ADDING INTERESTING TEXTURES TO ENHANCE A SCENE
With this image from Swakopmund, Namibia, Triston recalls how the weather was overcast with the occasional drizzle. There was none of the blue sky with fluffy clouds that he was hoping for, but he still managed to get an image of a yellow-billed kite flying just above him.
The shot was of course severely underexposed as his camera automatically reduced the exposure to compensate for the predominant background of white clouds, but Triston took the image into Lightroom to make a proper picture of it.
First, he used the Radial tool in Lightroom to highlight the kite and increased the shadow details to 97, revealing all the details of the bird’s wingspan. Triston also used the brush tool within the Radial Tool to erase the space outside the bird’s frame so that the effects only applied to the bird itself.
Next, he selected the Aged Photo effect under the Lightroom Color Presets to give it an old-fashioned sepia look. Bringing the image into Photoshop for further editing, Triston then added a new layer and selected Render under the Filter Panel and chose the clouds option. To make the clouds look as if they were in motion, he then applied the Path Blur filter under the Blur Gallery option in the Filter Panel.
Finally, Triston blended the clouds layer with the background layer using the Soft Light effect under Transparency. As there were parts of the clouds that merged with the bird’s body, Triston also applied a vector mask onto the clouds layer, allowing him to mask out the clouds on the bird’s body. After fine tuning the contrast, highlight and shadow details of the image, Triston further reduced the saturation by a little so the overall effect would be more subtle. Now the yellow-billed kite is flying against a more interesting background!