Hi, my name is Patryk and I run the instagram account @500kts. With this blogpost I hope to give you some interesting insights in how I edit my pictures.
I will use this shot of a Lufthansa A380 approaching Frankfurt Airport and try to make it look a little more dynamic/positive.
What do I mean by dynamic/positive? Personally, I prefer pictures of climbing airplanes over descending ones. It’s just better looking and gives a feeling of a new adventure that just started instead of something that’s about to come to an end.
But before everything else, I use the Camera Raw Filter to give the shot a bit more clarity and reduce the haze. I also adjust the white balance to a more yellowish tone as a preparation for later lighting changes.
Now that we have something we can work with, it’s time for the first major things to be changed. As I said, I’m more of take-off/climbing kinda guy, therefore the landing gear needs to be removed.
I use the Polygon Lasso Tool to make a selection of the area in which the landing gear needs to be removed. Why make a selection? I will use the Clone Stamp Tool to copy existing texture around (behind) the landing gear and place it above it. The selection protects the areas around because Photoshop will allow the Clone Stamp Tool to function only in this specific selected area. This is also useful if it is necessary to place texture along an edge, where the Clone Stamp Tool should only be allowed to operate until a specific limit to not mess up a different area.
With the main landing gear it was a bit easier because most of the landing gear was in front of a simple background. Here I was able to use the Fill (Content aware) function most of the time. It will check what’s inside the selection, compare it with the surrounding texture and then fill the selection with calculated texture based on the surroundings. You can find the function by making a right click on the selection and then click on Fill.
It was now time to tilt the image and make the airplane climbing instead of descending. As you can see, a few empty spots appeard as I was tilting the image. I again used the Clone Stamp Tool to solve this problem. I simply copied some texture close to the empty spots and filled them with it. I selected a hardness of 0% for the Clone Stamp Tool so the copied texture would merge into the existing background.
Wait! What’s that on the left? Ugly right? Most photographers that use a mirrorless camera are pretty familiar with this problem: Dirty sensor! To make the dirt visible, I duplicated the layer (the picture) and made a super contrasty version out of the upper one. I basically just turned up the clarity and dehazed a lot using the Camera Raw Filter. Now that I was able to see the dirt spots I could put a selection around them. After that I deleted the ugly version so I was left with the original layer. And here is the thing, even though the ugly layer is removed, the selection of the dirty spots remains. Now I can use the Fill (Content aware) function to remove all the unwanted dirt spots.
To get a more “sunny look” and push the lighting a bit more towards an orange tone, I added the FallColors LUT and put it into the Multiply blending mode to achieve the desired result.
It was now time to add some artificial lighting. Therefore I created two white differently sized dots by using the brush tool with a selected hardness of 0%.
I placed the bigger dot above the smaller one and selected the blending mode Linear Dodge (Add) for both of them. I also reduced their fill to 86%. I then added an Hue/Saturation layer above them.
To get the adressed “sunny look” I turned up the saturation to the maximum, checked the colorize box at the bottom of the properties window and moved the hue-slider to a position that would represent a somehow realistic sun color. But we don’t want to keep the picture that orange right? By applying the Hue/Saturation layer on the big dot layer and slightly reducing the lightness, the sun effect comes to life.
Since this way to create an artifical sun always looks a little bit different on each picture, it is important to try out different opacities and colors within the Hue/Saturation layer to get the perfect result. It’s also possible to merge all layers into one and use the Camera Raw Filter to adjust specfic colors.
If desired, it would also be possible to brighten up the front part of the A380 by making a selection with a good amount feather. In this case I used 100px, it depends on the size of the picture.
I hope you enjoyed this little blogpost! If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message on Instagram!