As I set up for this shot from Pont de la Tournelle, I was hoping for a powerful sunset. While the conditions looked promising, I had no idea that I would be rewarded with a sky quite as beautiful as this.

I must admit that I completely fell in love with Paris this year. In fact, I would even venture to say that the city of lights could possibly be the best city in Europe for travel photography. Paris definitely deserves to be one of the most visited cities in the world.

One of my favorite things about photographing Paris is that due to the alignment of the river Seine in the city center, most of the beautiful bridge views take full advantage of the light from both sunrise and sunset. Combine all that epic light with some of the most beautiful buildings and monuments in the world and you quickly end up with something very special.

Technical Mumbo Jumbo

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8 (Shot at 48mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-33 / BH-55 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 100 at f/11
Exposure: 5 Exposure Brackets

Location: Shot in Paris, France – September 2013 and post-processed in Dubai, UAE – December 2013

Hardware: 15” 2013 Macbook Pro Retina, Wacom Cintiq Companion Hybrid

Software: Lightroom 5, Photoshop CS6, Nik Color Efex Pro 4

Technique: This shot is a blend of 4 exposure brackets, -2, -1, 0, and +1. When importing the base exposure (0) into Photoshop, I used Adobe Camera Raw to lighten up the shadows while bringing down the top level of highlights. After that, using simple luminance masking, exposures -2 and -1 were used to correct the areas of extreme highlights. The +1 exposure—combined with some recovery in ACR—was used to bring back some of the details in the trees and shadows.

NIK Color Efex Pro 4 was used for light color correction and detail enhancement, followed by sharpening using the High Pass Filter. As always, after some additional color and contrast tuning, overall noise reduction was applied using Nik Dfine 2.0.

Espresso: Still working through my stock pile of Lavazza Oro!

Our Lady Of Paris || Notre Dame