<<< o >>>Four Points Sheraton 33 comments + add yours

This is a shot from the roof bar of the Four Points Sheraton hotel in Dubai, taken a couple of days after this year's Gulf Photo Plus training event. It's also the image I've posted as this week's Mini-PSD as the processing was quite interesting, i.e. I used 15 separate Curves adjustments. The first of these provided a (mostly) global adjustment to the contrast, the 15th toned the image, while the other 13 altered specific areas of the image, particularly the various buildings. The reason for this, as you can see if you take a look at the original, is that there was quite a lot of atmospheric haze (in the form of low clouds), so the buildings all look soft. By selectively amending the contrast, particularly for the buildings or the left, I was able to make the scene as a whole look a lot clearer. This sounds like a complicated process, but it was just a case of working with each building in turn, then generating a mask to block the effect from the rest of the image.

On a related note, quite a few of you have requested yesterday's image as a Mini-PSD, but I'm going to use if for a Creative Workflow tutorial instead. I'll be working on this over the next couple of days so hope to publish it by Thursday at the latest.

Anyway, tutorial stuff aside, I am pleased with this one but would like to hear from you too.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
image editor
plugins (etc)
6.52pm on14/3/11
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
shutter priority
Camera Raw
Photoshop CS5
minor transformation
3x2 + travel [Dubai, UAE] + photo friday + show the original + urban
comment by Matteo at 09:17 AM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Great shot straight from GPP 2051.
Can't wait to follow the next tut!

comment by Christiane Nicely at 10:07 AM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Absolutely brilliant, David!

comment by Gusztav at 11:20 AM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

"OMG"-level proficiency. reminds me of Corussant from Star Wars.

comment by Carlos Garcia at 11:29 AM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Looks like a scene from TRON! Amazing transformation! Bravo!

comment by Justin Photis at 01:23 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Really nice shot David. I really like the toning of the last couple of your pictures, and it works even better with this one. In order to curve adjust each of the 13 layers for different areas of the shot, what feathering did you use, were you very precise ?

comment by Jim Miller at 01:33 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

David, you have outdone yourself on this one. The tones are just perfect for this image!

comment by Carlos Lorenzo at 01:34 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

I like the metallic mood, kind of blade runner city. Or like they said over here, TRON, the legacy.

comment by djn1 at 02:31 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Thanks everyone.

Justin: no, the masking was quite imprecise for this one - there wasn't any real need to be exact.

comment by jim Miller at 02:41 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

After downloading and analyzing your layered file I am even more impressed. Your approach and method of B&W conversion was brilliant! I would never have though of that.

comment by djn1 at 02:47 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Thanks Jim. As for the black and white conversion: it's often the case that different areas of an image require a different black and white conversion technique, or different settings using the same technique, so it's just a question of creating two different layers and then masking one of them.

comment by Dan Kaufman at 03:09 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

remarkable job on de-hazing. I can't wait to examine and learn from the mini-PSD.

comment by Luisa at 04:53 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

@djn, I'm afraid you are losing your time with the mini PSDs. I will never be able to produce something similar to this processing.

comment by retlaw7 at 05:15 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Wow David, this is one of your best shots in a while! Is this what I can expect in the tutorials!? I just realized you wrote to me via twitter a few weeks back, I hope the promo code is still good, thanks for that! :)

comment by Claus Petersen at 05:48 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Really amazing black and white processing, you really manage to bring out that metal shine to your images.

comment by Jason at 07:04 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

WOW...! :) Stunning. BTW I'm fairly sure that you linked to the wrong hotel as I think this must have been shot from the Four Points Skh Zayed Rd and not Bur Dubai.

comment by Chris at 07:11 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Absolutely fantastic image. The futuristic sci-fi look is awesome. You have the tendency to keep out doing yourself. The psd is interesting in terms of how you approached the image and the adjustments you applied at such a detailed level. It really brought this image to life.

comment by djn1 at 08:03 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Luisa: the processing wasn't difficult, it was just a question of taking my time and working on the different sections of the image. If you can appreciate the result then you can certainly learn how to do it yourself.

retlaw7: I've emailed you.

Jason: yep, you're right - I've corrected the link. Thanks.

Chris: thanks.

comment by Dave at 08:20 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Dave this is one of my favourite of your photos that I have seen in quite a while. The definition and contrast in the processed version is phenomenal.

comment by Splitlevel at 10:16 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

You sir are an editing GOD.

comment by Dan Kaufman at 10:44 PM (GMT) on 11 April, 2011

Okay...I'm "working" through the mini_psd for this masterpiece...and my first big question is: at what point, stage, in your overall process did you do the B&W conversion? I see that layer-wise the conversions are at the end, so my question relates to the decisions you made for each individual area of adjustment. curves 1 through 14--did you make those individual adjustment decisions based on looking at a color image or at a black and white image?

comment by beeveedee at 12:18 AM (GMT) on 12 April, 2011

Impressive conversion. Love the contrast—really makes the image sing!

comment by Christopher at 04:25 AM (GMT) on 12 April, 2011


comment by Andrey Samolinov at 07:48 AM (GMT) on 12 April, 2011

What a great handling and a beautiful shot
Amazing atmosphere and mood

comment by Tony at 09:25 AM (GMT) on 12 April, 2011

Woah. That is amazing. Especially when you look at the original.

comment by Chris at 03:08 PM (GMT) on 12 April, 2011

stunning shot! love the futuristic sci-fi look!

comment by Michael Tuuk at 03:35 AM (GMT) on 13 April, 2011

Wow, impressive! Very pleasing final image.

comment by Jessica Sweeney at 05:21 AM (GMT) on 13 April, 2011

Another portrait orientation! Great!

comment by djn1 at 07:12 AM (GMT) on 13 April, 2011

Thanks everyone :)

comment by paflechien at 09:30 AM (GMT) on 13 April, 2011

Wooowww, incredible shot, and great postprecessing,

you had an incredible point of view

comment by Cesar at 01:56 PM (GMT) on 13 April, 2011

This is 2100 Gotham City ;)

comment by crash at 12:31 PM (GMT) on 16 April, 2011

wow ... looks like a scene from Tron!!!

comment by street photography at 09:34 AM (GMT) on 30 April, 2011

Really nice shot! It something looks like a scene of Tron.

comment by Arek Golab at 07:03 PM (GMT) on 31 January, 2012

Just get to this blog, and for me this is one of the best pictures I can find (or found ever - I'm new to photography and post production)- mood, feel - it's really great.
Great job David!