Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Getting the best from your VIVID images

It's that time of year again, VIVID Sydney is back with a tremendous display of lights around the Circular Quay foreshore. And the crowds are back too!  Friday night was busy, but Saturday night was mental, so shooting the lights, without a massive throng of people milling around the exhibits in each shot, was a challenge in itself. But an even greater challenge was to make the illuminations interesting when faced with so much blackness in the night sky.

Here's one technique you can try to combine a daylight shot with a nighttime shot. It requires a bit of patience but I think it's well worth the effort.

- Set the camera up and record a series of daytime shots - in this case the Opera House -  make the most of the light that's available (pic 1 below).
- Then wait for the ambient light level to drop and the lights to begin. Record several examples of VIVID playing on the buildings (pic 2 blow).
- Process the two RAW files, open in Photoshop Elements.
- Copy and paste the VIVID version into the daylight version
- On the daylight layer, use the Magic Wand tool to select the roof as best as you can. I then use the Quick Mask mode (in Photoshop) and the Selection Brush (Elements). Both lay a red mask on the selection which allows you to paint more into the selection, or erase (remove) over-selected areas- sometimes this mask mode is easier than the magic Wand, especially if the Wand over-selects pixels (see demo video below).

No comments:

Post a Comment