I took this photo tonight. Actually, I could honestly say I never took “this” photo. Ever. It is, instead, a compilation of 3 photos of lightning from this amazing storm we had today. It hit just at dusk, and I scurried around with my camera on bulb, trying to get long exposures. I got lucky several times with great shots, but nothing that was so incredible that I could say “That is beautiful and amazing!”. Instead, I had several shots of single, maybe double lightning strikes. It was only when I compiled them into one that the photo became what it is.
This is my first attempt at mixing multiple images in this way. You can probably see that. But I was happy with how it came out. The lightning, especially, worked out well. Because that is the main focus of the image, I’m happy with it as is. But if and when I redo this, with more experience, I will happily work harder on the base of the photo, the land, which suffered a bit from the multiple layers. It looks a bit fuzzy. I do like the setting that I used in Topaz Adjust, which brought out a lot of the detail in the land- before it was mostly black without detail in the shadows.
Photoshop is where I combined the different images as layers. I also used Topaz, as stated above, and I also used Noiseware Professional to smooth it out a bit. Some blur on the annoying parts of the land below and I was good to go. Oh, and I completely desaturated the image and increased the contrast in Photoshop before Topaz… Topaz actually toned the contrast back a bit but the b&w image helped to mix the different layers much better. In Lightroom, my final stop of the night, I took the highlights and tinted them purple, as I think all good lightning storms should look. Actually, 2 of the 3 images were purplish but one was much more blue to start with.
I have loaded this image onto www.kelleybard.com, where you can see many, many of my different artworks. This particular image is in my places and landscapes gallery. I also show my work on flickr. I like trying different types of photography. Check it and see! Or just look at my posts here, or keep coming back for more- I try my hardest to mix up my work to keep it interesting.