Photo experiment – day 3 of 31

Today’s experiment was to take an ordinary daytime photo and turn it into nighttime.

The result:

And here is the image I started with:

 

First, I used the Midnight filter in Color Efex Pro to turn it into a dark scene.  This filter not only darkens the photo, but can add a bit of blur to it so that it does not look daytime-sharp.

Then I wanted to create lights in the lampposts.  The lamp on the far left was in an awkward place and didn’t add anything to the picture, so I cropped it out.  This left only the one lamppost.  I tried to use Topaz Star Effects but quickly realized that it doesn’t create effects unless it has a light point to work with.  So in Photoshop, I painted a small white blob where the lightbulb would be, and then went back into Topaz Star Effects.  I had to experiment with this a couple of times before it didn’t look totally fake.  And the light created by Star Effects goes in all directions, so I ended up masking and cloning out the light that went above the lamppost.  Overall, I was about 50% satisfied with the result – Star Effects works great when there are points of light to start with, but my painted-on white blob was not a good starting place (also, if I started with a yellow blob, Star Effects doesn’t recognize it, so I had to use a white blob).

The final steps were to darken the sky more, using Viveza, and then to increase the contrast slightly in Lightroom.

Overall, I think the result is decent but not great.

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