WOW, a long while has passed since I last posted something on the blog… With the exception of some pictures in the ‘Little worlds‘ gallery. I wanted to do this for a while, so here is an example of post-processing a picture. I hope you will find it useful.

Step ‘0‘ – obviously enough – involves taking the picture. In this, I was granted access to the rooftop of a building in the middle of the Central district in Hong Kong. Looking down towards Connaught Road, the traffic was an amazing mix of colors and ant colony activity.

Here is the original picture, step ‘1‘:

Step 1

Picked from a series of 5 pictures, there were still two things I disliked about that one. Firstly, the inevitable orange color cast, offered as usual with the compliments of the Street Lights Association of Hong Kong. Secondly, the – again with the compliments of the S.L.A. (H.K.) – the light post.

So a little bit of Photoshop magic, and voila! the light post is gone.

Step 2

Note I also added some reddish automobile tail lights to give more substance to the left lane of the road.

Then the orange cast, roughly initially treated with the white balance setting of Lightroom:

Step 3

Next, I play around with the contrast and shadow levels. Keep in mind every time you change a setting, you can always go back at a later stage for fine tune adjustments.

In below step ‘4’, you may notice how the blue-lit bus stop advertisements on the top left corner start to be less intrusive.

Step 4

Here comes the good part: playing around with the split toning settings. For this case, I wanted to have an electric feel in the final image. The fastest way to do this is too cool down the image further than what the white balance setting can do. A light blue split toning in the highlight does the trick, though it requires quite a bit of play around with the settings.

Usually at this stage, it is good to go back a bit and readjust the saturation settings.

Step 5

Finally, a bit of sharpening and some touch-up on the shadow settings:

Step 6 - Final Image

Voila, for now I am satisfied with this image. Let’s review it in a few days or weeks to see how I feel about it: always remember the newer the picture, the harder to be critic with oneself.