For me as a photographer, the best place in Paris to see the sights isn’t the Eiffel Tower because, as is obvious, you can’t capture the number one cultural icon of the city when being on top of it. Instead, a better viewpoint can be found at the observation deck of the Montparnasse Tower, which is usually also significantly less crowded.The Eiffel Tower is directly to the northeast from Montparnasse Tower, and behind it stands the city’s financial district La Défense, providing a contrasting backdrop to the traditional scene.The final image is merged from three exposures and the post-processing is done in Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
Being the most populous city in the USA, the main streets in New York are crowded pretty much 24/7. This time there was a parade of some kind going to take place on the 57th street, resulting in it being closed for motor vehicles.I rushed to take advantage of this chance to get a shot of the scene without cars. With the street empty, the road markings formed a clear leading line to the distance, where a couple of skyscrapers stood tall featuring also low-level clouds that highlighted their height further.Regarding technical aspects, the final image is a blended from three exposures. Post-processing, in turn, is done in Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Photoshop.
In Paris, there are a couple of great vantage points for photographing the sights from high up, one of my favorites being at the top of the Arc de Triomphe. From there you can see the great Sacré-Cœur Basilica to the northeast.Although it was a cloudy day, occasional bursts of sunlight pierced through the cloud cover illuminating parts of the city. I waited a while for this to happen to Sacré-Cœur and luckily it did, resulting in a nice spotlight-like look to the subject.Regarding the technical side, the end result is three-exposure HDR image, processed using Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
Toronto, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, offers exceptionally suitable conditions for photographing the skyline as the Toronto Islands sit just offshore from the city center. From the islands, the skyline view opens to the south on a plate.I had scouted this particular location in Toronto Island Park prior to the trip for an unobstructed view to the city, but there are many spots with similar potential in the area.Regarding technicalities, the end result is a panorama stitched from seven vertical shots at 35mm. I post-processed the image in Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
Having visited Paris a couple of times now, the city always seems to have something new to offer, and the same applies for my favorite shooting place in there, the Montparnasse Tower observation deck. From the 59th floor you can capture so much more besides the typical Eiffel Tower view I posted here earlier. This is one of the other types of shots I took while up there.During the sunset, the glass in some of the taller buildings created interesting reflections. Meanwhile, the rest of the city bathed in the golden haze. I opted for a longer lens to show the resulting beautiful detail in the scene.The end result is merged from three different exposures and post-processed using Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
Needless to say, this is a picture of the New York City skyline. I had scouted the Brooklyn Bridge Park as a good location to shoot the cityscape at sunset already before the trip, and while not the most original setup, in my opinion, the scene is affected by the sky so much that fresh images can still be captured from this viewpoint.One of the key reasons I chose this particular location is the fact that the wooden poles in the water create an obvious leading line to Manhattan, and I think this interaction works especially well in the dark when the city lights are on. Yet, although I stayed there to shoot until it was completely dark and came home with different variants of the scene, I ended up liking this one with light still in the sky the best.On the technical side, the final image is a panorama stitched from nine vertical three-exposure HDR shots. I edited it in Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
Big Ben is definitely one of London’s must-see sights and, in my opinion, looks nice especially by night. Being lit from below, the enormous clock tower representing Gothic Revival architectural style truly gets to both reveal all its details and stand out in the otherwise busy scene.I decided to compose the shot so that Westminster Bridge works as a leading line to the subject. Thus, I went to the south bank near the entrance of London Aquarium. I also included some water into the scene to capture the reflection from Thames that itself got an interesting look with the smoothness.On how the shot was taken and edited, the final image is merged from five exposures and post-processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.
One of my favorite views to the Eiffel Tower is from the Jardins du Trocadéro as captured in this shot. To me, the ground-level perspective is another interesting one along with seeing the landmark from high up like from the Montparnasse Tower, from where I’ve also posted a shot here.This evening the colors in the sky weren’t bad either, but I found the beauty of the scene instead in the quickly moving clouds. So, I decided to edit the shot into B&W and also opted for a wide-angle lens to get the effect of stretching the sky in the edges of the frame with a long exposure.As for the technicalities, this is a single-exposure shot captured using a 10-stop ND filter. Post-processing is done in Lightroom and Photoshop.
This is the view to the south from North Avenue Beach, which is one of the best spots to see the skyline in Chicago. On the east corner of the beach, there is a fin-shaped point in the land, providing a convenient place to capture the cityscape from.I did some location scouting before arriving at the Windy City and wanted to shoot the skyline from this spot but hadn’t really made my mind up with the composition in advance. I shot several panoramas with different focal lengths and tried out various end results before finding the one that pleased my eye. Ultimately the variant I found best was this, in which I attempted to capture a perspective balancing the tall buildings and the Navy Pier on the left with the reflecting water.As for the technicalities, the final image is a panorama stitched from nine vertical 50mm shots with each consisting of three exposures. Post-processing is done in Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
Like the one I posted here earlier, this shot is also taken at the Brooklyn Bridge Park in the very same evening, only some time earlier while the sun was still above the horizon.I really liked the look the setting sun yielded when it peeked from behind the clouds, projecting some gorgeous rays upwards to the sky. At the same time, the rays in the image serve the purpose of drawing eyes to the skyline, which I think is important here as the buildings tend to look dark next to the sky before the city lights are turned on.As for the technicalities, there’s nothing special here since the final image is a simple one-exposure shot edited in Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Photoshop.
In the right weather conditions, the sunset view over Paris from the Montparnasse Tower’s observation deck is simply astonishing. As a photographer, it’s also a convenient place to take pictures throughout the evening since they allow tripods there.As it got darker and darker, street lights were slowly taking over the natural light. I obviously took several pictures as the light conditions developed and ultimately ended up liking a variant, in which not all of the street lights were yet lit, so that the Eiffel Tower stood out well in the scene.Regarding the technical aspects, this is a panorama stitched from 10 vertical five-exposure HDR shots. I edited the image in Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
As some of my previous uploads, this shot is also from the Montparnasse Tower’s observation deck, only this time taken by night. There are certain Parisian landmarks clearly visible from high up in the dark, since the city’s general building height limitation is merely 50 meters (160 feet).Standing tall and well-lit on one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris caught my eye among the sea of buildings. I decided to go for a longer lens to get closer to the subject and achieve a compressed look.The final image is a simple one-exposure shot edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Chicago, especially known for its beautiful architecture, offers some amazing opportunities for photographers interested in capturing architectural shots. One particularly interesting location for this purpose is the BP Pedestrian Bridge close to Millennium Park.The BP Bridge is an interesting subject not only because of its rather unique snakelike shape but also because of its building materials, stainless steel and wood. To me, the reflecting steel and hardwood floor work together well in monochrome, in particular.The final image is merged from four exposures to preserve the detail in the reflections from the metal. Editing is done in Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Photoshop.
Along the Eiffel Tower, the subject of my previous upload, another important landmark of the French capital is the almost 700-year-old Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.This mid-April evening the setting sun was side-lighting the church as well as painting the horizon with magnificent colors. I decided to go to the other side of the river Seine to take a picture of the cathedral as I find it more appealing from the side than from the front entrance.As for the photo geek stuff, this is a long-exposure image of about seven and a half minutes, edited using Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
Likely not by accident, from one of the balconies at Fondation Louis Vuitton, you can see Paris’s financial district La Défense framed perfectly by the building itself. I think this view to the northwest alone is a good enough reason to visit the place, although there is also potential for architectural shots within the premises of the foundation.While composing the shot, I tried several different focal lengths and was initially fairly certain that a longer lens would work best in this case. However, in the end, I found out that I really liked the way the trees in the middle ground complemented the look of the tall buildings in the financial district and wanted definitely to include them into the shot, as well.As for the technicalities, this is a three-exposure HDR shot post-processed Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro 2 and Photoshop.
This is the view directly towards the Empire State Building from the observation deck at the Rockefeller Center a.k.a. Top of the Rock. Seeing the Big Apple from this vantage point was definitely worth the hours of queueing for me.When finally arriving at the top, some ominous clouds were quickly approaching from the northwest but before it started pouring with rain, the light was amazing over the lower Manhattan. I managed to take pictures for about half an hour, and then the sky was already completely gray.The end result you see here is a panorama stitched from five portrait-orientation shots at 35mm. Each shot is merged from three different exposures to preserve the detail in both the darkest and the lightest parts of the image. I edited the image in Lightroom, Color Efex Pro 4 and Photoshop.
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