Not many strolls around a city can top one in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in your view. This day I had taken tons of Tower shots and wanted to try a different view and went walking around town trying to get the Tower showing above the tops of buildings. This area was lovely…and I can imagine very very expensive! Bakeries and small shops on every corner…must be wonderful to live there! Crepe time…Oui Oui!
I happened to look back at some old pics today and found my visit to the lovely Marseille in South France. I was only there twice..and probably will not get back again. But I recall I had this afternoon free and took a tour bus around the city. It was quite wonderful! Beforehandhad lunch at a hotel that overlooked the city. Its been so long..I cannot recall the name. I stepped out on the patio and this was the view. It kinda had that old feel to it…so I added a few textures and a frame to ensure that old world style look to it! I can imagine it is a great place to visit for a day on a tour of South France. So many wonderful cities down there…Provence would top my list in the late spring!
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!
From the lovely city of Paris…above is an HDR of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Paris or otherwise known as Sacre Coeur Basilica. It is located at the summit of Montmartre…the highest point of the city. When you arrive in Paris and are on the highway driving downtown, you will clearly see Sacre Coeur on the left hand side. It took me quite a few visits to have the time to visit Montmartre as it is located a bit away from all the major locations in Paris. On a recent visit I spent the evening up here. My goals were Sacre Coeur and Moulin Rouge.
You can go inside Sacre Coeur and it amazing and beautiful! But as soon as you walk in the doors, security is there to greet you and eye you up for tripod usage and photos. I gave it a quick try and was jumped on immediately. This Church may be tougher than Notre Dame and Koln Cathedral! Whew! Oh well….I focused on outdoor shots instead. We have all seen the traditional shots, so while walking I tilted my camera and took the above HDR. A different view of the church.
My visit to Montmartre was less than stellar. It is not the safest location in Paris. Up near the church are many stairs and performers play and the youth hangs out and drinks. To me is smelled like pee. I watched my back the whole time. Then down the street on the 5 minute walk to Moulin Rouge, you pass all the sex shops and dance shows. The workers all ask you to please come inside. The type of people located in this area are a bit shady. I made sure to keep my tripod in my hand the whole time. Just in case! I love Paris, but not this section. I was eager to return to the normal part of the city! It was worth stopping by for the photos!
From my favorite city in the world…Paris. Here is an icon establishment…Moulin Rouge. For my many visits to Paris, I had never been across the street at nite to take a photo. A few weeks ago…I made it my goal. I had taken a bus tour up in this area one time a few years ago and saw that this part of Paris is a bit questionable. Going at nite was going to be even more of a challenge. I was lucky the World Cup was going on and Algeria just won a game…so cars were driving around honking horns and waving flags. It was near midnight and the outdoor cafes were packed. Kinda cool to see! But a block or two before Moulin Rouge is the sex shop/dancer area. I had to walk through it while coming back from Montmarte. I had my tripod in hand, but luckily no one bothered me. Interesting people indeed! Always fun when you feel out of your element. Its not all bad, but certain sections are a bit off.
I arrived at the island overlooking Moulin Rouge! Set my tripod up and took many shots. Car trails, short exposures and this long exposure angled shot. I was there about twenty minutes and was hoping for a good shot. Now taking HDR’s after sunset in the dark can leave to very noisy shots. This one needed some help! Thank goodness for NIK’s DFine 2.0! A fun and odd nite up on the hill in Paris. I would enjoy going in Moulin Rouge one day…I bet it is amazing? Anyone been? To see a show would be cool as well!
Info fro the web: Moulin Rouge is a cabaret built in 1889 by Joseph Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia. Close to Montmartre in the Paris red-light district of Pigalle on Boulevard de Clichy in the 18tharrondissement, it is marked by the red windmill on its roof. The closest métro station is Blanche.
The Moulin Rouge is best known as the spiritual birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance. Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved into a form of entertainment of its own and led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today the Moulin Rouge is a tourist destination, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. Much of the romance of turn-of-the-century France is still present in the club’s decor.
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!