City Leaves

City Leaves

f/14, 1/125, ISO-200, 46mm

I took this shot in mid-October. The blue sky, red leaves, and position of the sun as it struck the glass lamps was particularly striking, and I spent quite awhile (as much time as the sinking sun would allow) trying to compose the shot just the way I wanted. Unfortunately, just the way I wanted didn’t really exist. There was a building and several power lines in the way, distracting from a nice, clean shot. No matter how I angled my way around the scene, it just wasn’t going to happen. I snapped a few exposures as the photographer’s way of shaking his fist at the sky but left the scene in defeat, decrying once more the intrusion of man on nature.

Several times since then I’ve browsed the year’s photo library and ran across the half-dozen shots I took here, trying to see if I could make something from nothing in post processing, but success eluded me. Until today. I looked at this one again and decided I would brute force a photo out of this if I couldn’t do it any other way. So I loaded the thing into Photoshop and used the spot healing brush to get rid of most of the power lines. Then I used the geometric selection tool to create a block around the building, feathered the edges at 6 pixels, and carefully selected the begin and end colors of a gradient. A quick application of the gradient later, and voila! Most of my work had been done. There were still some lingering harsh edges that I took care of with the the smudge and paintbrush tools, and the result is something pretty close to what I originally imagined for the photo.

2 thoughts on “City Leaves

  1. Nice shot and good job on editing out the distractions. When I fist looked at it only the lamp post with some leaves coming down from the top left fit on the screen of my laptop. This made a landscape view of the shot with the lamps as the main focus with the leaves pointing back to the lamps. I found that in the portrait version my attention was drawn back and forth from the lamps to the branches. I read on your about page you were looking for feed back so that’s my two cents worth. Keep up the good work. I’ll be following you!

  2. Thanks for the feedback! I really, really appreciate all the viewpoints and opinions I can get. I must say I tried making this a landscape as you describe, but I wasn’t able to achieve a balance that I liked without making the image too square. I decided instead to make the image about dramatic color rather than a physical subject. It’s not entirely satisfactory either. In the end, I think I just wasn’t able to get an image in the camera frame that I could edit into something that satisfied all my aesthetics. But I learned from the experience!

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