11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

Sometimes it’s fun to experiment, try something new.  I gave a few tools in Photoshop a spin and here is the result:

ISO 1250 22mm f/9.0 1/40

Not everything I did to get this final result was new to me, but because certain steps were, this photo took some time to produce. A typical learning curve with any thing that is new.  I started with this photo, shot in the early morning. The sun was up the sky was beautiful, but the streetlights were still on and even the traffic had a sleepy feel to it.

ISO 1250 22mm f/9.0 1/40

The first few edits were pretty basic. I cropped and straightened the photo. Then I removed the wire you can see in the sky with the healing tool.  Then I sharpened the photo. This is the color version that contains the sky that is in the final version:

ISO 1250 22mm f/9.0 1/40

From here I wanted to make a black and white version.  I find that sometimes if you boost things like saturation and vibrance in a color version it ends up being over the top in color:

ISO 1250 22mm f/9.0 1/40

But quite nice in black and white:

ISO 1250 22mm f/9.0 1/40

I then put my nice color version and the black and white version in Photoshop. At this point the photograph was two layers, black and white on top and color underneath.

With the selection tool, I picked out the area of the sky in the top layer, made a mask, then inverted the mask.  This had the effect of revealing the color sky underneath.  This was by far the longest step in the process.  I don’t have a whole lot of experience with the selection tool, it can be a bit stubborn and add in things you don’t want in your selection. I’m not a patient person. I would like everything to work correctly the first time, thank you very much.  I will say that this tool is one that has improved over the years. When I got that part of the effect to where I wanted it, I then dropped the opacity of the black and white layer to 95%. This brings in just a hint of the warmth of the color version that is on the second layer.  It also the same tone as the sky, so it makes the two layers clash less and work more as a single image.

What do you think of my final image? Do you have an image editing tool that you avoid because it drive you crazy?  Feel free to leave a comment below.




52 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

  1. I love the top photo, but I like the third one the best. The buildings benefit from having some color, especially the cathedral (?) at the end of the street. I love reading the process and especially the decisions you made at each step 👍


  2. The various blending modes within Photoshop drive me nuts! I think if I could get my head around them it would be an asset for exploring double exposure within Photoshop, sigh…maybe someday


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  4. Thank you, it remembers me at the fact that we make agreements to unify what we see. And we think, that we see the same. But we do not…
    The way how we hear, feel, smell and see our outside world is different like every face of human at all…*


  5. I think they are all great, and it is great to follow your work flow. I am not so good at more than the basics in PS. The final photo is beautiful – a good choice.


  6. Really like the final version. BW, but not entirely BW and colour, but not entirely colour. I also have some trouble with the selection tool in Adobe and sometimes it doesn’t select what I want it to. Like you said, for me it sometimes selects another part automatically – and I get the feeling it is being oversensitive at times.


      • LOL. That’s a nice way to put it. Sometimes when the selection tool selects more than I want, I undo it and then it STILL selects more than I want. Zooming in the photo helps me to select what I want better.


      • Yes, zooming in can help. I also find that this tool seems to work better sometimes than others for reasons I don’t quite understand. It almost seems to find certain photos more perplexing, but honestly not in an even way where it would be possible to say something like, “this tool is easier to use when your selection is a man-made structure”.


      • I’ve always found this tool better at selecting things that are well lit or if objects are well defined and not overlapping or blending into one another in terms of colour and shades. If I’m trying to select something that is shaded, like in low light, then it gets trickier.


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  8. Oh my gosh, I love the final image. I especially liked how it masked out the loud billboard-style advert on the right of the street in the color version in the foreground, and the distracting red brake lights and stoplights along the street toward the dome. Great eye, creative layering, and great composition, Amy!


  9. Oh, and your question about impatience with a tool reminds me of something I’ve been struggling with lately in my writing. I’m writing a revision of a story (on request from the market), and I can see where I want to get with the piece, but it takes some time to sort it out exactly. I’d love to just wave a hand and have it come out perfect. hah! 🙂


  10. I love love love this, Amy! When you show us how you achieve such beautiful results, I am truly inspired to try to improve my photo taking!
    Your original is stunning! And your final piece is so mysteriously surreal!


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