Back to the Future
I take a lot of pictures on a Disney trip. Surely, I am not alone. On an average five of six day trip it would not be unusual for me to capture as many as 3,000 pictures. The temptation we have as photographers when we arrive home is to give our attention to the “winners” from the trip.
Over the past few months I have made it a point to hit the vaults up for treasures I have missed over the years. I find this rewarding for a number of reasons. First, our “eye” develops as a photographer overtime. We’ll see things years from now with a discerning eye that we did not have before. And second, we will find treasurers overlooked. I believe this shot is a combination of a discerning eye finding a new treasure. With the added layer (pun intended) of new processing techniques.
Imagineering the Shot
What stood out at this picture that sent me to process further was the stillness of the family in the lower third, on Main Street USA, ready for an adventurous day in the parks, juxtaposed by the stillness of Main Street. I saw this shot, but it did not come out of the camera that way. It needed help.
Magical Post Processing
1) The first step was to adjust the layers in CS5 to bring out whatever pop and colors I could in an otherwise dull shot. To achieve this I created an adjustment layer and over-satured the the vibrance and saturation.
2) I needed the clouds to come out in greater detail. To achieve this desired affected I adjusted the contrast and levels and masked out Main Street to draw more attention into the clouds.
3) Remembering the focus of this shot was the family I created a duplicate layer and then blurred the new layer. I then masked the family out to put them in focus and the anticipation of the day slightly out of focus.
4) Still lacking the “pop” I wanted; my next step was to send this through the Topaz Adjust filter in CS5 to give the image the surreal effect I thought it deserved.
5) Last touch was to add a vignette to the frame to draw the family into focus even further.
6) Hit save.
And here is the original, just for reference: