This morning, driving down to the college with my portfolio under arm, hoping to get good reviews. Yves Thomas did a great job on the prints, they even called me to verify that the solid dark brown page was not an error… which is impressive customer service (a relief after my unfortunate dealings with Bell) so there I am with a million things going through my head when I notice the beautiful fog in the park I was driving by. What to do, what to do?
Well I turned back, drove back home, got my camera and had time for a few shots at the Maisonneuve Park before the fog dissipated. The sights blew me away. I rarely see this much fog on my island. So I did a small series, shot it in HDR to see what would happen, and then drove to the college.
Back home at the end of the day, and sitting down at Photoshop, it became clear that HDR didn’t work well with such a gray subject with a compact centered histogram. So I dumped that idea and started working out way to pump up some color and contrast while keeping the foggy feeling intact. The recipe I conjured was this one:
1)make a curve layer, set it to overlay, and mask out the sky.
2) make another curve layer, set it to Multiply, bring the opacity down to about 35% and mask out the ground at about 70% and the horizon line and middle fog at 100%
3) make a black an white layer, drop the red and yellow bars to about -30. this should darken the ground to almost black. Set the layer to soft light blending mode. Drop the opacity to about 75%. Mask out the darker trees and part of the ground to create a slight vignette effect.
4) add a little vibrance
5) create a composite image and apply an Unsharp Mask (amount around 20%, Radius around 65%, no threshold), drop the opacity to your taste.
This served most images to give them a lovely edge and pull them out of the murky gray washed out look they had initially. I will send a few out to my usual agencies although I’m skeptical at their chances, since they seem to fall between favored esthetics color and exposure wise. They are otherwise very clean technically but at 100%, the trees’ bark can be misconstrued as artifacts. So we’ll see. If they don’t make it, I’ll open a flicker page and make the series available there. They might not be stock, but they are very nice decorative shots.
Royalty Free License available at Istockphoto.com
Browse through all stock photos related to childhood in this gallery at Istockphoto.