The Making of the Opening Photo

December 04, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Let's start off with a tutorial on how I made the photo in my first blog post.  This is a composite image taken with my Canon 5D and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II.  The first image is simple, it's a Canon AE-1 Program, taken on my living room table in natural light.  Using Photoshop CS3, I first converted the photo to B&W.  Then I used a Levels Layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels) to darken the background, and then recovered the camera and foreground using a soft brush tool.  I also applied some general Levels and Curves.  This is the original photo with only the Levels and Curves applied:

Canon AE-1 Program

The second part of the photo is the text, which is a bit more complicated.  To get the original image, I set my camera up on a tripod in my basement with all the lights off.  I set the camera to a 15 second exposure, and wrote the word "blog" in the air with a flashlight, which looked like this:

Blog Text Example As you can see, the text appears to have been written backwards.  I figured it would be easier to write normally and then flip it later.  My first step was to open the photo in CS3, and flip the image horizontally.  I  applied a Levels Layer to remove the detail from the background, as well as tone down the lens flare.  I had a UV filter on the lens at the time, and I probably should have removed it before the shoot.  I then copied the whole photo, and opened up the image of the camera.  I pasted the text photo into the camera photo, and then positioned it at the top corner using the Move Tool.  Because the text had a black border around it, I used a Layer Mask to ensure it wasn't covering up part of the camera.  To do so, I selected the text layer and went to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All.  Then, using a soft brush tool, I painted the text back in.  To finish everything off, I loaded the final image into Adobe Camera RAW and adjusted the colours to get more of a sepia tone.  The whole process probably took less than 10 minutes!

Blog Final

Thanks for reading!  If you have any comments or questions feel free to leave them, and I'm looking forward to writing many more posts in the next few months!

Cheers!

Brendan


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