Weekend Wanderings: Louvre At Dusk

It is probably needless to mention that the Louvre Palace and the Louvre Pyramids are one of the most popular photography spots in Paris — not only at dusk. I counted at least a dozen photographers (excluding tourists and museum visitors) while walking around the Cour Napoléon. Surprisingly, not many of them bothered to bring a tripod along. So if you want your photos to stand out, make sure to bring one for long exposures while the day’s last rays of sun hit the museum and its surroundings.

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Cour Napoléon as seen from inside the Louvre Palace

The red neon light installation, which currently decorates the biggest of all Louvre Pyramids and can be seen in all photos below, has been created by Claude Lévêque. More light installations by the Frecnh artist are planned in throughout the year. His exhibition will stay till January 4, 2016.

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Pastel-coloured sunset behind the Louvre Pyramids

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Symmetrical perfection

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Buzzing atmosphere — the Louvre museum is open till 9:45pm every Wednesday and Friday

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Zooming in on Claude Lévêque’s bolt of light

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The day’s last rays of sun are bathing the Louvre Palace in warm light

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Walking from the street towards the inner courtyard and the Pyramids — HDR out of 3 long exposures to highlight the architecture of that entrance

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Sunset behind the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, just opposite the Louvre

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View from the Court Napoléon towards the sunset behind the Eiffel Tower

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Snapseed 2.0: Does Google Plan To Pit The App Against Instagram?

I have been using Snapseed, Google’s free mobile photo editing App, exclusively over the past months before sharing my photos on Instagram. So when I read this morning that my favorite App has been completely revamped, I wasn’t even aware that it was a “much-needed overhaul”. Admittedly, it lacked some professional “Photoshop features”, but guess what, some of us like when things are kept simple (though not as simple as the Instagram editing tools).

Of course I still tapped the update button in my App Store. Curiosity 1, Anja 0. To my relief, not THAT many things had changed. Sure, the interface looks completely different; I’m not certain though if the term “modern” really nails it. I noticed that I need one more tap than before to get to my wanted settings and filters. Oh well… But behind the new packaging, not everything had changed radically.

Added features:

  • A slider for highlights in the “Tune Image” section (neat addition to the shadow slider)
  • A feature to transform the image perspective (horizontally and vertically)
  • A brush to add a different exposure, saturation, color temperature or dodge & burn effect to specific parts of the photo
  • A spot repair feature, which sadly neither offers to choose the exact pixels you want to repair, nor the pixels you want to interpolate
  • A few new filter sets (Noir, Glamour Glow and Tonal Contrast)
  • An image stack feature to re-edit the same image lateron
  • A copy feature, allowing you to copy edits from one image to another

Deleted features:

  • The Grunge filter set (not that I am going to miss them)
  • All style presets under “Vignette”, which is truly a shame as they often helped me to see at a glance how much outer and inner brightness I was looking for

I am glad that not more features have been erased, and the new ones have been added in a way that won’t disturb my current workflow, which gives me time to actually go through all new features in the coming days to test them more on various photos.

On a first side note though, the new transform and brush tools look pretty neat and could soon become part of my image editing routine. Here is a first before and after comparison, after playing with “Transform” and “Brush” for around 10 minutes.

Louvre Paris GoPro

Original GoPro photo without any edit. This one looks a bit dull and could need some straight lines.

Louvre Paris with Snapseed

Edited with Snapseed 2.0: The new “Transform” tool interpolated pixels from the Louvre building and the fountain in the foreground (that’s a terrific job!). No need to crop, and the photo looks even more fish-eye than the GoPro original, which I personally love. I changed the saturation and color temperature of single image parts with the new “Brush” tool to make them look more like taken during sunset (which actually was the case).

I certainly think today’s changes put Google a big step ahead of Instagram (with regards to photo editing), and I am glad to see that the App stayed free, without paid “pro options”.

Are you a Snapseed fan too? What are your thoughts?
Which other mobile editing App appears on your primary smartphone or tablet screen?

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