Paris Panorama, Looking from the Louvre to Eiffel Tower
Paris Panorama, Looking from the Louvre to Eiffel Tower
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Behind The Lens

The image was taken on a recent visit to Paris. We were lucky enough to stay in a hotel which overlooked the Tuileries Garden which offered a fantastic foreground. Fortunately our hotel room gave access to a narrow ledge that allowed an unrivalled sweeping view from the Louvre on the left hand side through to the Grand Palais (just off the Champs-Élysées)
The image was taken just after midday. It was a beautiful crisp Autumn day. I realise most landscape photographers don't like shooting in the midday sun, but I was up against it for time. The weather reports over the next few days weren't that great and I had to use my time wisely. I propped myself up against the wall, arms tight in against my body and took a sweep of 5 images from left to right, using the wall for stability as I twisted my body through the image. I could have used a tripod, but the gap on the ledge wasn't that great and I didn't fancy battling with it 4 floors up on a roof ledge!!
It was quite a sunny day, but a nice selection of clouds filled the blue sky. Going against the usual Sun behind you rules, I shot directly into the direction of the sun. I was cautious to keep the sun out of each of the shots but if you look carefully there is just a touch of lens flare which suggests the actual location of the sun. I left them in as I think they add to the image. Each of the shots was shot exposed towards the right hand side of the histogram so I knew I had a little bit of play with exposure when I eventually processed them.
Canon Eos 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II with lens hood attached.
I always try and take a panoramic view of an area. Given the location of the hotel and luck of the draw of the hotel room we were put in, it really was just too much of an opportunity to miss. The Panoramic sweep takes in views of the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral (trust me the towers are visible popping up above the main Louvre building), the Musée / Gare d'Orsay, the Military hospital, the Eiffel Tower, the Place de la Concorde and the Grand Palais. The Tuileries Garden is used as the foreground interest. I used the railings on the left and the road to the right to as leading lines,
I shoot only in Raw these days, so post processing is a must. I use Adobe Lightroom 5.6 to store my images and usually rely exclusively on that to handle my processing needs. In this case as the resultant image was a panorama, I did minimal processing in Lightroom initially. This included setting the camera profile, a small amount of sharpening and noise reduction. The images were then exported to the "merge to panorama" option in Lightroom which used the Photoshop CC 2014 version. I simply took the auto stitch option and allowed photoshop to align the images together. Once completed I cropped the image down and the image was stored back in Lightroom where further processing was completed (highlights and shadows were adjusted to suit the scene and a grad filter applied to the sky to balance exposure.
In my camera bag
I normally carry my trusted Canon Eos 5D mkIII, Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L MkII, Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8L, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 L MkII. A sturdy travel tripod (usually 3 legged thing), a canon cable release, various filters including Lee slot in filters and circular polariser. Plenty of additional batteries and memory cards. Dust blower / lens pen. Sometimes a backup camera (Canon 7d).
If you're shooting in a precarious situation, always make sure you and others around you are safe. Don't put yourself in too much danger where you or others can be harmed (including people below you especially when working on a roof ledge!!) For panoramas, the use of a post processing utility such as the 'merge to Panorama' option in Photoshop will give you excellent results as long as you're careful when shooting the component images. Always keep yourself steady throughout your sweep and take at least 5 shots with not too much distance between them (overlapping features). Watch you're exposure on each shot, make sure you have some control over the image - I used aperture priority and a suitable depth of field (F11). ISO was set to 100, the sunny day allowed a good shutter speed.

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