An Historic Post-Processing Look for a Ghost Town Photo

I have thing for photographing through windows of old west ghost towns and taking pictures through the old glass. I get my lens as close as I can to the glass without risking damage, then shade the lens as best I can to remove external reflections , and bracket exposures like crazy.

Here is the barbershop in Randsburg, CA shot a few weeks ago. You can see some of the outside reflections around the left side and that is due to my hands not blocking all the glare. I shot a two image pano: left and right side as vertical images, then let Photoshop stitch them. Next I went into Photomatix and gave it a medium HDR grunge look. Then opened in Topaz B&W Effects and used the filter: Flavescent which added the yellowed newspaper look I wanted. I finished with another layer using the Blueprint effect and set that to 30% opacity to add a dark edginess.

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When I like what I created, I abandon it for the next image. 

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Vegas Baby!

As I pass through Las Vegas on my way to Arizona for the warm winter months, I cant help but stop in Vegas and do a little shooting. This image is from the Fremont Street area, which has been totally revitalized since my first visit to Las Vegas in 1985. 

One of the cool things they have been doing here is preserving the old neon signs from hotels and motels that are no longer standing. So right outside the Fremont Experience areas are these awesome old signs and symbols. 

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So I shot the old sign, hand held by the way, and opened in ACR where I added a little contrast, lightened shadows, tiny bit of Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. Then I opened in Photoshop and added several luminosity masks for shadows and highlights. 

This allowed me to darken a few areas, lighten specific areas, and then selectively saturate more specifics. Then I straightened the angles and removed a light pole that was in the shots and Voila!

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My new online course: How to Be a Professional Outdoor & Nature Photographer

I am so excited! After months and months my new course is ready: How to Be a Professional Outdoor & Nature Photographer

This course covers what to shoot, where to shoot, how to market, how to organize your business, how to price and negotiate sales of your images, stock photo agents, photography assignments, and much, much more. 

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And it is on sale right now at $79, that’s $100 OFF. Use coupon code GO79

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HDR and Exposure Blending Glacier National Park

A month ago on the return trip from Canada’s NW Territories, I was zipping down the east side of Glacier NP in Montana when this event happened. The sun peeked out and I stopped, grabbed the camera and ran up a hill to get above the trees. It’s a hand-held and I started with HDR processing and applied that lightly and then did more exposure blending from the original RAW file.

The goal was to not have a sky that was over saturated and darker than the foreground or it would look unreal. I think I pushed right up to the fence so to speak as this has the look of a graduated ND filter.

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See the Photoshop layers below

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HDR Coca Cola Sign in Randsburg, CA

I spent about 2 hours in Randsburg, CA two night ago photographing interesting ghost town type subjects. There is a lot of history here but much is ‘modernized’ since it is more of a living ghost town and unlike Bodie to the north, which is uninhabited for the most part.

This old sign really caught my eye with the warm setting sun light and I shot it with a 70D and 16-35mm lens. There was a long shadow from the left side to the right side, cast on the wall from the chain railing that was there and I retouched that out to make this image all about that cool old sign.

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