Forth rail bridge

I really like bridges and that why I probably take so many photos with them. This is one of my favorites. The Forth rail bridge near Edinburgh in Scotland just look so massive. In comparison to the other modern bridges, this one is huge.

This is a bit older photo. Ok, maybe not a bit, as it was taken in 2013, when I did a short trip to the UK. I have many photos like that. Ones I took but I did not edit or post, as I did not like the results. Now, when I go back to those photos, I can edit them now, and I get a result I like right away. Not that it works with every photo. Looking at some composition I did and some settings I used, I really wonder what I was thinking at that time. They are just horrible.

This is a three shot blend, done in Photoshop. This is not a panorama, this is a cropped down photo.

Forth rail bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland

Such a lovely city. To bad I was there very early in the spring. Next time I have to go in the middle of the summer :)

The bus in Edinburg

And another Monday is upon us and that means another process post. For today I chosen a manually blended photo taken in Edinburg, Scotland. So let’s take a look at it.

Here you have the final photo and the original 0EV RAW file.

Early morning in Edinburgh
Early morning in Edinburgh

So what I needed to correct was that few areas were to bright, few were too dark and the whole image was too cold. So I started as always, by loading the 5 exposures into Lightroom. There are corrected the lens distortion, chromatic abberations and a little noise. Then I exported all the files into Photoshop layers.
Early morning in Edinburgh
I then did the following edits (layers numbered from bottom up):
1. -1EV exposure as the base for edits. I had better overall exposure for the sky so that’s why I chosen it as the start.
2. -2EV exposure to darken the pillars and the middle area of the sky.
3. 0EV to brighten the street and the pillars
4. +1EV to brighten the shadow areas
5. +2EV to brighten a small dark part in the photo.
6. Added contrast to the basic mid-tones
7. Added more detail using a high-pass filter
8+9. Added glow to the photo
10. Brightened the dark areas even more (I explained this step in a video I posted few days ago)
11. I wanted the pillars to have a more golden color, so using a soft light layer, I sampled a color from the back pillars and painted it onto them.
12. Changed the hue of the blue color a little toward purple.
13. Color efex pro contrast to get more local contrast and detail. I removed the effect from the sky and the highlight on the pillars.

Early morning in Edinburgh
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:

This is such a beautiful bridge. It lacks the simplicity of the modern bridges, or the decorations of the classic ones, but it displays this RAW strength. I remember when we were approaching it, and it just popped out from behind a hill. For me, as a big fan of bridges in general, this was a wonderfull moment :). Of course the day I was there, the weather was horrible, and I froze my ass off. But that just means, I have to go back :)

This is a HDR from 5 exposures, created in OLONEO Photoengine, finished in Photoshop. I used a 10stop ND filter for this photo.
At the Forth rail bridge

For today’s process post, let’s look at one of my photos taken in Edinburgh, Scotland. I actually wanted to take a photo of this beautiful hotel in the middle of the city, but as I set up my camera, a buss stopped right in front of me. So I quickly recomposed, to make the bus the main subject of the photo.

It was actually quite funny, how the people in the bus noticed me taking the photo, and nicely smiled for it :)

So to get this final image

The bus in Edinburg

I started with 5 exposures, with the 0EV looking like this.

The bus in Edinburgh

It looked quite OK from the start, but few tweaks were still necessary. I imported them all into Lightroom and corrected only the chromatic aberrations and lens distortion’s there.

The bus in Edinburgh

As you can see, the 5th exposure was not usable at all, so I haven’t even loaded it into Photoshop. So after loading the other 4 exposures into Photoshop, I did the following (layers numbered from bottom up)

1. 0EV exposure
2. darkened the brightest parts from the -1EV shots (you can see the mask here, I used a luminance mask to create the selection and then brushed over it)

The bus in Edinburgh

3. there were still few bright areas, so I repeated the process with the -2EV exposure
4. brightened few spots from the +1EV exposure
5. used the -1EV once more, as I wanted to use the people in the bus from that exposure. The mask is manually painted.
6. added more contrast to the darkest areas of the photo
7. added a little contrast to the midtones
8. brightened a little the shadow darks (all these masks were created using TK actions)
9. merged the layers into a new one, and retouched out few spots
10. desaturated the blue channel, as the sky was too blue
11. added more structure using the high pass sharpening method
12. added a little more overall contrast.

The bus in Edinburgh

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:

Page 1 of 41234
Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free Capturing fireworks ebook.