Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fun with filters

When I took pictures of the Shell Gas Station this weekend, I knew I could do something fun with it. However, the original was suffering from a few problems. For one, the building was a bit under-exposed and the sky was blown out. Now I had 8 different exposures to play with, so I knew I could save it, but I wasn’t sure which way would be best (i.e., HDR, cloning, etc…). My first attempt was to apply Graduated Neutral Density and Polarizing filters from Nik Software Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete on a selection of the sky (using a mask). I also added light on the bottom half of the photo using an Exposure Adjustment layer and then I used Noise Ninja to cut out on some of the noise in the shadows. Here’s the result:

I thought this was much better, but many people said they wanted to see this one in B&W or Sepia – boring! Anybody can do that, but it doesn’t really do much for me. However, the concept could be used to make the photo more interesting so I decided to do a Sepia version this way:

and a aged color version this way:

Here’s a couple solarization filter shots from Color Efex that I liked a lot:

The black and white above is cool, but the color one here is my favorite:

and finally here’s a cooler version of B&W that I like way more than your typical grayscale. Some may hate it because it is a bit more overexposed with a harsh contrast, but it isn’t dull like a typical grayscale so I like it:

What are your thoughts? Which do you like the best? Thanks for reading, Ron

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