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ABFriday – Oil Refinery

This picture was taken with an iPhone as Gus and I were exploring the area between Galveston and Houston TX and I decided to submit the Before and After to Stacy at Visual Venturing for her ABFriday Week 6 Forum. We wanted to create a picture of an industrial sort to put in a special frame at our cabin. I’ve been working on this in my spare time since the trip which was in May of 2013. Here is what’s been done to the picture from what I remember. I’ve posted an earlier work in progress in Feb 2014 but not shown a before and after. This version has had much more work done on it. It is almost finished and then will be ready to print. It is going into a custom frame that was created from the rear window of an vintage early model car.  The final frame size is 24″x48″ and Gus has it already hanging up in the cabin as a constant reminder for me to finish the picture.  Here is the works that has been done from what I recall.

Oil Plant After by KCinAZ
Oil Plant Before by KCinAZ – no processing

1.Duplicate the image and flip it so that it becomes much wider.
2.Remove the electrical lines in the center as they were no longer in perspective.
3.Change to sepia and bumped up browns.
4.Create a dark cloudy background. This caused a lot of work because of pixilation. Here is where the time-consuming work was done to remove any remaining pixilation between the original image and the background.
5.Turn on the lights everywhere in the new image. If I remember right first I used the small brush to color with yellow, then another star small brush tool to create illusion of flickering.
6.Used the burn tool to deepen some of the shadows on the structures.

Thanks, Stacy for including my work in your forum.

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Idaho Farm at Harvest

This image was one of my first attempts at creating what is called a compilation using Photoshop. It’s done by combining multiple images with layers and masking.  It took many hours and is of at least 5 separate photos taken during the early fall season as we drove along an Idaho highway or while visiting with friends in the Idaho Panhandle.

The sky is an image that probably did not occur in Idaho but I liked the heavy clouds and deep blue sky.  I think it’s probably from the Caribbean. When altering the sky, it was important to keep in mind that there would be shadowing based on the cloud coverage that had to be added to the landscape. This was done by using a method called burning.

The hay field was another image that was adjusted in size to fit the compilation.  I was amazed as we drove along the highway from northern Idaho to west central Idaho that all of the hay fields showed distinct patterns of where they had cut the hay.  The evening sun made the hay glitter in a shimmering golden color. The hay field in the base image was so dull and boring that it had to go. It was replaced with the another hay field that had the effect I wanted to show.

The two little fawns in the foreground were from different shots that were taken right in the front yard of a friends home just north of Coure d’ Alene, Idaho.  They have a cabin (home) that is in a golf community where the deer roam free and are so tame that I was able to get within 15 feet of the little critters.  Momma deer was not too far away but didn’t seem concerned.

The smaller barn to the upper right came from a different image and was added just for fun and to give some additional movement to the final picture.


The primary image that made up the base was a dull field of hay, a bland skyline but the white farm house and the bigger red barn were what was wanted to build upon.  The big red barn was not nearly as colorful as shown in the compilation and the hay field was too boring and didn’t show what I had seen along the highway at sunset.  The barn was colorized to make it more vibrant.  The barn color was enhanced with a deeper red, the window frames were redrawn to make them more distinct and the window frames colors were changed, too.  The field was changed out with a new shape of field that had more color scale and brightness of pre-sunset.

Along the front fenced field in the final image where the deer are eating, extra vegetation was added and the foreground grass was enhanced by using the burn tool in Photoshop.

Many years ago, I dabbled in art; drawing and painting, but now use Photoshop to satisfy that old craving.  The advantage to Photo-Art is that you can correct your errors several times over.  Well it does take some training and learned skill but I still find it easier than painting with a brush.

Here are the images that were used to create the compilation.  The first is the primary image and the others were layered in. The primary image was masked in certain areas to allow the other layers to show through. Take a Photoshop class at your local community college to learn how to manipulate your pictures. It’s a lot of fun.