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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who turned the lights on?

Palomino Motel

I got an email from Gary yesterday afternoon which included his version of the Palomino Motel. The lights on the horse and Palomino were not on or working, but he had turned on the lights with some sort of Photoshop technique. I had yet to do any work on my shots of the Motel so I opened one up in camera raw and started to consider the possibilities. The new adjustment brush in CS4 is really neat and may be just the tool to turn on the lights. I sized the brush to the same size as one of the lights and feathered the edge. I set it to increase the exposure, brightness, and the saturation until it gave the right look. Now I didn't say it was quick and easy. I still had to click the brush on every bulb. Sometimes two clicks worked better. I also hit the neon around the horse. It looks pretty good but so many bulbs are missing that some of the letters are a little incomplete looking. I still had to combine the "lights on" version with 2 other exposures in Photomatix. Numerous other adjustments were made after that. I spent quite a bit of time getting this image the way it looks now. I looked at it again this morning and thought "You could clone in lights where they are missing and then light them up too." I will save that for another day.
Clark