Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I mentioned on my twitter (MollieTobias) that I was doing some architectural photography for a client yesterday.

It is a great house in the Village of Pinehurst, but the only problem was that no matter what time of day you go there the glare is incredible. Maybe it's just the string of bad weather we are having here, but it wasn't raining yesterday so the shoot was on, less than ideal sky and all. This is a great example of taking less than ideal conditions and making them work for you.
This is my original exposure. I made sure to bracket my exposures and this is the one that I decided to work from. The foreground is obviously overexposed to keep detail in the sky. You should always expose for the lightest part of the scene because it is a lot easier to recover information that is too dark. Once something overexposes to white, there is no coming back.
First thing that I did was added a Levels adjustment layer to lighten the house and masked back in the sky using a soft black brush on the layer mask. (anything on a layer that is painted in black reveals the layer below and anything white on a mask hides the layer below). I painted in black at 50% opacity along the tree line to blend the color in naturally.

Next I applied a hue/saturation adjustment layer and masked off everything but the sky to make it a little bluer and more vibrant.
I did the same thing for the brick warming up the color a little.

Lastly I created a blank layer and set its blend mode to "Color". I then selected a patch of green using the eye dropper and the 5x5 average setting. I painted the green on the blank layer over any dull areas of grass to perk them up. Using this layer setting affects only the color but leaves the texture intact.

Here's the final product again. This whole process took me less time that it took to write this blog post. Once you start using layers it is amazing how easy editing images becomes. Hope this gives you some food for thought!

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