The Final Image (After)
For the past four months-plus Stacy Fischer of VisualVenturing has sponsored the After-Before Friday Forum where photographers can display examples of how they process their images to accomplish their creative vision. Sometimes the changes are substantial; other times they can be minimal. My submission for this week’s Forum is an example of minimal change (if you don’t count the photomerge steps). The “After” version shown above has undergone a few adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw and the only actions taken in Photoshop were a simple Photomerge, a cropping, and some sharpening. The scene is the city of Pittsburgh taken from the sidewalk across the street from a restaurant where we had stopped for dinner (Details on location are at the end of the post)
Original Raw Image (left side)
The image above is one of the two photographs that were merged. Both had the same exposure (Nikon D800E on tripod with 70-200mm f/2.8 lens extended to 70mm; 1/6th sec. @ f/2.8, ISO 1600). The reason for the high ISO and wide-open aperture is the moving boat in the river.
Adjustments Made in ACR Dialog Window
Opening the images in Adobe Camera RAW, I made only four adjustments, the same for both images. The screen capture above shows the changes (red arrows). The specific settings were:
Highlights: Decrease to -39; Shadows: Increase to +45; Clarity: Increase to +18 Vibrance: Increase to +14.
File > Automate > Photomerge
The two images were then opened in Photoshop and processed through the Photomerge routine. The screen capture above shows the command sequence which is under “File” on the main command line of Photoshop. After clicking on “Photomerge” (red arrow), the Photomerge Dialog window appears as shown below.
Photomerge Display Window
The screen capture above shows the dialog window for the Photomerge routine. If the images are open, click on “Add Open Files” (red arrow) and the image files will be listed (other red arrow). Usually, the default selections of “Auto” and “Blend Images Together” (yellow arrows) will do the job. Click “OK” and the system will chug away for a little while and then display the results.
The screen capture above shows a small portion of the merged image and the layers palette (red arrow) showing a separate layer for each image. The white areas in the mask icons represent the section of the image that was used. The blue arrow shows a section of the irregular border created during the routine.
Merged Panorama Before Cropping
The image above shows the full panorama immediately after the merging is completed. The borders are always irregular (red arrows), often much more than shown here. The next step, before any further actions are taken, is to flatten the image. The only remaining step in this example is a crop to eliminate the uneven edges, producing the final image shown below. Sharpening should not be applied until the image is sized for printing.
The location for capturing this image is across the street from the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto located at 1411 Grandview Avenue #2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is one of the better restaurants in the city and the window seats boast a view pretty close to this image. Because the vista is pretty spectacular at twilight, it’s unlikely you will have the sidewalk all to yourself. But if you are visiting Pittsburgh, this is a location you may want to check out.But before you go there, you should check out the other submissions to Week 19 at Visual Venturing.