The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

Night from Day

So here’s a mini how to on making a night shot from a day shot… but firstly you need to “acquire” a decent night sky… Although I have a few of my own, I decided that this would look much more impressive with one borrowed from NASA… Hopefully they wont mind too much…

This is all going to be about layers though, and the exact blends and percentages will obviously need some tweaking depending on the images used.

So the base layer was the SOOC day time shot, and I’m sure you’ll agree it’s not a very inspiring image… The next layer was the night sky… The base layer was then duplicated and brought to the top…
The blending options of this layer were then changed to “blend if gray” using white levels of 52 / 152 to bring through the stars from the night sky layer underneath…. and a layer mask was added just to blank out a few unwanted aberrations…

The base layer was then duplicated again and brought to the top, and set to a blending option of “multiply” at 100%… This serves to darken the foreground, and return some lost details from the “blend if” operation…

The base layer was duplicated again, and brought to the top… and set to a blend mode of “normal” at 60%… A black layer mask was then added to mask this whole layer…. White was then carefully painted in to this layer mask just to carefully reveal the highlights of the foreground that I wished to retain in the final image…

I then added a “soft focus” to the complete image, and et voila… that was pretty much it…

I dare say there are numerous ways of doing this, and other more advanced tutorials available online, but I tend to prefer to just play, and this is the workflow I figured out for myself… Not sure it will work on all occasions but it worked for me here… I hope it’s of interest… :)

12 responses

  1. Brian, this looks amazing! Really well done. I marveled at the final image as it’s just so magical…like some kind of fairytale forest. Great idea and excellent workflow too!

    December 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    • Thanks you… Real glad you like it… It took some messing about, and would likely have been easier had I researched a few “how to’s” myself, but there’s nothing like the satisfaction of having figured it out yourself…

      Mind you… The more I played with it the harder it got… ;)

      December 20, 2009 at 7:04 pm

  2. Great work and a nice tutorial for us to try ourselves.Thanks for sharing FS.

    December 20, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    • Cheers Graham… It might come in useful for me too… lol… as invariably I completely forget what I’ve done during any specific workflow once I’ve slept a bit… ;)

      December 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

  3. I have to try this

    December 20, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    • Lol… Well no stealing my sky… I mean…. errrrrhhh… yeah ok…. ;)

      December 21, 2009 at 12:17 am

  4. It does look magical! Love what you did to bring out the fantasy :)

    December 22, 2009 at 8:01 am

    • Hi Attiev… Thanks for stopping by… Yeah it was fun to experiment with this, and has given me the bug to be even more creative… Watch this space… ;)

      December 22, 2009 at 8:09 am

  5. Pingback: Believe it or not… « FS Photography

  6. Bertie

    This is such a fantastic idea and very skillfully executed!

    December 31, 2009 at 5:01 am

    • Thanks Mrs… It was fun to do for sure… and all the more satisfying to have developed my own method… :)

      December 31, 2009 at 2:41 pm

  7. Val

    That’s amazing! The closest I’ve come to anything like this was a tree silhouetted against a moon that wasn’t in the original (for a friend’s book cover) and I know what you mean about experimenting, except for mine I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to write about how I did it let alone replicate the results! Really good, and as has been said: magical. :)

    July 28, 2011 at 2:03 am

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