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PhotoWalk 1 - Fort Brockhurst - 23rd April 2008

Despite Losing Most of My Shots, And Pushing Some Too Far In Photoshop, Some Pleasing Images Come Out Of My First "PhotoWalk"

Photwalk 1 - Fort BrockhurstWelcome to my first PhotoWalk - where I take a stroll around a local historical landmark, taking a few images, tagging them with lat / long positions, recording my track, then editing them in Photoshop afterwards.

The idea is that you can have a look at the images with Google Earth ( a free download), by downloading the KMZ file I have created with the Qstarz Travel Recorder and Image Tagger.

If you're interested in image editing you can then read on and see the "before and after" of some of the shots, with notes about how I created the images.

To get started, download Google Earth (free), then download the KMZ File, and enjoy the pics. The bluish line is the track I walked, and if you click on the numbered pics the images I took should pop up, with a short description underneath.

To be honest, this article almost never happened. I went out for a stroll this morning with my camera, the Fujifilm S5700, determined to get some practice in with Manual Mode, for my upcoming Podcast on the subject. I took plenty of shots, but when I got home I made the terrible error of "cutting and pasting" them onto my desktop PC. Why terrible? Because most of them were corrupted in the process with a dodgy card-reader, and because I "cut" instead of "pasted" they were unrecoverable.

Fort Brockhurst's Keep
Forst Brockhurst Keep
Fort Brockhurst Keep

Originally I took three shots of the keep from this angle, with the idea of producing a HDR type image, because I knew that it would be difficult to expose for the sky and the brick of the Fort at the same time. After I lost most of the images I was just left with the middle exposure, so I added contrast using a curves adjustment layer, sampling the black and whites, applied the image to itself with lab colour, I think using channel b. A quick sprinkling of high-pass filter for some sharpening, then I added the Meloncholytron Filter from Flaming Pear to add a vignette.

Swan Chasing Geese
Swan chasing geese
Swan Chasing Geese

As you can see, this shot started off in landscape format, but I felt that portrait was a better layout. Both shots are quite blurred, I was shooting hand-held, at full zoom, never a good combination. I started with the crop, then added a curves adjustment layer, using the eyedroppers to sample the blacks and whites. I converted to lab, then applied the image and chose the best channel (using soft light as the blend mode). I then copied the layer, applied a high pass filter (radius 2 pixels) and changed the blend mode to overlay. I added a black layer mask to this sharpening layer - then used a white brush to paint in some detail on the birds and their wakes. A quick blast of the Meloncholytron filter to give it some atmosphere (to cover up the fact that it is so blurry!) and we're done.

View Of Moat Through Tree Branches
Moat Through Branches
Moat View Through Tree

This picture could have been a hdr - but because of slight differences in the view, the grass on the Fort and the path became a big green blob, so I opted to have a go at "painting with light" instead. I used the image on the right, then added adjustment curves - contrast - to make the Fort look ok. Then I took the original and added contrast to make the tree look better. I then had the good tree above the good fort, hidden with a black layer mask. I then painted with a white brush to reveal the good tree on the good fort. Lab colour and a vignette using Meloncholytron finished it off.


Thank you for taking the time to read my first PhotoWalk - soon I hope to have some better images for you to see, and I'll try and have better descriptions of the editing, perhaps with some screen shots from Photoshop.

See you on Flickr!

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