Sunday, March 2, 2008

Moonlit Night on a Late-Summer Evening

In this week’s photo article I am going to discuss the image I had planned to use last week where I examined specific colour enhancement methods. The original photo is actually not a very good capture. It was taken with a 2MB Point and Shoot (P&S) camera and was very under exposed. It was inside a forest canopy with the small Pinecrest Creek running by, but it was broad daylight so there should be way more light available.

The processing of the image could be what is called ‘Day-into-Night’ for which there are many images on the web, especially with streetscapes. I like how the light reflection in the water with the interesting textures of the ripples leads the eye to the quiet spot in the background.

This is Final Colour version of the image

Once adjusted to a normal brightness level, the image had the saturation and lightness on central area set to the more extreme settings. I wanted to create a surreal deep forest opening almost like out of one of those hobbit books. On a new layer I added black brush strokes to re-darken the out edges of the image. I also added a Hue/Sat layer to reduce the saturation of the leaves in the foreground water.

The image below is the original image in jpeg format straight out of the camera. The camera was being fooled by the white specular highlights on the water and therefore tried to not blow these and in the process underexposed everything else in the scene.

With the use of an image-editing program I was able to bring the scene lightness back up to normal levels. Even in the daytime this is a beautiful quiet secluded spot and when you think that this greenbelt area is with the Ottawa Central core, quite a treasure of a find.

It wasn’t until I played around with the B&W version that I saw another potential for this image. While the top image is fun this B&W version seems to better fit my memory of the creek.

It’s with time like these when I am able to recover good images from shots that upon first though, you might delete, that I almost never delete any of my images.

Here is another image that I had worked to create the light tunnel effect on the pathway being lit by light green leaves around the opening. This is the entrance to the pathway that lead to the water image above.

The original image below is a lot plainer and ordinary.

The layer steps below show the process to achieve the final image.

I did use a software filter by NIK software ‘sunshine filter’ to create the glowing effect.

The darken layers uses a black brush set to darken mode and the lighten layer a white brush set to overlay. I add some better sky colours and a gradient layer to better match the rest of scene. The masks were created using the Replace Color technique described in last week’s article.

Image editing programs allows you to rework your photos even when poorly taken to create a better vision for you image. I hope these examples provide some ideas for you to try with your photos.

Niels Henriksen

A Photographer’s Adage

Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing. Sometimes we have the feeling that we’ve taken a great photo, and yet we continue to unfold. We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole. - Henri Cartier-Bresson - on photojournalism. "American Photo", September/October 1997, page: 76


A Jesse said...

This morning, I finally had a moment to visit, and now I will be dropping in frequently. The amount of detail you include in your posts is quite impressive. These deserve to be pored over—more than once in some cases. I can appreciate the time and effort you have put into this work and look forward to many return visits. Like you, I am delighting in the opportunity to be part of the blogger world. People—you are a terrific example—are so generous with information. I am constantly amazed.

nielsp said...

Thank you for dropping by.
Originally I though it would be too much work to publish more often than once a week, with work and going out and taking photos.

I therefore decided to focus on a weekly blog, but then put more material into article to make it worth while for the reader.

I a glad that you find it worth the effort


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