Friday, July 30, 2010

Walking "With" Scott Kelby

Last weekend Scott Kelby, the head honcho at NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals), had his 3rd annual Worldwide PhotoWalk. In Connecticut there were four walks, one in Danbury, one town away from the gallery. I had to go, just for the social aspect of the walk. There was a mix of young, old, professional, amateur, DSLR shooters and Point and Shoot photography enthusiasts in attendance and the weather wound up on our side. The day was forecast as close to 100 degrees, with high humidity. It turned out to be slightly breezy and the walk basically went from shaded area to shaded area, so it was an easily bearable morning. Today’s image comes from near the end of the circuit and is one of the more interesting shots I got during the walk. One of the interesting aspects of the clock was that the bottom box, just under the words “Union Savings Bank” was askew, tilting a little to the right. A couple of small dings in the brass just above the same words showed the clock had been the target of vandals at some point in the recent past. I suspect the angle of the bottom component is due to the same fate. Today’s image is a single shot treated with Adobe Photoshop CS5’s HDR Toning found in Images/Adjustments/ HDR toning. Several masks were used to isolate parts of the image. To find out more about where the masks were used, hit the “read more”.
The first mask was for the clock itself. Using the Quick Selection Tool (W) got most of the clock, but a few extraneous bits and pieces got tied up with the clock. The pieces were small enough that making a Channel Mask using Calculations would have been overkill and I really couldn’t be sure it would do any better. Therefore I employed something I don’t use enough, the Quick Mask Tool (Q). It was just easy to get into the small corners that were, by far, the greatest number to offending bits. Zooming in (CTRL Space Bar, click and move the mouse) and moving around the image (Space Bar, click and move) made it easy to get at the intricate details. Using the Brush Tool (B), adjusted to the proper, width made short work of cleaning areas such as the space between the corner bars and the body of the clock. Click once at one end of the straight line area and Shift click at the other end to make a completely straight line. That’s much easier than trying to do the same thing freehand.

The second mask would have been trickier except for one saving grace. The second mask was needed to bring the Red Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer back. The clock needed some red, but the brick buildings didn’t need any additional red. The problem could have been the far building that can be seen through the tree. If a mask had been needed there it could have been a real killer to make. Fortunately, there’s enough separation between the tree and the clock t just use the mask that comes with the Adjustment Layer and paint out only the reds without affecting the red needed on the clock.

Sometimes a meticulous mask is required, sometimes, if you’re dealing with just one color in a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer you can actually be pretty sloppy with your painting technique and get the job done in a couple of strokes. There’s a place for the detail work and a place for the quick and dirty stuff.