61 MINUTES OF VIDEO TUTORIALS THIS ISSUE
Simulate the effect of a tripod and ND filter when you create a long-exposure sky in Photoshop to inject extra atmosphere into your building pictures
Simulate the effect of a tripod and ND filter when you create a long-exposure sky to inject extra atmosphere into your building pictures.
CAPTURE the movement of the clouds streaking across the sky, and you’ll immediately have an intriguing shot that compresses time. Place an atmospheric building in the foreground and you’ll have something even more rewarding; but getting the right exposure balance in-camera is a challenge that will involve a tripod, high-density filters, and a good degree of trial and error.
With long exposure times typically measured in minutes rather than seconds, it’s a great project to aspire to. But if you already have some suitable building shots on your hard drive and want to emulate the look of streaking clouds without investing in special filters, the effect is simple once you know how it’s done.
The key to success lies in separating the subject from the sky in a highly accurate way, then using a new sky with a special filter effect to create the scudding clouds. To make the journey as complete as possible, we’re going to start from the top with an original raw file, and run through the entire process. This will give you the chance to follow it through with your own pictures, and produce some bespoke images with a long-exposure feel.
Although the streaking clouds are the elements that catch the eye in these kinds of pictures, the true focal point is still the subject in the foreground, so taking the time to get the right levels of contrast and detail in this area is worthwhile. This is always easier to achieve when you have the extra image data that resides in a raw file, so we’ll start off adjusting that before moving on to the Photoshop antics.
Jon is a photographer and writer, and also provides individual and small group tuition in digital SLR and Photoshop skills. jon@jonadams media.co.uk