Shattered Reflections…and Curves Adjustment Layers

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6907108389/in/photostream

Shattered Reflection 50mm, f/5.6, 1/25s, ISO 400

My daughter and I were on a walk in downtown Austin today and ran across this shattered glass in a door.  I snapped a shot of my reflected portrait.  I had a mind to see what I could bring out of it using Photoshop’s curves layers.  I knew from past experience that curves could do some cool stuff to images like this.

The images at the bottom of the post were taken inside the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant in Austin (posts about that here and here and here).  The blown-out spots in the original image are from bright daylight coming in through windows on the opposite side of the building.  Inspired by David Nightingale’s tutorials on creating dramatic images, I experimented with all sorts of wacky curves and masks.  With some of those wacky curves adjustments the blown-out spots really created problems so in the end I just cropped them out.  The final image is rather abstract — the hand is obvious but the camera, tripod, and my body are there but not completely obvious.  There are a few issues (knuckles on the hand for example) but it’s fun nonetheless.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6900307241/in/photostream

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeltuuk/6900304467/in/photostream/

Seaholm Power Plant Door, after curves adjustments

Back to the images at the top of the post.  You may already know that curves adjustments can cause a color shift depending on the blend mode of the layer.  I took advantage of this to bring out a bunch of color in this image.  It would have been nice if I’d been wearing something other than a black jacket but I didn’t exactly plan this in advance.  The adjustments on this image were just a strong s-curve and a combination of curves which lightened/darkened the midtones — all in normal blend mode and masked a bit here and there.  Some selective sharpening, noise reduction, and a small bit of overall saturation were added.

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