Photographic Alchemy

It’s been a while since I’ve done any Photoshop here.  Maybe I had too many good pictures to have to salvage anything.  Well… no longer.  Let’s jump to the end:

Twenty Fourth Street Lettering

As always, click for larger image

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I liked this picture.  From the same day of wandering as this and this.  Brass(ish) street letters in the sidewalk marking the names of streets are always something I’ve liked living up here.  The problem is the original shot looked like this:

Twenty Fourth Street Original

It’s dull.  There is no contrast.  The subject doesn’t pop out at you and isn’t dramatic enough to stand on it’s own.  I’m not saying this is a great shot.  It’s just a shot I *wish* was great.  So it’s all about the Photoshop.  Let me stop to remind you that I don’t have any original ideas – this technique was almost entirely stolen from Blurbomat, and as such, I’m not going to go through it step-by-step here.  If you want to see some step-by-step stuff, let me know in the comments.  Really quickly, the transformation is a result of using a blurred layer blended with the main image, and then masking off the important parts (in this case, the letters in the sidewalk) so that they are brighter and stand out against the background.  After that, tweaking the curves, levels, and colors as you see fit.  I call it punchy.  You can call it whatever you want.  It’s my blog and I win.

The Natural Alphabet

Letter "A" In Nature

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Walking through the Arboretum, I came across this. In the middle of the path in the reed marsh, a letter A, spelled out of broken reeds. I’m thinking it’s probably a creation of human hands, but there were lots of reedy bits… who knows – maybe a natural coincidence? Either way, between the setting and material, I liked it. I guess lots of other people do too – Flickr has a whole pool of photos of just one letter, and it definitely beats some of the other things I found in the marsh.