Wrecked Fishing Boat in Benghazi, Libya

Paul Lange

This was just a snap shot I took of an old knackered boat while I was in Benghazi in March. It didn't look anything too special but I quite liked it for some reason.

I decided to have a little play today with photoshop to see if I could do anything with it.

I was quite pleased with myself so I thought I would post before and after to see what people thought.

Picture 139.jpg

Landed Wreck Benghazi copy.jpg
I quite like it, it's much improved from the original
The tweaked verion is better, you go to some far away places by the look of it !
I never get further than Spain....
I get to go to some interesting places but unfortunately I have to keep going back to those same places over and over again! It can loose its appeal sometimes. I'm just waiting until the kids are older so we can go away without them so I can go to really interesting places like Pantagonia or whatever its called.
Bringing up shadow detail in the hull is a clear improvement. However, the top of the building is darker than farther down, which is unrealistic. Sort of like the effect of a gradient filter used badly. Instead, I would suggest you use either the magic wand or Select->Colour Range to select the sky alone, then use Levels or Curves to darken it a bit. You could also copy it and paste it in place and set the layer blend mode to Multiply.
Larry, Thank you for your tough love. Once I had finished crying into my pillow for 30 minutes I decided to take what you said on board. Just to point out though that I wasn't planning to total realism, just to add a bit of extra impact and depth.

However I did use a gradient filter to achieve this and if someone (namely you) spotted that and thought it wasn't right then its probably the case I could do better. Hopefully this is now so :eek:

It was the gradient filter that brought out the detail on the boat and enhanced the colour of the sky, but as you said made the building look unrealistic. I used the marque tool with a feather of 15 to select and delete the top part of the gradient. I also reduced the vignetting in the bottoms corners at bit as well.

Then I used Magic Wand tool and Quick Mask to select the sky and copied and pasted into a new layer and set the blend to multiply and reduce the opacity a tad.

I must admit I still like the first one but the later certianly looks better in many ways but maybe not quite as striking to my mind. Please note that the sky in Benghazi can often look odd due to the huge dust clouds they have. One morning I opened my hotel room curtains and just saw beige! Not fun as my flight was delayed for 5 hours.

Landed Wreck Benghazi copy1.jpg
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;-D Toss the pillow into the dryer and try this.

Select the sky with whatever method is comfortable and adjust it to taste. Now do a Select->Inverse, which will select everything but the sky. Use Levels or Curves to adjust the rest to taste, or copy and paste it in place as a layer, and set the layer mode to screen. Use the proportional slider to set the detail to the level that looks best to you. Either will look natural, if not overdone.
Ahhh, I see.

Its easy to lose your way in Photoshop, isn't it! It's makes a nice change to meet someone who is more experienced in Photoshop than I. Normally it's me showing people how to do stuff but these days I don't always get time to just sit down and spend serious time on it. I dread to think of how much I have forgotten over the years.

I did deviate slightly. I thought the buildings looked a little too light so I deleted them from the new layer so only the boat and below were lightened up. Thank you Larry.

Landed Wreck Benghazi copy3.jpg
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I printed the last photo out and Larry's kind assistance and compared it to the first one. I have to say that it does look a lot better and now has much more pictorial depth. That's some tips I won't forget in a hurry. I vaguely remember that I used to use Channels to select areas of an image when I wanted to layer them in order to give them a tweak. It used to work out quite a bit easier than Magic Wanding and Quick Mask on some images. I think that could have been a way to select the sky for easily and accurately. I think I will have to spend a bit more time trying to dredge it all up.

Cheers Again!
Part of what makes Photoshop so overwhelming when first opened, is that almost anything can be done in a whole bunch of ways - all of them correct. It is a huge toolbox with tools for lots of purposes, not necessarily all photographic. None of the tools are difficult to use, but the sheer number of them and understanding what they do does take time.