Wednesday, January 09, 2008


I was asked to take a shot of this zamboni to be put on a certificate to "win a ride on a zamboni at a hockey game".
I certainly could have taken a very standard, boring shot of the thing and they would have been more than happy.
As i already mentioned however, that would be very boring.
Time to have some fun.
I bracketed over a 7 stop range and picked out a very dark exposure, an average exposure, and a very light exposure.
I processed these three images in photomatix (I know, I know. Is this photoshop2 or photomatix2) to get a result i liked.
I then opened that image in photoshop and duplicated the background layer. I left the top layer (copy) in color and desaturated the background (lower) layer. I then created a layer mask (icon at the bottom of the layers palatte) on my top layer. I used a soft edged paint brush with black as the foreground color and painted in the mask over the background. That allowed the black and white layer under the color layer to show through. I carefully painted until no more color was on the background, behind the zamboni.
I then wanted to bring some of the color back into the background (just a bit) so it wasn't completely black and white. I duplicated the black and white layer and the color layer each one more time. What i am trying to end up with is: very top layer being color with the mask on it, next layer down is black and white, next layer down is color, and next layer down (background) is black and white. This very bottom, or background, does not matter. We are really not going to see past the layer above it.
What you will need to do now however is drag mask from the lower color layer to the trash. Just click on it and drag to the trash can at the bottom of the layers pallate and hit delete when the box pops up.
You can now lower the opacity on the uppermost black and white layer to your liking. This will allow some color from the color layer under it to show through.
I flattened the image and retouched it. A heavy smart sharpen, a slight curves adjustment and it was done.
Below is the original.
I will be starting a post tomorrow on how to shoot a team photo and leave a space for someone who is missing and then add him in later. There is alot to this next post so i will do a part of it each day for a week or so.
Stay tuned.

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