Post-Processing - Light Painting
So, we finished up our Light Painting on our first night out in Joshua Tree. And, this was the result we got. We used the Live Composite mode, and that's why you're seeing a very long trail of dots from an airplane going through, but you're also seeing the beginning of star trails. And, that's because we ran it for several minutes, as we were painting these rocks in the foreground. And then, as I go to stop the live comp, I accidentally got a little bit of my headlamp beam into the frame, and got a little bit of flare here in the top corner. But, I'm not worried about that, 'cause we're gonna correct all of that. After this light painted shot, I took one more, this one here. And, that's a regular 15-second exposure, in this case, just so that I could get for the sky. So, in this case, this first shot, all the while I was worried about was the foreground, and the second one, I'm just worried about the sky. But, when I looked at this, I realized, I don't really like the color cast on tho...
se rocks. Those rocks aren't green, they're definitely more tan, earthy brown color. And so, I'm gonna start playing with my white balance to get a more natural looking rock formation here. So, I'm gonna go over to the temperature slider, and I'm gonna start pumping that up. And, I'm not worried about the sky, I'm not looking at it at all. What I'm looking at are the rocks. All right, so, they're become quite yellow. But, now I'm gonna add some magenta tint to it. And, they're actually beginning to look more earthy. And again, you have to look beyond the sky, and ignore that completely, 'cause that now doesn't look natural at all. But, I'm just focused on the rocks. So, I'll just play with this slide. Ooh, that's actually looking pretty good there, that looks kinda earthy tone, very neutral. How'd it look if I added a little bit more magenta, I don't want pink rocks. Now, no, that's too much magenta. All right, so there we go. We now have these earthy colored rocks. I'm now gonna go over to the other image. And, this time, I'm only worried about the sky. I don't care about the foreground. And, I'm gonna bring up the exposure a bit, same place I usually always start. I don't need to bring it up too much, though. And, because of the cirrus clouds that were up in the atmosphere, I definitely want to try to cut through that with the Dehaze tool. And, you can see that that's working just fine there. I might actually try something different here. I'm finding that a little too dark up there. But, what I'm gonna do is use the neutral density filter here, graduated filter. And, I'm gonna slide that down here. Feather that quite a bit. All right. And, I'm kinda liking that. Click "done" there. Maybe add a bit of color to this sky. Maybe a little bit more Dehaze. I wanna try to cut through as much of that cloud as possible. There we go, I can see more stars. All right, so now I've got these two images. I like the foreground in one, the sky in the other, let's bring them into Photoshop. Hold the Shift key down to select both of them. Right mouse click, Edit in, Open as Layers in Photoshop. All right, so I'm gonna actually switch these layers around, I'm gonna bring this layer up. And, I wanna get rid of these rocks down below, to show the other ones in the lower layer, right? And, there are a number of ways of doing a selection. You can use the Quick selection tool, and see how that goes. I'm gonna show you a technique that I like to use in a lot of my images, I'm gonna use the Threshold. So, I'm gonna add a threshold layer here, and I'm gonna drag that until I can clearly see the rocks. Oh, too much, right about... There, that's good. I don't care about the stuff that you still see in the sky. All right, so it looks like everything's selected in the foreground. Use my magic wand tool, click on that. All right, but then I'm gonna inverse the selection. So, go Select, Inverse, all right? Now I don't need that layer anymore, I can turn it off, go back to my top image layer here. And, I'm gonna hit the Mask tool, voila, gone. All right? And now, I have the foreground from one image, the sky from the other. I can tweak those a little bit if I'd like. Now that I see them side-by-side, I might wanna play with, just sort of, the overall color of these rocks. So, I'll click on the bottom layer, add a hue saturation to that. And then, I don't have to worry about clipping it, because it's already above only one layer. If it wasn't, I would clip it. But, now I might play with the hue and saturation a little bit and see what I get. And, that's looking all right. Okay. And, if I wanted to, I could do the same thing here. If I wanna try to make sure that it looks as natural as possible, so now I've added another one on top. This one I'm definitely clipping. And, I don't need to adjust it very much. But, there you go. Again, this was more about just sort of trying to rescue a shot when, you know, the conditions weren't perfect. You know, this is not what I was hoping to capture that evening, but I didn't walk away empty handed. So, there's always a way that you can walk away with an image that, hopefully, you're happy with.