Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Ways To Makeover One Image With Photoshop

Click image to enlarge
We were away for a couple days this past weekend (plus).  First to a photography conference in Massachusetts and then up to Lake Winnipesaukee for a couple days.  Today's image was taken on a visit to the "Castle In The Clouds" mansion.  A New Hampshire preservation site.  A nicely preserved mansion high on a mountain (hill) overlooking the area.  The "original" image looked almost nothing like what you see.  It was actually a couple horses in a field (just kidding).  I've just gotten an 8mm fisheye lens and spent all day Monday using only the "fish" to see what it would (could) do.  The image doesn't look much like it was taken with an extreme wide angle lens, but that's where the Adobe Photoshop (PS) "magic" comes in.  To find out what the "five ways" the image has been changed, hit the "Read More".

Typically, pointing a fisheye lens down at such a steep angle results in a "curvature of the earth" sort of effect at the top of an image.  This one was no different.  The bowl and the fruit looked fine, but the window sill and mullions had the typical fan shape of a fisheye.  The first thing I tried was using PS's Adaptive Wide Angle Filter to see about straightening things out.  It has a "fisheye" option so I figured it was worth a shot.  Nope!  It kept trying to grab the entire top of the shot to flatten it out.  Not what I was looking for.  Next came PS's Puppet Warp routine.  In it you place anchor points at the spots where you want to stop any movement in the image.  Pins were dropped to prevent the fruit and wire basket from moving and the far ends of the sill were brought up even .  There was a little bow in the center of which side, so the middle of each side of the sill was pushed back down.  It's now reasonably straight with just a slight warp on the right side sill.

The view outside the window was totally blown out and was replaced with the shot taken on the overlook about halfway up the driveway up to the carriage house.  Each pane of the window was added to a Layer Mask and the scene "looking out" over the lakes dropped in behind the primary image.

One mistake I often see when people are doing reflections is that they'll just flip what they're trying to reflect and pull it down to appear to be the reverse of the main image. Too many times it winds up with an impossible reflection.  The reflection on the right side of the image cannot be of the lakes seen out the window.  The light would have to come through the window, make a right turn and show up in the reflection if that were the case.  The refection has to be what would show up in a straight line through the window.  That means it would be the sky, so that's what I put in.  I also added a light gray Layer under the sky Layer and lowered the sky Layer's Opacity.  The reflection would not be as bright as the scene directly out the window.

Once back over in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR) (all my images start out in LR) any color corrections were made, including making the colors of the fruit richer.

And number five, I used LR's Adjustment Brush (AB) to add shadows and highlights to the fruit and the napkin.  To do this, make the AB small and soft.  Use the dropdown presets to pick either Burn (make darker) or Dodge (make lighter).  Put a highlight next to each shadow to build depth in the objects.

I'm guessing that's it.  How to take a purpose made lens (the fisheye) and make it look like a normal lens.  One of the nicer things about the fish is that your Depth of Field (at almost any aperture) extents from the tip of your nose to infinity.  The reason for getting the fisheye in the first place was to do astrophotography.  As soon as it's a clear night, at a new moon, I'm in a dark place, and it's the middle of the night I'll post whatever I get.  Stay tuned.