Iceland: Photoshop Edition


Iceland: Photoshop Edition

June 30, 2012
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My recent trip to Iceland was my first time experimenting with my newly purchased fixed focal length camera lenses; a 50mm/f1.8 and a 35mm/f1.8 on my Nikon D3100 DSLR. Oh what fun! I really love these new lenses, but there were times when I found it difficult to “zoom with my feet” to capture the whole scene. Thank goodness for Photoshop! Between the photomerge feature and some other Photoshop tricks I was able to get my pictures to come out pretty fabulously. I’m not one that believes you should photoshop a different reality into your pictures than what really was, but some of the features that Adobe offers with their software just make it so easy to “correct” things that aren’t quite right. Here’s some examples of my recent Photoshop work.

Photoshop Photomerge

The “photomerge” feature found in Adobe Bridge is just awesome. I took most pictures on my trip to Iceland with the 50mm/f1.8 lens. Needless to say this was difficult to get everything in one frame with this focal length. Thankfully I had experimented a bit with Photoshop’s photomerge capabilities before I started photographing this trip so I knew it would be somewhat easy to combine photos. I love that you don’t have to be too precise– no tripod was needed to combine these photos into their finished products! Take a look at the before and after shots

Above you can see the middle-steps that I took with my pictures of Hallgrímskirkja– I took 6 photos to combine into the image you see above. You can learn more about how to photo merge in Adobe Photoshop at the link provided. Photoshop’s photo merge does a wonderful job of matching edges and blending seams. I also ended up replacing the sky in this photo— here is the after:

Photoshop Sky Replacement

Photoshop techniques that involve replacing skies in photos are a little controversial for me. On one hand, it rained through most of my trip to Iceland and that’s how I will remember it. On the other, do I really want to remember it raining in every single picture I took? I had fun experimenting with different sky scenarios in my pictures. Some photos I simply enhanced the sky through Adobe’s Camera Raw graduated filters. Other photos I replaced the sky completely. I saved all my original photos in case I ever want to go back, but I’m thinking I like the improved skies in a lot of the photos 🙂 For instructions on how to manipulate some skies in Photoshop on your own, follow the link provided.

Seljalandsfoss before photoshop

Seljalandsfoss after Photoshop sky replacement

Skogafoss before Photoshop

Skogafoss after photoshop sky replacement

Reykjavik before graduated filter adjustment

Reykjavik after graduated filter adjustment in photoshop

As you can see I’ve been having fun experimenting with my new Photoshop knowledge. I’m going to start my Adobe Illustrator lessons soon— then the fun can really begin! I am more motivated than ever to continue to learn this stuff to make better and better pictures and digital artwork. Let’s hope I can keep this motivation up!

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