This old Ford truck parked outside an old gas station was photographed out in Jerome, Arizona in 2011.
"Smiling Billy" - Arizona
Click on photo for a larger view and for info on purchasing a print.
It was photographed mid-day and my intention from the start was to create a gritty HDR image.
HDR photography involves taking multiple exposures and then blending them on the computer using special software. “Smiling Billy” was created using 6 different exposures, allowing me to retain detail in dark shadows as well as bright highlights. I used Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro software (for a discount on all of Nik’s software titles use software code: mattsuess ) to blend all 6 photos together after I exported the RAW files from Lightroom.
Here is what one of the photos looked like with a normal mid-range exposure.
Six different exposures were eventually combined for the HDR image.
Once I was done blending the exposures and making many adjustments in Nik’s HDR Efex Pro software, I then took the exported file and opened it up in Nik’s Color Efex Pro software for some additional creative modifications.
A few more tweaks in Photoshop got me to where I was very satisfied with the truck, garage, foreground and background, with the exception of the sky. The blue sky just wasn’t working for me, acting more like a big distraction than anything.
Using a photo texture from FlyPaper Textures, I blended the texture into the sky, adjusting the color, contrast, and the feeling until I was satisfied with the results. Looking at the final results on the top of this page, you can notice that I chose a texture that complimented the shrubs on the hill. This allowed the textured sky to blend in with the hill in the background and complete the feel I was looking for in this photo.
Want to learn how to do this type of creative work to your own photos?
Consider taking one of my photography workshops.