Friday, October 14, 2011

Wille Wonke Meets Photoshop HDR Pro

I don't know.  Seems like we're doing a couple mashups this week.  Monday was "Norman Rockwell Meets Photoshop" and that was a pretty straight looking HDR composition.  Today we go to the other end of the scale with a fictional character meeting the far side of HDR.  Today's image actually comes from the Scott Kelby World Wide Photowalk of a couple of weekends past.  It's just down the street from last week's image from the walk and miles away as far as technique goes.  Here's a little comparison of the two images:

·         Both are five shot HDRs

·         Both are in the small New England town of Kent Connecticut

·         Both are on the west side of Main Street

·         One tends toward the photorealistic, the other is more illustrative

·         One is a straight shot (for something that's HDR).  The other has large sections cloned out using Content Aware Fill

·         One tries for true (almost) colors.  The other kicks the sh** out of the colors.

If you'd like to see what was done to the photorealistic image from last week, click here.  To see what was done to today's image, hot the "Read More".

As was said, today's image is a five shot HDR done in Adobe Photoshop CS5's HDR Pro.  It,  as are most of my HDR sequences , was hand held.  More of the HDR that I do are sort of spontaneous rather than well thought out, on a tripod, all that "stuff" that many blogs and websites tell you has to be done.  One of the keys is, naturally, having enough light that the slowest shutter speed can be handheld.  This coming weekend we'll be out doing some night photography, with exposures of several minutes.  Obviously that'll be on a tripod.  But, enough about philosophy and what will be done, let's get into today's image.
To the left and right of the chocolate shop, in the trees, are other buildings.  Once the HDR image was assembled in CS5's HDR Pro the same program's Content Aware Fill (Edit/Fill/Content Aware Fill) was used to hide a garage on the left and a house on the right.  The big thing that makes the use of CAF possible is the use of either a Mask of a separate Layer. 
The Mask method is simply to make a mask that hides anything that might interfere with the texture you want to use.  On the left side of the shop the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) was used to select the trees.  Going back to the image (rather than the Mask) and using the Loop Tool (L), the bits and pieces of the garage showing through the trees within the masked area were selected and CAF applied.  Because the rest of the image was masked, the only place CS5 had to pick from was in the selected area.  With the shop masked out, it could not be "seen" by the program.  The same technique was used on the right side to eliminate the house.
With the colors enhanced using individual (Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Magenta) Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers ((Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Hue/Saturation) the major trees in front and to the right of the shop still didn't have a whole lot of color.  I used the Quick Selection Tool (W) to select the trunks and major branches of the trees.  A dark brown color was selected from the Swatches Panel and the selections (on a separate Layer) were filled (Edit/Fill/Color).  This gives a childish looking opaque paint job.  The Blend Mode was then changed to Color, allowing the detail to show through the applied color.
The image was sharpened and a vignette applied in Adobe Photoshop Lightrrom 3 to "finish" the image.