For this Mondays process post, lets look at how this 7 star reflection photo was put together. As I already mentioned before (and you can see immediately from the screenshots), this reflection is of course fake. But that does not make the photo worse, just a little unreal And if you want more about how exactly I make the reflection, check out this reflection tutorial.

Now let’s look at the photo. As you can see, I not only did the reflection, but I had to correct the color and add a lot of detail and contrast.

7 star reflectionFinished photo
7 star reflectionOriginal photo

So as always, I started in Lightroom. Here I loaded all the 4 exposures form this photo, and corrected the white ballance, to get the desired color. Other than that, I only removed chromatic abberations, lens vignetting and a little noise.

7 star reflectionAll exposures
7 star reflectionLightroom tweaks

After that, I continued in Oloneo Photoengine. Loaded all the exposures, merged them, and just added strenght, detail and contrast. From there I loaded everything into Photoshp and did the following edits:

1. Oloneo Photoengine result
2. -1Ev to darken few lights on the buildings.
3. -2EV to darken few remaining higlights.
4+5. Brightened 0EV to remove a little ghosting due to a passing ship.
6. Color Efex pro contrast, to get more detail and overall contrast in the photo.
7. Merged copy of the image, moved up to allign with the center of the image.
8. Another copy, flipped for the reflection.
9. Duplicate of the flipped copy, with motion blur applied.
10. A stretched version of the water from the original photo, set to low opacity, to add little more waves to the image. I masked it out where the building were, as it looked strange.
11. Little contrast in few areas.
12. Color Efex tonal contrast, to pull out more detail from the Burj Al Arab.
13. Color Efex pro contrast once more, as I wanted to pull out more detail.
14+15. Added more contrast to the whole photo.
16. Desaturated the photo a touch, as it was too colorful.

7 star reflectionOloneo Photoengine
7 star reflectionEdit in Photoshop

And that’s all I did with this image. To find out more on how I edit, check out the guides and before after categories on this blog, or check out my video tutorial series here:
Master exposure blending