Global Warming vs. The Capitol
When all else fails, and the picture you’ve just taken is only “good”, then you can easily make up for it in Photoshop. For example. Late in 2008, I was exiting a museum in Washington, DC when I snapped a pretty typical picture of the Capitol with a grey sky backdrop. People, cars, and pets moving back and forth in the foreground made this shot a fairly typical one. You could say it was only “good”. I decided to make a few simple adjustments to move it up one level to “interesting”. By adding water effects and a rainbow gradient fill in separate layers, the composition was altered with the results shown below. The message in this image is now quite different. If I were to label this photo, I would title it “Global Warming 1, World 0”
Tricks in Motion
Mount Vernon, Virginia is a wonderful place to bring your kids, even in the winter. Several months ago, I visited this historic site with my kids and took quite a lot of pictures. One photo I shot was of the grassy quad leading up to the mansion with the blue skies above. The picture was good, but a little plain. To spice it up a bit, I decided to open Photoshop, and blend my nephews face into the grass using perspective distortion. This improved the photo remarkably, but I decided to add an additional painter to help explain the face in the grass. Then, just to be mischievous, I added a kid mowing through the picture and a rocket (from one of my launches) in the background behind the homestead. Several steps of this endeavor were tricky to execute. For example, false shadows were crafted for the kids in the scene using layer duplication, blur, and transformations. The grass behind the lawn mower was lightened and a bigger paintbrush has been carefully added to the painter’s hand. The additional foreground elements transformed a “good” picture to a “better” one with minimal work in Photoshop.