changing an image into a picture

Many people comment that any photo can be changed into something great with the aid of computers. They will tell you that it’s just computers, “chuck it in and and that’s it”. It might be true that nowadays most photographers make use of computers and some rely on them a bit too much but wasn’t there the dark room in the previous times? Not everyone had the possibility to play around and print his own but that made a big difference from one man’s photos to the other. My opinion is that it’s the artistic expression of an image. What has happened today is that photos that have not been touched up, cleansed and brought to flawless perfection, would not be even considered. The general public is so used to seeing perfection that those that had opted to stay away on their own island without using photoshop or any other photo manipulating software, are now feeling the rising tide. I personally try to keep up with the changes because the less you do so the more you have to catch up once you notice what’s happening. In this post I wanted to show how this photo has been done.

This image is the final product of many layers in photoshop. It has originated from an HDR image (High Dynamic Range) which I find looks really dull. HDR images are made of many photos so that the exposure is somehow flat without much strong contrast. It boosts the colour saturation, and doesn’t leave any areas clipped.

This picture below is the original HDR image which was put together from six differently exposed photos.

Quite a big difference you will say, well it is already some thing to achieve the image above but let’s not get into that, maybe next time.

This is the next step, converting the coloured image into a black and white using a red filter to darken the blues and greens. But this is still a little flat and lacks a lot of contrast and detail.

So in this image above the contrast and levels have been boosted. Using the helpful functions of masks in the different layers different amount of contrast and levels have been given to different areas to help the image get more balanced. Next we  needed to add a little more drama and direction in the image.

A black layer was blended on to the whole image and then with masks, which was then removed from the desired places with a soft brush. A 50%gray filter was applied and blended over, this was painted over with a black brush (using a very low flow value of about 7) to darken the places which were too white so as to remove their importance. Finally the first layer was put up on top of all the layers and had the opacity reduced so just a hint of colour came through, giving the final picture below.


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