Before and After Example: Point Bolivar Lighthouse

As anyone familiar with my work has observed, all of my images are enhanced – sometimes to the extreme – to achieve the effect I envisioned when I took the original photo.  Many factors influence my decisions.  Sometimes I want to “push” a certain element in the composition, other times I prefer to downplay a certain element or eliminate it / them entirely.  The majority of my work is cropped to focus on certain components and add drama to the final image.  As a result, my work tends to be very wide or tall compared to the alternate dimension.

Today’s example is the Point Bolivar Lighthouse, an historic site on the Bolivar peninsula across from Galveston Island.

 

Point Bolivar Lighthouse Original

Point Bolivar Lighthouse Original

The original image was taken on a blustery day with dramatic storm clouds.  I wanted the “atmosphere” to be prominent, so I processed the image accordingly, making it darker and more ominous than the original.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Point Bolivar Lighthouse Enhanced

Point Bolivar Lighthouse Enhanced

After processing to produce a more intense and ominous effect.

 

 

 

 

 

Point Bolivar Lighthouse Final

Point Bolivar Lighthouse Final

Due to the (frequently annoying) nature of wide-angle lenses, vertical elements undergo some lens distortion, making them tilt toward the center of the image. This can be corrected with certain architectural lenses, which I did not have with me on this trip. As a result, some manual straightening was required.

I meticulously masked out the original lighthouse, pasted it onto a new layer and then rotated it into position. When that looked right, I erased the portions of the tilted lighthouse by hand and then replaced the sky around the straightened element.

Next, the reflection of the lighthouse needed similar straightening, so I carefully selected only the reflection, copied it and pasted it onto a new layer, then rotated it into position.

 

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