Monday, November 7, 2011

Photoshop Has Led To A Photo Tour

Today's image is typical of what may be found on the galleries first photo tour.  I've been asked by several people if I'd lead some sort of "domestic safari " for the purpose of shooting "something".  After looking at what's available and when to go and where to shoot, we're ready to set up a trip.  It's not meant to be a money making enterprise.  I'll just be the person coordinating a few like minded photographers, making the housing arrangements, figuring out a little Saturday night entertainment, setting up whatever needs to be set up, and generally doing the detail work to have a good time.  The place for the escapade is going to be Ricketts Glen State Park and the Endless Mountains in Pennsylvania, USA.  Today's image comes from the park, which has twenty two named waterfalls.  The trip will be a two night (Friday and Saturday nights), three day shoot with discussion and instruction about Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.  We hope to have a couple instructors and a panel for a round table discussion of photographic and Photoshop techniques.  Read future posts to find for more about the trip.   To learn more about today's image, hit the "Read More".

Today's image is a seven shot HDR.  It would almost impossible to get the tonal range in one image.  Extraneous flotsam and jetsam has been removed using Adobe Photoshop CS5's Content Aware Fill.  Several twig sized branches were in the lower right hand corner.  It would have been nice to remove them in the wild, before taking the shot, but that would have involved a jump of about six feet over the outlet of the falls to a perch about nine inches wide.  Hey, that's what they made CAF for, right?
The rock on the right was still too hot even with the HDR treatment.  It wasn't throw it away bad, but bad enough to use a little work in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.  The Adjustment Brush was the tool of choice for this work.  The way I work with the Adjustment Tools (Gradient and Brush) is to put the Exposure value down at maximum underexposure for anything light and at maximum overexposure for things that are dark and then work the area.  This lets me see what I'm doing without needing to go back to the "Pin" repeatedly to see what I'm affecting.  Once I've defined the area I'll double click on the word Exposure, returning the value to zero.  Then I'll highlight the value (0.00 for Exposure, 0 for everything else) and move the value up or down using Shift and the Arrow Keys.  This will bring the values up or down ten points at a time rather than one point.  In the lower right corner the Brightness was brought down and the Contrast, Clarity and Sharpness brought up.  Everything is done "to taste", so the exact numbers don't mean much.
On the left, the protruding rock got almost the opposite treatment.  Brightness up and the other three up also. 
The water wound up being pretty blue, so a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was used.  The individual color was targeted by first selecting what appeared to be the closest color.  In this case it was Cyan.  Then the Eye Dropper Tool in the H/S Adjustment Layer was picked and the water color sampled.  Then the Plus Symbol Eye Dropper was used to refine the color selection.  Once that was done the Saturation was brought down until the water appeared more white.  Not completely white, but something more realistic.
The Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers were then used to increase the Red, Yellow and Green colors.  As usual (for me) each color had a separate Layer to allow for individual masks.
One last thing done to the water was back in LR3.  The Adjustment Brush was used to "paint" the water (same technique as detailed above).  The Clarity and Sharpness of the water was then brought up.
Remember, if you're interested in the Ricketts Glen trip, let me know.  Leave a comment, send me an email or talk to me in person.