Nyhavn in the Morning – Improving the sky

Nyhavn in the Morning In the heart of Copenhagen in Denmark lies Nyhavn (New Port). It used to be a port for trading goods, but now it's a place, that the people of Copenhagen gather for a cold beer or a homemade Ice cream during the summer. The canal tours also have their starting point here.

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It’s tough being a photographer when midsummer is close. You really have to get up early in the morning to capture the sunrise, but you are rewarded with a wonderful experience. This particular morning I drove to the center of Copenhagen: I had a few photo projects I wanted to complete, one of which was to get a good shot of Nyhavn (New Port), located in the heart of Copenhagen in Denmark. The tourists and the locals mingle on sunny days, get a beer or a home made Ice cream. Nyhavn is just great!

About the post-process

The photo is a 5 shot HDR photo. I made three candidates that I used to mix into the final image: two different ones in Photomatix and a third one in Lightroom. At some point, I tried changing the hue of the image, into something more golden, bringing it further away from the original shot, but bringing it into the peaceful atmosphere there was on this very early morning. This is the 0-exposure:

Nyhavn in the morning - before

A side effect from the tone mapping in Photomatix is that the sky is full of noise and there is some ghosting in the clouds which I didn’t like too much. In this case the clouds are shaped like long threads, so I decided to use a radial blur to emphasize their softness. This also removes the noise in the sky: a side effect of using radial blur. However, before doing that I cleaned the sky for masts, in order to get good looking radial blurry clouds. If I didn’t do this the masts would get blurred into the clouds as well. I used the Healing brush in Photoshop to remove the masts: it doesn’t have to be a perfect job, because the radial blur will smooth everything out.

Step 1 select radial blur

And then I selected Zoom in Radial blur and moved the center. It is important that the center gives lines that match the lines in the clouds. And after that I merged the blurred clouds into the final image.

Step 2 use radial blur

Giving the result below. By mixing this sky into the master image I get a great looking sky, with no noise and no ghosting in the clouds.

Step 3 only use the sky

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