Paris, France – Notre Dame (HDR)

Paris…my favorite city in the world.  Its been a long while since my last visit. Hope to be back soon.  I had an old shot before my HDR days and did a single raw conversion…then added a few textures.  I love the textured effect.  I have many people ask how to add a texture….there are a few ways depending on what software you have.  I have CS5.  Here is a quick method…

1. Open your picture in Photoshop

2. Drag your textured file on top of the photo to place the picture.

3. Transform the texture to equal the photo size

4. Click your desired Layered method from the drop down menu…I use “Overlay” 98% of the time…then may modify the fill amount (pic below is just ref)

And that is it!  A textured photo!   The shot above I added three textures and masked certain areas.  But the quick method will get you started!  Hopefully!!   have fun!

Paris, France – Eiffel Tower (HDR)

One of the world’s most beautiful places…..overlooking the Eiffel Tower.  This shot is a fisheye with a Sepia Tone added to the HDR.  I tried to make this shot a bit different.  Happy Friday!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 10.5 Fisheye f/2.8
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 10.5 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, HDR Efex Pro, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro

Paris, France – The Louvre (HDR)

From my favorite city in the world…Paris, France…the Louvre in HDR.   Not only is this place an art lovers dream, it is fantastic for photographers as well!!   Any time of the day!   The pyramids out front draw you you into the courtyard.  Here is some info on these pyramids from the web:

The Louvre Palace is an almost rectangular structure, composed of the square Cour Carrée and two wings which wrap the Cour Napoléon to the north and south. In the heart of the complex is the Louvre Pyramid, above the visitor’s center. The museum is divided into three wings: the Sully Wing to the east, which contains the Cour Carrée and the oldest parts of the Louvre; the Richelieu Wing to the north; and the Denon Wing, which borders the Seine to the south.

In 1983, French President François Mitterrand proposed the Grand Louvre plan to renovate the building and relocate the Finance Ministry, allowing displays throughout the building. Architect I. M. Pei was awarded the project and proposed a glass pyramid for the central courtyard. The pyramid and its underground lobby were inaugurated on 15 October 1988. The second phase of the Grand Louvre plan, La Pyramide Inversée (The Inverted Pyramid), was completed in 1993. As of 2002, attendance had doubled since completion

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/5
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro, Viveza
  • NIK HDR Efex Pro vs. Photomatix 4.0 (Round 3 of 3)

    NIK HDR Efex Pro version

    Photomatix 4.0 version

    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!

    Paris, France – Sacre Coeur (HDR)

    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!

    Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 29.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza
  •  

    Paris, France – Moulin Rouge (HDR)

    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.

    Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 32.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/29
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

  • Paris, France – Eiffel Tower (Infrared)

    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!

    Added it to my IPad Wallpapers today!! Click here…  Eiffel Tower IPad Wallpaper.

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
    • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
    • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 12.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  1/60 sec
    • Aperture:  f/22
    • Gear:  Tripod
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4 & CS5, Viveza

    Paris, France – Eiffel Tower (HDR)

    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

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 12.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/4.5
    • Gear:  Tripod, Cable  Release
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix

    Paris, France – Optimus Prime Lens

    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!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 10.5 Fisheye f/2.8
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 10.5 mm
    • ISO: 100
    • Exposure:   6 seconds
    • Aperture:  f/22.0
    • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Flood plug in