The art of photography is certainly fun and enjoyable. The fact that you can freeze time and preserve events like your kids school play or the toddler's first steps is quite fascinating. But creating photos is not without it's disappointments as well.In today's image I was fortunate enough to catch the sun rising in Las Vegas as I walked down the street. Sunrise and sunset shots are always a thrill. I can remember the excitement of catching this sunrise with it's brilliant colors, thinking this would look nice when processed. If you have been behind a camera for any period of time, chances are you've been in this situation too. You open your images on the computer and take a closer look at what you thought was a fairly decent shot, only to discover that it's far from what you had expected. In this case, the image was cluttered with power lines which I saw initially but simply discounted in the excitement of catching the sun's ascent. At the time of the shot, I had no idea there were so many of these distracting objects in the frame, as seen below.
This RAW file is not what I had in mind during the shoot. There is even a billboard that I find unattractive with it's truncated text. But I decided to soldier on and see if I could save this sunrise and thus, preserve the fond memory of that wonderful morning.
After opening the image in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and adjusting a few sliders to recover some color and detail, the image was then opened in Photoshop CS6. Once there I applied a Topaz Adjust 5 > Cool Tone 1 filter. This was done first to be sure the image was worth the effort of removing the power lines, which can be a little painstaking at times.
Next it was time to grab the Spot Healing Tool (J) and get to work. I began with a brush size 40 for the open spaces, removing the easier to reach lines. For the tighter spaces the brush is reduced in size, as small as 15 in some areas. Some areas may require zooming in for a better view (Ctrl +).
Once the lines were removed I decided to replace the billboard image with one of my own and a fictitious "Visit Smith Park" text overlay. The image was darkened with the burn tool (o) and the text layer's opacity was lowered to 8%. To complete the recovery the background layer was sharpened slightly (Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask>110).
And so we have the final result above and a before & after below.
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