Thread: Tutorial Pete's Photoshop tricks
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Old 16th September 2010
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snaarman snaarman is offline
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Re: Pete's Photoshop tricks

Moving Heaven and Earth:

If you don't like cheating in Photoshop, then look away now.

I do like photographing sunrises, so much better for the soul than sunsets, but they do hold a hidden problem: You can't tell exactly where the sun is going to pop up until it makes its first appearance. At that point you only have 60 seconds to get the best pictures, so its too late to run around with the tripod.

The Photographer's Ephemeris
is a great bit of software for getting you to the right place at the right time, but its the last 20 meters that can make all the difference...

Its the same with moonrises. I planned to grab the "Harvest Moon" a few weeks ago, but I got delayed and arrived on site about 15 minutes late which it an eternity in landscape photography... So I had to settle for these two shots:

Here is one of the Village church across a field. The full moon has already risen quite a bit, which means the sun has already set quite a bit - so it was darker than I would have liked. This was a manual exposure (1/6th second) to get a hint of blue in the sky, but leaving the trees black. The exposure was guided by the centre weighted metering. (Tamron 200mm legacy lens, big tripod)

And here is the moon on its own, taken moments later. It was further up in the sky and was shot between the wires of a huge power line (!) This requires spot metering with +1EV compensation. The exposure for this picture (1/320th second) and the previous one are so different as to be mutually incompatible...

Now, you paste the moon over the church as a new layer, set that layer to "Lighten" and not only do you get the following picture, but you can reposition the moon to where it would have been 15 minutes ago Cheating? Yes, guilty... but at least the two pictures were taken at the same spot within a minute or two.

And if you paste church over moon over church and do some "Select by colour range" to delete the sky from the top church layer, but leave the trees - then you can even place the moon behind the trees - though I find this a bit less convincing..

A second example. I have to say even I can't remember now if this shot features a relocated sun, but I suspect it might...

Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.

Pete's photoblog Misleading the public since 2010.
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