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How the magic is done - The tilted house

Today we will take a trip to Paris, where FrankBa will guide us through how he made the fascinating photo "And nothing Else Matters".


Nikon D300, Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 @62mm,  1/2500s, f/5.6, ISO100, -1EV


Before we start, this image is not a composite in the way that you might first think. The grass, the building and the people were really there it that exact position. Only the sky has been changed.

The idea of the shot came from a discussion about this place. The place is quite famous in Paris, it's located close to the Sacre Coeur. But depending on how you take this, the effect can be there or not. This picture was taken close to the Sacré Coeur. The Sacré Coeur is located on the top of one of the hills of Paris.

I went specially there because I wanted to capture this place. It was missing in my portfolio
when I arrived to the place, I start looking for the best angle and nobody was there
Suddenly the two fellows jump in on the grass, I was quite embarrassed because they were ruinning my idea.

They started discussing, and I was thinking: "Ouchhhh, it will take me forever to achieve what I want". They sat down, and I start to really become nervous and not more than two minutes later, the guy picked up this bottle. The picture appeared to me at this moment, and all bad instinct were replaced by joy and happiness.

But what is the trick here, because obviously Paris is not sinking? As mentioned, The Sacre Coeur is on a hill, you have a grass lawn. So I just tilted the camera to put the lawn horizontal so the building is giving the effect of sinking.

Then there is another issue, it's the sky, it was a lovely day with a blue sky with clouds. Once I have tilted the camera, the sky was also appearing to be tilted, that was ruining this optical effect and it was making the tilt so obvious, so I decided to change it and took a picture from the sky.

The addition of the two persons and the bottle was also a great opportunity. I put them on what appear for me as the edge of the lawn to avoid some perspective issue

Once the picture was finished in its processing, I was quite happy with that the optical effect was there and the addition of the 2 persons was the story.


The pictures (Scene + sky) where shot in raw and where converted into Tiff with Oloneo, an HDR    software. It allows to correct a bit the light. The idea to use an HDR software is too boost a little bit the contrast and the level of details.

Once I had the two files, I put them into Photoshop. I managed to remove the sky with masks and layers. For this, I have used a tablet (much more convinient than a mouse) and a black and a white brush.

Once it was done, I made the usual adjustments (contrast, saturation, levels, curves etc) and the image was done!


- Tilting the camera can give interesting result.

- Try to look the things in a different manner.

- Be patient and wait for good timing, it may happen or not.


FrankBa is perhaps best known for his wonderful panorama photos of churches, but has also taken many other kinds of beautiful photos. Many of them originate from his home city Paris. He bought his first camera in 1990 and rediscovered his interest in photography through the modern digital cameras. He finds much of his inspiration through the Internet.