Photo Adventure Transcript
Welcome, everyone, to another episode of Macro Photography --- and today you are going to see how I changed this photo, from my "Father's Day Lighthouse" adventure, into this photo. I will be using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop so let's get started.
First lets jump into Lightroom to do some photo processing to my raw image. To help speed this up, I've already completed the Lightroom changes. Here we can see the before and after. And here is what I ended up doing for this photo. Over in the Basic panel, I decreased the highlights to minus 100 and increased the shadows to plus 52. I increased the whites to plus 64 and decreased the blacks to minus 31. I increased the Vibrance to plus 38.
Moving down to the Tone Curve panel, I increased the highlights to plus 20 and decreased the shadows to minus 28. I set the point curve to medium contrast. Moving down to the Detail panel, I left Sharpening as default and increased Luminance to plus 68. Down at the Lens Corrections panel, I turned both checkmarks on. And that's it for the panels. Next, I wanted a sunrise photo to add as a background so I found one I shot earlier in the year to use. Notice the sun is on the left side so we are going to try and mimic the light location back in Lightroom. I already have a snapshot of it completed here and let's take a look at what changed. I warmed up the photo temp to 6524. I'll turn it on and off so you can see the temp change on the right. Next, I added a radial filter to act as the location of the sun at the top left. This filter has an increase temp of 32 and exposure increase of .78. The feather is set to 100 and the invert mask is checked.
Next, I wanted to brighten up the lights on the lighthouse by doing a radial filter on those. They all have an increase of 2.16 exposure. On the left side there is another radial filter to simulate the sunshine on the lighthouse. This filter has duplicate settings as the top left. Increased temp of plus 32 and exposure increase of .78. Over on the right side, to simulate a shadow area, this radial filter has a temp of 3 and the exposure decreased to minus .97. Moving over to the Graduated Filter. I dragged the filter over to the right side to make it darker. I reduced the exposure minus .97. Then I duplicated that same filter and moved it to the bottom corner. Now I'm going to export that photo and let's see where we are.
So over here in Photoshop, you can see on the right that my top layer is the new lighthouse photo we just exported and the sunset photo layer is at the bottom. I'm going to cut out the lighthouse while leaving some of the bottom waves. Next I smooth out the bubbles in the waves to make it look more like flowing water. I'm using the smudge tool for this. I'm just pulling the bubbles toward the lighthouse and following that water flow. The next thing I want to do is make it more dramatic. Back in Lightroom I'm going to add a new Graduated Filter that cools down the right side of the photo to minus 38. Export that image and bring it back into Photoshop. We now end up with this photo. So here is the difference between the extra cooling and bubble smudging.
The next thing I want to do is add more birds to the sky. So I copy and paste the birds. I've already done that so I'll just turn on the layers. I'm using the Darken filter, you can see that if I change it back to normal this bird doesn't look right so using Darken is a quick way to get it to blend. The next thing I wanted to do was increase the top maroon color. I'll turn the layer on and off to see if you can see the difference. You may not be able to tell much. But essential what I did was cut out that section and increased the hue and saturation. In fact you can change it to whatever you wanted. See how it changes.
The next thing I did was copy a section of the waves and pasted it to increase the wave height. I added some people at the bottom. I'm using the multiply filter to make them blend in fast. This is what it looks without the filter. And I'll switch it back. Next I just added some shadows for the people. After that, I needed to cool down the right side of the photo temperature in the sunrise layer to match more of the water temperature we did in Lightroom for the right side. I added a blue gradient and I'm using the color filter with an opacity of 62%. Here it is at 100% but I'll change it back to 62%.
Next, I wanted to add more drama to the left side so I added a black gradient to that side and set the filter to Overlay at 44% opacity. This is what it would look like if it was set to normal. Setting it to Overlay gives it a nice punch to it. After that I added a white gradient to brighten that side up. That is also set to Overlay. Here it is if it was set to normal. And for the final piece, I added a warm photo filter adjustment layer over all of the layers to give it more of a blended look. I will turn it on and off so you can see how it changed the photo. To get that, I went to layer, new adjustment layer, photo filter, clicked ok, and I chose the first default option.
Ok let's take a look at the progress. Here's the original photo after some Lightroom processing. Then we went back and simulated the sun on the left as well as added lights to the lighthouse. Then we cut out the photo, smoothed the waves, added birds and people, did some gradient filters. And here is the final result.
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