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"Coca-Cola"


I found this old, beautifully decaying Coca-Cola sign in Paris, Texas in 2014. Originals like this are few and far between.


My initial instinct, given all the distracting elements in the initial photograph, was to not waste time working on it. So the RAW image file sat untouched on my hard drive for four years until, looking at it a few days ago, I decided to see what I could do.

I corrected the perspective distortion that resulted from pointing the camera up toward the sign. After the correction the sign no longer seems to be tipping backward away from the camera.

The building occupies too much of the frame in the BEFORE image. I solved this by cropping. Detail in the building also distracts the eye from the sign, so I softened the focus of the building and darkened parts of the wall.

The biggest difficultly - which discouraged me from working on the photograph in the first place - was the electric cables and the shadow created by one of them on the sign. They are ugly and distracting. 

I used the Photoshop cloning tool to remove the distractions - the cable at the top, the shadow on the side of the sign, the cables in the bottom-center and the orange diagonal line (not sure what it is) that cuts through the bottom-left corner of the sign.

I knew the cloning would be tedious and time-consuming, and wasn't sure the work would yield a satisfying result. My goal is to edit an image in a way that leads viewers to see what I want them to see, without drawing attention to the changes I have made. 

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