The opening image for this post was inspired by something that I try to do all the time – in real life, with my photography and in the digital darkroom: having fun! With Father’s Day approaching, I thought this post was especially timely.
The top image, which looks as though my son and I are soaring at top speed high above beautiful water in a biplane, is one of my favorites that I created after a family trip to the Florida Keys. It captures the speed, fun, excitement – and togetherness – of our experience.
That image was created in Adobe Photoshop Elements (but you can use the same techniques in Adobe Photoshop). Here is how it started out. I combined two shots, one of ocean, that I took during our flight, and one of my son and I in the passenger seat before takeoff (bottom photo), taken with a point-and-shoot camera by the plane’s pilot. Not only did that picture of my son and I fail to capture the fun of the flight, but we were too dark, a result of the lighter tarmac “fooling” the camera’s meter into underexposed us. That was easy to fix. Read on!
In Elements, I went to Enhance Lighting > Shadows/Highlights and opened up the shadow areas of the scene, namely our faces. Shadows/Highlights is a cool control, letting you control the shadows and highlights of an image independentally.
The next step was to replace the tarmac with the water. That too, was easy! First, I opened both images on my monitor and moved the picture of us on top of the image of the water, creating a two-layer file. Using the Magic Eraser tool on the Tool Bar, I started clicking on the tarmac.
When using the Magic Eraser tool, you need to use the Elements Options Menu on the top of your monitor to control the Tolerance. I had it set to 32, which let me erase just the right amount of the tarmac – without erasing any part of the plane or boats in the background (which have different colors).
I wanted to create the effect that we were flying at an angle over the water, which helps to create a sense of speed and action in an image. On land, I would have tilted the camera downward to the left or right. To title this image, I selected the Crop Tool, moved my cursor outside of the image area, and titled the image.
After I pressed Return, my picture looked tilted! Technically, this is called the disequilibrium effect. You have probably seen it on MTV or in fashion magazines.
Next, I flatted the image. Then, I created a duplicate layer by going to Layer > Duplicate Layer. Now I had two identical images, one on top of the other.
Next, with the top layer selected, I went to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur > Zoom and blurred the entire image.
Next, I used the Eraser tool on the Tool Bar and erased the area over our faces, which revealed the sharp area below.
Finally, I added the Old Photo effect in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro.
Happy Photoshopping to all – and of course Happy Father’s Day!
This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store