Although I tried to create a more painterly image a few days ago using three separate frames taken while moving the camera during the exposure, and blend them together, the result seemed to lack enough reality to be completely believable, even though it had some “fog” as I had hoped. There was no real horizon line and was a little off kilter. (You can see the post and blurred image here). So I made a few attempts at creating something from a single blurred frame from the same sequence instead of several, while still using quite a bit of artistic license in the processing, and managed to end up with something a bit more realistic, but with the added bonus of a small amount of “mist” rising from the water.
Contrary to most processing where the saturation of colors is increased, saturation was actually reduced a small amount on the image as a whole. The sunlight at the time, still contained quite a bit of red and the eye was immediately drawn to the trees on the left because of the intense color and contrast. So in order to keep the main focus toward the central land mass, the saturation was reduced quite a bit on those trees. The intent was to create a soft, hazy, morning glow; something similar to many paintings of the Hudson River School from the 1800’s. However, that particular atmospheric condition was not present the morning I took these frames. The intent was to create it.
The faint yellow of “sunlight” on the clouds and their reflections was achieved by creating a fill layer of light yellow in Photoshop. By adding a mask to the layer and inverting it (black instead of white; Command-I), none of the yellow was allowed to shine through. With a white, soft brush set at 1-2% flow, I was able to paint each cloud with the color, making it slightly more intense with each passing stroke until it reached the desired amount; making sure each stroke was on the opposite side of the shadow of each cloud. All the post processing was done with a subtle hand so there were no intense colors or contrast.
I was a bit more pleased with this second attempt, and look forward to trying this new found technique again. What’s really great about this form of photography, is it appears unnecessary to create the frames during the golden hour, as it is only the shapes of some semi-recognizable features that are needed. Then these shapes are placed within the frame of what will be your final image. But, I think I will miss those quiet, solitary mornings if I shun them altogether.
Below is another of the recent blurred scenes taken simply because the line of vegetation at the center provided a semi-recognizable “subject”. If taken in sharp relief, it would have been a complete yawn, especially considering the bottom of the image was just a roadway!! But within a blurred image, the roadway is irrelevant. So great locations, or conditions are not necessary to attempt this type of imagery, thereby making photography a possibility anytime, or anywhere. But that presents another problem: when do we process these images?