I enjoyed viewing all the pictures that were submitted. Having such a beautiful picture to start with obviously sparked a lot of creation in the minds of those people who played with this.
The filters and technique used to get this effect was somewhat extensive, but here is what I can recall. I used Photoshop 7, and a Wacom pad.
I started by adjusting the picture with levels.
Cropped to suit a preconceived idea.
Duplicated the image and applied a Nik Monday morning filter.
Applied the Nik skylight filter several times (forgot the settings), to bring back some of the color.
Used the oval selection tool on the center area of the bench and trees, set the feather to about 60.
Inverted the selection.
Applied the Nik Midnight filter (which darkened and blurred the edges, making a gradient to the center).
With the selection still applied, I inverted it again and enhanced the contrast of the center portion of the image.
Lightened the center (Nik filter), while selection was still applied.
Adjusted the opacitys on the layers involved.
Flattened the image.
Duplicated and again run the skylight filter (this enhanced the colors).
Created a mask and erased some of the effect on the bench and lower trees.
At this point the lighting effect was a natural result, but a little uneven. I used the burn tool on the edges at 30% opacity to finish the spotlight effect.
Thanks for the info. I looked up Nik filters on their site and they aren't cheap (as if anything good is!). Which set/sets do you have? And what other filters are included in the box that you find useful? Their site doesn't list all the effects in each box, and I'd rather not buy pigs in pokes.
Is there a forum here that has reviewed the Nik filters? Anyone know?
The filter set that I have is the "nik Color Efex Pro! The Classic / Design Bundle". These work as regular filters or you can use them with PenPalette. If you go to the link I provided and then to "view each filter in this set", it will give you an idea what they are used for. Many of these filters perform functions similiar to those you'd use on a 35mm camera.
Filters that I use on a regular basis are the Sunshine filter, Skylight filter, and they also include a polarization filter which is great for bringing out sky detail. The Midnight and Monday morning filters are nice as well. All of these filters you can use with other filters in the set, which can give some unusual effects. That said, I should mention that the filters are not "drastic", that is, they are somewhat subtle.
I'll agree that many of the graduated filters can be reproduced on a manual basis, but having certain filters pre-configured with slide controls can be a time saver when looking for the right mood.
Below are the filters included in the Classic/Design bundle
> Brilliance/ Warmth
> Bicolor Filter: Green/Brown
> Bicolor Filter: Violet/Pink
> B/W Conversion
> Classical Blur
> Contrast Filter: Blue
> Contrast Filter: Cyan
> Contrast Filter: Green
> Contrast Filter: Magenta
> Contrast Filter: Red
> Contrast Filter: Yellow
> Contrast Only
> Darken Center
> Graduated 0h (Gray)
> Graduated 201h (Sky Blue)
> Graduated 213h (Dark Blue)
> Graduated 220h (Blue)
> Graduated 32h (Orange)
> Graduated 33h (Coffee)
> Graduated 354h (Blood)
> Graduated 38h (Warm Yellow)
> Graduated 94h (Moss)
> Graduated User Defined
> Lighten Center
> Midnight (blue)
> Monday Morning (blue)
> Monday Morning
> Old Photo
> Skylight Filter
As mentioned earlier, the contrast filters are very similiar to screw on filters to enhance certain color ranges. For example the blue contrast filter would lighten blue colors, while enhancing yellow, orange or red colors and you control the blue color spectrum by specifying a color point to contol the contrast and light in the image. Of course this is done with sliders so you merely play until you see what you want. And to further elaborate, you can use this filter with the skylight, polarization, Brilliance/warmth, and sunshine filter if you so desire.
This bundle can be purchased from the Wacom site under "intuos privileges", if you recently purchased a Intuos2 tablet.
All of the filters are very simple to use and most can be used in conjunction with other filters. I think maybe I was too verbose
Hope you find this message helpful.
Dusk / evening scene
I thought I'd try a romantic evening scene.
It needed some lighting of course so I took a street lamp
from a nearby road
Soft lighting in "painter", softened lens flare in ps and a little
Must put the street lamp back now or they might miss it!
What a clever idea, it looks real. You did a great job on the lamp post detail, set off the beautiful whole scene.
look out there's a squirrel about
Well I stayed up all night just to get this shot!
Finally it's home to a nice warm bed
Gary, love the lamp post ...and the glow from the light. Very nice! Hmmm...don't squirrels usually sleep at night? I think he's up to something...
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