Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How About A Pastel HDR Treatment

Today’s image is a little different, for me at least.  I went for sort of a pastel treatment of an HDR image.  I’ve had a couple other scenes from one of our favorite places to see people at sidewalk cafes, Kent, Connecticut.  Just in case anyone is interested and happens to be in northwestern Connecticut when it’s warm enough to sit outside, stop by Kent.  Great place to grab a bite to eat and an even greater place to do some people photography.  The Villager is just up the street from where my last three street scenes come from.  (Here, here and here)  Rather than going for deep red umbrellas, umbrellas with dark blue panels and an almost black shirt on the fellow, I went for pink umbrellas, light blue panels and a rich blue shirt.  As a bonus, the fellow in the background has a purple shirt.  Where the previous images were brooding and dark, this one has a light airy feel to it.  There’s a couple things that needed to be addressed today, so let’s get right to it.  Find out what twists and turns had to be done to today’s image by hitting the “read more”.

The first thing that needed to be done was to straighten the pole holding the restaurant’s sign. No problem. Get the Ruler Tool (I), stretch it along one of the vertical sides of the posts and tap the “straighten” button. The Straighten button is new to Adobe Photoshop CS5. In past editions you’d go to Image/Image Rotation/Arbitrary. With the Ruler line stretched PS would give you the exact number of degrees and direction of rotation. Just hit Okay and it straightens just fine.

Ya know the adage “no good turn goes unpunished”? Well, straightening the pole tipped the building to the point where it looked like it was going to tip over backwards. Having the pole straight and the building canted to the right was bad. So, Free Transform (CTRL T) to the rescue. After selecting the Free Transform function, right clicking within the area selected brings up a list of transform options. Perspective was chosen and the top of the image brought in. This rebent the sign post toward the building. The compromise was to leave the building leaning to the right and restraightening the pole. That resulted in the best solution to the leaning issue.

The other issue, after cropping to eliminate the keystone was a couple of people’s elbows infringing on the image area, adding nothing to the overall look. This time it was Content Aware Fill (Shift F5 then Use/Content Aware) lead the charge in repairing the damage of the wayward elbows. The first attempt was to surgically remove the elbows. I’m afraid not. It didn’t work out well at all. Next try was removing the entire section of the image. That worked great. You really can’t tell if the offensive appendages were on the right or left.

With everything straightened up and cleaned up the rest was the same basic steps I’ve discussed several times. The difference was applying the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers and increasing saturation to produce pastels rather than “in your face” colors. On a composite layer (Ctrl/Alt/Shift/E) the folds of both men’s shirts were enhanced. The Burn Tool (O) was used at a low (27%) Exposure to darken the shadows and the Dodge Tool (O also) brightened the highlights. The effect is to make the folds more visible and add interest to the shirts.

It’s different, let me know what you think.


黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Wonderful treatment of HDR toning !
Like it.