Monday, August 24, 2015

Making Big Things Small With Photoshop Blur Galleries

Every once in a while you'll look through the viewfinder of your camera and see something that really isn't there.  That was the case with today's image.  We were taking "a shortcut" (not really) home and were on a road that follows the Naugatuck River.  It's one of my more favorite routes home.  We heard a train whistle blow where there is no regular service, so I knew it had to be one of the New England Railroad Museum's tour trains.  If you were to flip back a ways in these posts you'd find a couple shots for trains along this track.  I had Doris pull up the museum's schedule (ain't the internet great for such things on the fly).  The train had left the station about twenty minutes before, so it had to be on it's downward leg when we heard the whistle.  The typical ride is a half hour pushing the cars down the track and pulling them back to the station.  The "pulling" stretch is the one to shoot.  Figuring a one hour round trip and where the train went under a bridge put the engine coming round the bend about ten minutes to three.  As it worked out, it was about nine minutes of when it came into view.  As I looked through the viewfinder a model railroad came to mind.  To find out how a real train got to looking like a model training, hit the "Read More".

First the water on the right needed work.  It was up against being blown out, so Adobe Photoshop Lightroom's (LR) Adjustment Brush was used to reduce the exposure on the water.  Another Pin was dropped to bring the gravel and rocks around the track down to a more normal level.  Since the only green in the shot was foliage, the HSL Panel was opened and the green and yellow sliders moved to the left in the Liminance Panel.  That darkened all the foliage at once, eliminating the need to do spot toning. 

The train itself got some brightening in the reds of the engine and the greens of the cars received a Temperature shift toward Green with the Tint Slider of the Adjustment Brush. 

It was then over to Adobe Photoshop (PS) for miniaturization.  Opened as a Smart Object (Photo/Edit In/Open as a Smart Object in Photoshop) a Tilt/Shift Blur (Filter/Blur/Blur Gallery/Tilt-Shift) was applied.  The effect of this filter is to limit the Depth of Field (DoF) by increasing the blur effect in the foreground and background of an image.  This leaves only the center strip of the image in sharp focus.  The limited DoF is typical of shooting a model train setup.  It's an interesting effect and something fun to play with.  Give it a try.