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Bridge Over Calm Waters

By minicooper
This is almost a nice image not there yet, It's made up of two images one of sky and one of the river. I tried to tidy it up but made worst. Never tried this before so I'm fotward to your feedback. thx Dennis

Tags: General Digitally manipulated Landscape and travel

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Paul_cats Plus
12 61 22 Scotland
30 Apr 2009 6:25PM
Dennis. It would be useful if you could upload the two original shots and then somebody could perhaps have a bash at giving you some advice.
Alternatively go back to the location on a day with clear blue sky Smile

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malc_c 11 2 167 England
1 May 2009 6:13AM
Hi Dennis,

Replacing a sky isn't too difficult, but you always need to bear a few things in mind. Here are the main ones in no specific order-

1. Choose your subject well. Subjects with a clear delineation of the sky line are good. Subjects with poor sky delineation- such as leafy trees- are rather more difficult or impossible. Remember you can often clone out problem areas without changing the message in your image.

2. Get your selection right. By right I mean it needs to be accurate and appropriately feathered. Poor selection results in bright halo's and an unnatural aura.

3. Choose your sky well. Put simply, it's not going to look natural if you have a dark brooding landscape under white fluffy clouds.

4. Place your sky right. In your example you have a solid bank of very bright cloud along the horizon with blue sky above. This isn't normal- distant horizons tend to fade away and the main mass of cloud actually on the horizon looks at best odd.

5. Make sure the lighting is consistent. The direction, intensity and colour of the light needs to match between the sky and the rest of the picture.

6. Choose the best blending mode. In cases where you can't make an accurate selection everywhere, such as leaves, selecting the right blending mode can sometimes help hide the problem or even do the job for you!

What next? There are plenty of tutorials on the web covering various techniques- try searching for "replacing a sky in photoshop" in google...

Paul_cats Plus
12 61 22 Scotland
1 May 2009 9:33AM
Hi Dennis,
Agree with the above posters comments. Since you have not uploaded the pic of the sky to use as the bg I cannot have a bash for you. But what i can add is that the original shot is a tad overexposed. I have made a mod for you to compensate for the overexposure. This is quite easy to do. Duplicate the layer in PS. Select the blend mode as multiply. Multiply compensates for overexposure and screen compensates for under exposure. You can select the amount of blend you want by dragging the slider bar. In this instance I have left it at 100%. I think you will agree that the end result is not a bad image without having to address the blown out sky issue.
Hope this helps.
malc_c 11 2 167 England
1 May 2009 12:32PM
Paul makes a really good point here- it's almost always better to work with what you have to extract the best from it, than to start cutting and pasting from different images, even when you are making selections (typically of the sky) to adjust the relative levels etc. [see my comments on 'The Piers' for an example]

Which reminds me of another point I need to add to the six above!

7. Don't forget to add the new sky to any reflections. Well it's obvious really, and not too difficult on a flat surface like a lake, but on curved reflective surfaces....

NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
1 May 2009 1:26PM
the problem here is there are too many interuptions to the horizon to make a good blend of a sky and foreground, also the final result has a detailed sky and no cloud reflections in the water,
as a basic image its nice but the new sky didnt help and only in desparation is it usually worth the effort unless its an easy selection,
you can make a good effort using the background eraser on single sampling and sliding the new sky under the original layer by making a second duplicate of the initial layer and dragging the sky under the top layer and then use one of the blending modes to drop the new sky in, i think its screen that usually works best or multiply,
then use an erarser to remove any unwanted bits of the new sky from beind the main image.
its difficult to do well and a last resort in my opinion. go back on a better day and be totally happy would be my advice.

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