Skip to main content

"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. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Boat Tour"

On a boat tour of Western Brook Pond in western Newfoundland two women focused on the spectacular scenery while I focused on them. The pastel colors of their windbreakers contrasted with each other and with the natural tones of the land, water and sky. The image tells a strong, simple story: two people awestruck by 600 meter (2000 foot) cliffs towering over a remote, pristine lake. This image required less work than many of the others featured in this blog. It's a good example of how even relatively modest adjustments can transform a photograph from merely "interesting" to "worthy of displaying". I wanted to separate the women from the landscape - make each part of the image stand out in its own right. I was taken by the colors and textures of the jackets so I increased vibrancy a little to bring out the color and used  fine-contrast and tone curve adjustments to  highlight the fabric's folds and shadows. I added drama to the background through t

"Trepassey"

The isolated coastal village of Trepassey, Newfoundland sits in the southeast corner of Canada's eastern-most province. The vantage point of this photograph makes for a classic Newfoundland scene: a sliver of human settlement poised between sky and sea. Ethereal, other-worldly: I wanted to capture that feeling. Because I had pointed my camera slightly upward to get more sky in the frame, I had to correct the resulting perspective distortion - notice in the "before" image how the lines of reflected light closest to the sides of the image are twisted away from the center.  I fixed the color temperature to eliminate the strong bluish cast. I corrected the vignetting - notice how the "before" image is significantly darker at all four edges. I cropped from the bottom of the image to bring the bottom border closer to edge of the reflected lights. How do you convey "ethereal"? For me the key elements were delicacy,  l ightness, and a sense of &qu

"Rodeo"

While travelling in Oklahoma in 2014 I stumbled upon a rodeo in the town of Chandler. This photograph of a young cowboy wrestling a steer was one of my favorites. I cropped the image to make the cowboy and steer more prominent and create a more intense feeling of movement.  The cowboy and steer are more off-center in the AFTER image and the diagonal line extending from the puff of dust through the cowboy's extended leg and torso draw the eye nicely from lower left to upper right. And the AFTER image has a stronger tension between that same line and the opposing diagonal line formed by the steer's tail and backbone. I adjusted the color temperature to remove the yellowish cast. I made fine-contrast and tone curve adjustments to create more separation between the background, the cowboy/steer and the cloud of dust.