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Pont Neuf by night under an overcast sky - color processed | by tarkun3
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Pont Neuf by night under an overcast sky - color processed

Is it possible to take a good nightly shot out of an overcast city sky and with an annoying light rain spotting your lense?


Starting from the the original RAW file, the image has been processed in Lightroom through the following actions:


1. A bit of cropping to improve the composition and to cut out the lights and the half boat at the end of the bridge, which otherwise would distract the watcher from the topic of the image.


2. White Balance set to Tungsten in order to deal with the orange color cast.


3. To completely remove the orange cast, I managed orange Saturation (-75) and orange luminance (+61) in the HSL section. These actions left a calibrated but extremely washed out image.


4. To get the proper contrast and remove the washing Tone Curve has been calibrated as follows: decreased Lights (-47) and Darks (-26) and set Contrast to strong.


5. I like the yellow/green cast under the bridge, probably due to some neon lamps down there. If you don't, the solution here is to play with yellow Hue/Saturation. (A possible alternative here.)


6. You may have noticed in the original image that the buildings behind the bridge where not properly exposed, due to the street lights in foreground. Local adjustment can help here: a +30 brightness brush has been applied over the white walls of the building facades. No brushing neither over the roofs nor on the street light's lamp posts to avoid washed out darks.


7. Spot removal on the rain bokeh over the night sky, near the top border of the photo. I used a Clone brush with 40% of opacity.


8. The usual improvements: clarity, vibrance, contrasting and sharpening as you like.


One final thought: remember that, differently from PS, in LR the order by wich you apply the development actions is not relevant.


Here it is!

Feel free to comment and leave your impressions. Suggestions are more than welcome.


Go to picture #1 for the the original unprocessed RAW file.


Go to picture #3 for the black and white version.

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Taken on February 9, 2011