A Little Night Magic

When I list my editing steps, it may seem as if I follow a straight line to the final result. But in reality, the journey from “before” to “after” more closely resembles a meandering path with multiple forks in the road and plenty of re-traced steps. The “undo” function is my friend. I try this and try that, throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks.

Sometimes an image is completely abandoned. Sometimes I end up far afield from the original source and the final result is a complete surprise.

This is what makes post-processing exciting – the not knowing; the experimentation and exploration into what the image CAN become.

The infinite possibilities. The ability to create something that doesn’t exist except here, in the mix and swirl of pixels. Taking the raw material of reality and adding a spin of digital magic.

Creating mood. Heightening emotion. Telling a story. Throwing in a dash of this and that.

Until it’s done.

Texture Tuesday Processing
Here are the layers that resulted in this night time fantasy.

  • Add the Simplicity texture and desaturate. Blend mode = Color Burn, opacity = 63%
  • Process my Pencil Sketch action to bring out the lines
  • Add a Levels adjustment, increasing the highlights significantly. Paint a light ray area on the layer mask so that the highlighted area is confined
  • Copy the Levels adjustment layer. Invert the mask. Darken the image outside the “light ray” area so that it resembles night time
  • Run the Displace Filter on both lighting masks so that the “light” contours to the siding and window, thereby integrating it into the image
  • Add a cooling Photo filter to give the image a nighttime blue tone

Below is the original image and the Photoshop layers palette.

Layers-Palette Jan-31-Before


Linking with The Creative Exchange and Texture Tuesday


Posted on January 31, 2012, in Photoshop and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Beautiful iimage. I love how your processing has really brought out the natural texture in the image. I’m exactly the same when I’m working on an image, lots of undo and meandering! I think part of the fun is ending up with something a bit unexpected. 🙂

  2. What an amazing end result and effect. And – yup – I’m right there with you with the post-processing. Such fun!

  3. I love what you’ve done with this image . . . all the gorgeous textures, you know I love texture.

  4. I absolutely love what you’ve done – thank you for sharing the process. I have so much to learn…you’ve inspired me with this image and effects!

  5. There are few things in life that have the undo button — I think that’s what makes this so much fun! I love to see the magical transformation from before to after..the texture and tones you added change it into such a dramatic image.

  6. This is a GREAT capture with beautiful texture!

  7. Oh, I do know about those meandering paths, and I do like taking those journeys! This is a really wonderful image. I love the texture and tones. Beautifully done Brenda!

    Thank you so very much for sharing with us at The Creative Exchange this week.

    Have a wonderful day!


  8. Wow! You’ve turned a gray day into moonlight. Amazing. Again.

  9. THis image is fabulous, love the textures.

  10. WOW!! What an awesome end product. It was fascinating to see the original. Your post precessing turned out beautifully. genie (the one whose thumbnail refused to go up with Linky)

  11. You are once again proving that post-processing is as big a part of the creative process as the original photo is. With this one you’ve made an already interesting image into a stunning work of art. I especially like the addition of the ray of light across the image. Inspired for sure!

  12. Excellent photography.

    Regards and best wishes

  13. What an outstanding change your “throwing mud at the wall” made. This truly is texture at its best, and well worked out. You obviously spent a great deal of time of working with textures and it shows. You don’t need to post a zillion photographs because you nail it down with a single photo!! I love your work. smiles: sharon

  14. Thanks so much for sharing your post processing with us. Great effects you created for this simple image. The pencil sketch and add light layers are new ideas to me. I’m going to try them.

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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