I took some shots of slushy puddles last week and was a bit unhappy with the exposures. For the most part, I shoot with the setting on ‘Automatic’, so it’s my own fault when I have to spend extra time in Photoshop (TM)…not that that’s a bad thing, of course, because I love to ‘play’, yet it can become time-consuming.
Here are the originals…see what I mean?
Really poor exposure…and I don’t know why!
This one delivered a very sickly, greenish cast…UGH!
This wasn’t bad, as I really like the reflections, but it needed work, too!
So, I set about my task, adjusting Shadows and Highlights first, then Levels, and applying pretty heavy Brightness and Contrast. There was still the off-color factor, and no amount of Selective Color attempts could get these three shots anywhere near to matching!
“Time for black and white!”, I said aloud, then poured some more coffee and settled in. After clicking Desaturate, then adjusting the Blacks, Neutrals, and Whites in Selective Color, I experienced more pleasure by the moment. Toggling back and forth among the three now-B/Ws, they still didn’t have that ‘certain something’ that would make them a bit more appealing. I walked away…and poured more coffee!
I ran each through Distort/Lens Correction to get a bit of Vignetting, which I normally do in very small increments, as it can get out of hand, and was still not ‘there’! I tried a low Gaussian Blur after using Sharpen Edges (twice!)…that didn’t cut it at all! That’s when I began experimenting with the other Blurs, none of which I had used previously…and you guessed it! I found the perfect combination in Surface Blur and Radial Blur!
Playing with the settings in Surface Blur was something I had never done, so I poured more coffee and settled in again! Here are the results of this ‘3 cup playtime’:
The settings I finally used in Surface Blur were “5” and “Threshold at 32”, then utilized Radial Blur, with settings at “3” and “Zoom”,placing the center point for the sharpest area in a different spot for each image.
I was extremely pleased with the outcome and, as they say, “That was that!”