Breakdown number Two…and I haven’t even posted number one yet!
Anyway this one was again a learning experience to create something that was aesthetically interesting/striking. First-step; stitching a photo together of the intersection of Flinders and Swanston in Melbourne. I took a number of passes with the camera across the intersection. l had hoped to get more vertical detail but the perspective and amount of movement and weather made this too difficult to accomplish.
Great a another photo of a busy intersection
…at the end of the day its just flinders st station on a cold and slightly undercast day.
What do do, saturate, tone, colour, contrast, a number of other adjustments to exposure or lighting?
I made a number of small tweaks, tried to balance the brightness of the fore/background, cropped, filed in the edges of the image with content aware predictive tools or from other source images. Despite this there was nothing I could easily do to make the image more appealing…it needed some more thought and effort and unfortunately some learning I feared/thought.
Right now it was just a dull panorama shot…sans the cool looking power lines
First; I upped the saturation.
Second; I created a layer mask removing the skyline…unfortunately this meant going between the branches when creating the mask of the tree on the left as it would look quite jarring to have a different sky visible through the tree…this took awhile.
Third; I applied a gradient overlay to the remaining elements of the image (street, station etc) set to overlay to brighten up the image a bit and in a way that felt more natural than just over exposing the whole area.
Fourth; I sourced a replacement image for the sky and inserted this under the main layer. Some minor blending/adjustments to start making it integrate well into the existing image also took place.
Fifth; Applied a drop shadow around the visible foreground part of the image to assist blending into the newly inserted skyline. Before this there was a blue tinge around the image as a result of the original skyline which was not blending well with the new one.
Sixth; An overlay layer layer set in front/off to the right of the station in the middle part of the image. Basically just a big white circle set to 100% opacity on a separate layer. This was to make the station, “pop” a bit more and this was also assisted by an increase in the yellows, but only slightly. Combined with the Saturation adjustments it made the station stand out more and made it a greater focal point of the image. I also I quite like how the white attracts you to certain spots in the newly added clouds.
Seventh I adjusted the hue and saturation of the new clouds to them more dramatic and to bring the tone/colours in line with the foreground of the image. I also applied a clip mask and painted the light areas of the cloud with a white overlay to help reinforce the effect of “god rays” coming through…I felt this helped to add to the now more surreal nature of the image. Funnily this helped the sky blend into the image more.
The weather in Melbourne is usually shit, so a brewing storm seemed to be a suitable new skyline.