Parthenon, Before and After


So here’s a post on the small things that add up, or, How To Remove Annoying Stuff That Buggers Up Your Photo.


On the left is the original.  Nice, but not really what I wanted in this shot of the Parthenon.  So what to do?


I could have taken a tripod, hidden until after nightfall, gotten the shot on a long exposure, dodged the authorities, and not gone to jail in Greece and had a crapton of explaining to do on why I was not back at work a few days later.


Or, PhotoShop.  A coin-flip, really.


The steps I actually took here were:


  1. Remove the scaffolding. This was the nastiest, and took a LOT of small-scale clone/copy work to remove.  Even so, if you look closely on the left you’ll see some repeated patterns that aren’t really natural, but can escape if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
  2. Remove the humans. They’re just clutter!
  3. Punch up the contrast on the marble in the foreground, so the Greek lettering stand out better.
  4. Deepen the blue in the skies. I did this by pushing the cyan tones into the blue range.
  5. Brighten the green on the grass on the ground.
  6. Reverse-fade out the marble, which at intermediate stages had gotten overly beige and not as stark and wind-washed as it ought to be.


All told it was about a half-hour of work.  Totally worth it though!


Happy shooting!


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Water Temple

Pulgas Water Temple
Pulgas Water Temple

Looks like ancient Greece, right?


This is actually the Pulgas Water Temple, near Crystal Springs reservoir in California.  Built at the final terminus of the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct, it is where the waters of the Tuolumne River finally settle before heading north to their destination in San Francisco.


Water Temple, Side IR View
Water Temple, Side IR View


I’d only recently heard of it, and it’s a nuisance to get to as it’s only open on weekdays.  But bizarrely enough, that includes Labor Day, so I got lucky on this one.


Fortunately for me, it was still and sunny, and not too busy, so it made for great photos that required almost zero post-processing.


IR, Center View
IR, Center View


It’s one of those old (looking) structures that looks great both in color and infrared.  And if I’m this happy with Pulgas, I’m positively salivating about what I’ll see soon when I’m in Greece.


Side View, Color
Side View, Color


Happy Shooting!

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