Friday, April 19, 2013

Antiquing With Photoshop & Lightroom & Nik & Topaz, Oh My

Can today’s image pass as an old photograph?  Perhaps a pencil sketch?  I don’t see why not.  It’s neither.  It’s a typical image, shot with a digital camera.  I don’t have a GPS fix on the location, but I’ve been past it often enough that I know exactly where it is.  It’s at the last crossroad going north on the Taconic Parkway in New York.  You can’t miss it.  There’s a gas station and a diner on the east side and this barn on the west side.  The funny thing about today’s image is that it took a lot of “high tech” work to get it to look old and pencil sketchy.  There must be a half dozen modified copies in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Beta from where I took a copy over to Adobe Photoshop CS6, messed with it and did a File/Save – File Close back to LR5B.  With every iteration something was done in each program.  To find out what a couple of the flip-flops entailed, hit the “Read More”.

“Most” of the “work” was done in LR5B.  The trips over to CS6 (many of them) were to bring the modification over along with the original.  The purpose was due to one of my pet peeves with HDR images.  I almost universally dislike HDR skies.  Anytime you have, what looks like, drop shadows in the sky you’ve lost me.  If everything else looks great and the sky looks dumb, I don’t like it.  Automatically.  Maybe it’s just a personality quirk, but it bugs me.  So, the altered image and the original image would be brought into CS6 as Layers.  A Layer Mask would be applied to the altered Layer and the sky painted (Masked) back to its original state.

The sequence went something like:

·         Corrections and exaggerations in LR5B

·         Restore sky in CS6 (I know – I could have done it in LR5B.  It was just easier in CD6.)

·         Intensify details and colors in LR5B

·         Restore sky in CS6

·         Go to Topaz Labs Adjust 5 from LR5B

o   Add a little Grunge in the HDR Collection

o   Add a little Dramatic II

o   Add Exposure Color Stretch

·         Back to LR5B

·         Restore sky in CS6

·         Go to Nik Software Color Efex 4

o   Use Detail Extractor

o   Use Tonal Contrast

o   Use Glamour Glow

o   Use Edge treatment

·         Back to LR5B

As you can see, there was quite a bit of bouncing around between applications and plug-ins.  There was a, assortment of other bouncing around, but basically it was just "gee, what happens if I do this?"

I guess that’s what happens when you wake up early.