overall visual decision….it is an easy victory for NIK. Looks like my Photomatix will be collecting dust until they improve it. This is great news for us HDR artists! Competition fuels quality and it can only help us!
I have been asked what settings I use for my NIK HDR Efex Pro….I’ll go into that next week! Let me get some more play with the software and then I can give you some firm scoops! Have fun!
I arrived into Paris this past Friday nite. Hopped on the Air France Bus to the Arc De Triomphe. When I arrived traffic was snarled to a stop all over the city. I could see my target Le Defense in the distance, but the taxi driver said it would take too long and he was cutting out at 6:30 PM. LOL Oh well, plan B! I took a drive over to my favorite spot…the Eiffel Tower. I was dropped off up top and was going to take the 5 minute walk down the hill to it. As I arrived I saw the tower wrapped up in covers on a few sections. Ugh! Painting time. So the front view was a mess…and some sides. Not worth any photos. I feel bad for the tourists that are visiting for the first time and they get a semi-covered view. So I walked underneath and hoped the back side was decent? As I looked up…nice! But at this time of nite the sun was to the front left…not great to light up the tower. So I tired a few HDR’s. They will be tough…not much of a dynamic range on this amazing icon.
What to do next? The sun was peeking out of the clouds…so a perfect time for Infrared! I walked around looking for an angle. I knew the trees would be key! Lots of people were hanging out on the lawn near to me. I used a little of the new CS5 Content Aware to erase a person. That alone is one reason to get CS5! You cant even tell….and all you do is a quick swipe! Magic!! I shot a few versions and like this one the most! Ah…Infrared is a great option to have! I only took 43 IR Shots this nite, this was my favorite! Sky is cool and you can tell it gets a bit darker as it gets further away from the sun. This was my first time shooting the Tower in IR. I’d love to be able to shoot it at high noon in the summer. Hopefully one day! Enjoy!
My favorite place in the world to visit….Paris & the Eiffel Tower! Its been a while since my last visit, but I will be back again soon. I have shot the tower at all times of year and different angles. This one is a cool perspective. Right were you meet the hop-on-hop-off buses. So you have to get close to the fence to avoid the foot traffic. One great thing about taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower is that about 100% of the people around you are taking pics as well…so you fit right it!! A tripod is no problem. People mostly honor your space. If you ever have a chance to visit Europe….Paris would be my first option! So much to see and do. I still have a BIG list of places to see there. You can also go to McDonalds and order a “Royale with Cheese”.
Here is some Royale with Cheese info from the web: In most markets unfamiliar with imperial measurements, the Quarter Pounder is known as the Hamburger Royale or McRoyal, or variants thereof, including “Royale with Cheese”, as famously explained in the film Pulp Fiction (although one should note that in France the official name of the Quarter Pounder with Cheese is Royal Cheese). In English-speaking countries that have adopted metrication, the burger retains the Quarter Pounder name, although in the French-speaking province of Quebec it is directly translated to “Quart de Livre” and “Quarter de Livre avec fromage”. Quarterão com Queijo is used in metric Brazil, Cuarto de Libra con Queso in Spain and in Latin America, Quarter Pounder is used in Finlandand QP Cheese in Sweden In South Africa there are 2 variations, the Quarter Pounder with cheese and the Quarter Pounder Deluxe. In some Middle-Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, McDonald’s provides both a Quarter Pounder and a McRoyale burger on its menu, the McRoyale having slightly different ingredients. In Chinese markets, the Quarter Pounder is known as a “full three taels” (Chinese: 足三両) because three taels is approximately equal in weight to a quarter pound.
For some reasons I want McDonalds for lunch! Ah the great info one can find on the web! LOL
Here is Optimus Prime Lens (a new Transformer?) Sometimes a little photoshop fun can lead to something artistic! I was working a photo from Paris a bit ago and came up with this shot. What could it be a Transformer? Alien? A robot from Logan’s Run? Funky indeed! If you look closely you may get it….so here is the original…
A carousel right near the Eiffel Tower! A long exposure blurred the ride. The Eiffel Tower are the arms! I used the plugin called Flood to mirror the photo and created something fun! Flood is a cool plug in. You can create some water effects and/or an exact mirror effect like I used in this shot. Have fun and let your in inner artist create photo magic!
My favorite icon in the world…the Eiffel Tower. In the evenings, the tower will twinkle every hour for 5-10 minutes. A wonderful sight to see! I wanted to try an HDR with multiple exposures and see how the twinkling looked. I thought it may look like little diamonds attached to the tower due to the longer exposures. Kinda cool, then I added black and white via Silver Efex Pro. A different view of the Tower! Hope to get back again soon! I have a nice list of more sights to see in lovely Paris! One is to get to the catacombs…now that would be a perfect place for an HDR.
Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 15.0mm
Exposure: HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
Gear: Tripod, Cable release
Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Silver Efex Pro
From a few weeks back…the Eiffel Tower lit in Red for the 120th Anniversary light show. If I can recall…only a few days left to see the show from 8-11 PM every nite! During the show the front of the tower changes multiple colors and multi-colored! The show lasts about 5-8 minutes. I did enjoy seeing the tower in red. I think a few years back it was lit completely in red for Chinese New Year. I truly enjoy seeing this icon more than any other in the world. A beautiful subject in a tremendously beautiful city! Enjoy!
Here is my first test post with data for those inquiring minds! I will have this now for every photo posted!