City Shadows

by | Blog


Just back after returning from a week in London where I attended a Getty Images get-together and was very privileged to meet several genuine Flypaper fans who were also attending!  Gleaning a bit of face to face feedback was priceless, and I also shared a few ideas we are working on here, much to their approval !

This shot was taken around the corner from where I was staying on the very hip – South bank. This canyon of tall office buildings is so unlike the traditional classical London view, it looked more… American, though the nice touch of the central water channel nods towards the French Mediterranean. The sun setting just in the right place at 5.30 each evening was a constant draw and I dashed over a few times to capture many similar contre-jour shots.

From dozens of images I liked this one the best, though maddeningly, the image wasn’t quite symmetrical, so I decided not to crop it, but to add a little to the top for more drama and the right side to balance. Cloning skies is easily done, and I also sometimes stretch them. But this time I added more acreage with the canvas size and then carefully cloned the image bigger. The pathway tiles being the hardest to get right. You can see from the base image which has already been enhanced with Nik Color Efex Pro 4, I have recently upgraded to CS6 As Nik Color 4 didn’t work with my old CS5 so now I can use their wonderful new Nik Detail Enhancing filter, I used the Fine setting and didn’t over use-it to avoid HDR effects.
With this image I also used the Reflector Efex Filter, with the Silver setting to enhance even more. Texturing very black images is always difficult, but here I think it worked well, adding a kind of gentle ‘Vaseline glass’ effect to the light flare.

The only texture used was Aquarius, totally desaturated @ Soft Light 48%

Its a toss-up as to whether the before or after is better, but the after cloning was worth the hours put in.
Getting back to Getty, one of their top tips I heard they love, is just this kind of contra-jour and natural light-flaring, so thats all boxes ticked then! 🙂
Aquarius is from the Summer Painterly Pack

Please visit our Pack page or Combo Pack page to buy Flypaper Textures.