Sunday, September 25, 2011

Turn a blah photo into a Wow Photo

I was driving home from town up from the valley on a back gravel road.

The colors of the trees were gorgeous.

Yet somehow I knew that what I saw and what I shot with the camera would not be the same.

Here is the original:
So enter my friends the Topaz Plug Ins and Photomatix Light.

I began with a single exposure and just for kicks dropped it into Photomatix Light to see what I could do with it.

PL helped a bit, but the sky wasn't working for me and the photo looked a bit off but I did love the colors in it.

I deleted it and went back to Topaz Adjust, just for a few minor tweaks.

Normally at this point I just hit the 'delete' button and decide to hunt for a better photograph.

This time I decided to see what I could do with what I had taken.

How far could I go to making this believable?
Copy the backround layer.
Copy some sky from another photo and put it on its own layer.

I used the sky and changed the layer blending mode to linear burn... Whoops, a bit too dark...and the cloud layer is affecting the gravel road

I decreased the opacity to 87% and used the eraser tools to eliminate the 'cloud' color on the gravel road.

Much nicer.
At least the sky now had some hint of color and clouds and it looked fairly natural.

The gravel road itself, I felt could use a touch more detail.

I copied this layer and used Topaz ReMask to 'cut' out the road and isolate it.

Then I used Topaz Detail to bring out the 'gravel' texture and accent the tracks.
Oh yeah, it was a fun little exercise in Elements 5.

A bit of editing really helped this little back road shot come a long way.

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