Did I leave the tap on?

Looking back at a few photos from last year I selected one to use with an effect given on this months Digital Photo magazine. It allows the use of displacement maps, added to the mirror image of shot to create the illusion of a rippled water.I hunted though my back catalog of shots and found a shot from Windsor castle. Specifically one I took from the deck of a wobbling boat drifting towards the castle after a short trip along the river. I remember taking this shot through a plexiglass screen mounted on the front of the boat.

I desaturated most of the colours except the green in the original shot. Adding clarity and sharpness to bring out the detail in the stone walls and adding a vignette, I left this shot as was, until today. To sum up the method you use to create a mirror effect, you make a copy of the main picture, increase the canvas by 100% below the main image, flip the copy below the main layer, add 90 degree motion blur, then add a displacement map provided by Digital Photo magazine. For full details check out issue 180, Spring 2014.

Stage 2

I didn't like the effect at first as it had a very sharp edge. I stretched the top layer down a little to add extra pixels. I then used a mask layer to take out the sharp edge and allow some of the trees and bushes to penetrate down to the lower layer. This gives a more natural look to the edge. I was going to stop here but I have never liked the square format of photos, always preferring the wide screen or 16:9 ratio.

Stage 4

Spinning around like a loon I threw the file into Photoshop and expanded the canvas to a 16:9 ratio. I then created two copies of the original and used masks to merge the left and right to expand the castle. The shot above does not so justice to the time spent on zooming in to the image to make fine detail adjustments. As you can imagine there were a lot of copies of stone work and cloud detail all these had to be removed as well.

Smacking me in the face was the SLR Lounge Texture file, 05-slrlounge-blends-paper-textures-0013.jpg. Not used to common assault by a jpeg file I allowed it to merge with the resulting file.

Stage 3

The colour, tone and texture added what I felt was missing from the overall result.


2013 – Yearly Round Up – August

August 1 August and I found myself wobbling down a river in Windsor and walking for hours around High Elms.Taking a boat trip along the Thames for a while I failed to notice what all the fuss was about when we were a couple of minutes from returning to the dock... oh yeah the massive Windsor Castle in the distance. Best take a shot of that.

After disembarking I strolled up the hill towards the castle I found a long line of people.. must be for the toilets I thought... nope it was an hour long queue for the castle.. another time then. Next year I will return to Windsor and storm the battlements...

High Elms, 250 acres of woodland and meadows to explore in Farnborough. Quick tip here... when you are in the visitors center and the man behind the counter gives you advice about where to cut short your walkabout... LISTEN TO HIM!!!! Don't, like I did, ignore him and spend a few hours wondering when the forestry hell will end.

It ended for me on a golf course. A quick check of the folded map and I plotted a quick route back to the car park... However there are lots of photo opportunities there so I would recommend it to any one who likes trees.. and flowers.


High Elms - 06