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Changing DAYTIME to NIGHTTIME..?


dmiraie

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Hi photoshop masters,

I'm trying to change this photo (attached below) from it's plain, overcast-ish original to a dramatic nighttime photo.
Can anyone recommend any tutorials or advice?

thanks!!

Iron-Maiden-HD-Desktop-Wallpaper.jpg
 

dmiraie

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Hi IamSam, thanks for the response.

I did try searching Google, but the results I found didn't generally seem to focus on photographs of actual people, and it seemed like they would squash out things like skin tones, etc... :$
 

IamSam

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Yes, it will probably require some masking of the people in order to maintain the skin tones. I'm looking to see if I can find a tutorial containing people, otherwise, for me, it would be trial and error.
 

MikeMc

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My stock reply would be ...Topaz it.

Topaz adjust can play some very Interesting effex and effects......I hit the "wildcard" button...some of the results would work well with this image...IMHO

When I get to my other computer I will play with this one!
 

Tom Mann

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Converting a daylight shot into a credible night scene takes quite a bit of skill / practice / etc. Lots of subtle visual cues to its daylight origin can easily slip unnoticed by even experienced Photoshoppers. The search that Sam suggested turns up lots of useful hits.

There have also been quite a number of threads on this site that discuss such cues in the context of producing various dark, fantasy composites from daylight stock images. Googling {composite shadow light source site:photoshopgurus.com} and similar searches will turn up quite a few of these threads. Many have appeared in our Graphic Design Showcase. I heartily recommend you read through some of them.

Mike's suggestion to try some canned effects in 3rd party plugins like the Topaz, Tiffen, and NIK suites of tools is also a reasonable approach. Unfortunately, although quicker than completely manual approaches, the results of such global transformations are rarely as good as a manual approach by a skilled 'shopper.

Towards this end, I threw together an example of the sort of results you might expect using the plugin approach. My first step was to take the photo into ACR, turn it blue, darken it, and try to deal with the very broad, unconvincing bright background. The result of processing in ACR is shown in the first attachment, below.

Next, I took it into PS, and used the night-into-day + several other filters from the Tiffen DFX package, followed by a pass through Topaz Re-Style. The intention of the latter was to change the uniform blue look into one that simulates the mixed lighting sources (often orange tungsten lights) that pervade night scenes.

Finally, since you are obviously not the copyright holder of this image, I restored the copyright notice from an apparent legal licensee, wallpapercraft.com, of the image from the band. This is shown in the second image attached below.

The above only took me about 10 minutes, and it shows, LOL, but doing it from scratch would have taken more time than I have available. Doing a quick-and-dirty version like this can also serve as a suitable starting point for further manual manipulations.

Cheers,

Tom M
 

Attachments

  • Day-into-night-_0001_only ACR + (c).jpg
    Day-into-night-_0001_only ACR + (c).jpg
    87.3 KB · Views: 63
  • Day-into-night-_0000_ACR+TiffenDFX+TopazRestyle+(c).jpg
    Day-into-night-_0000_ACR+TiffenDFX+TopazRestyle+(c).jpg
    60.1 KB · Views: 63

MikeMc

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Mike's suggestion to try some canned effects in 3rd party plugins like the Topaz, Tiffen, and NIK suites of tools is also a reasonable approach. Unfortunately, although quicker than completely manual approaches, the results of such global transformations are rarely as good as a manual approach by a skilled 'shopper

I totally agree. Topaz is a quick way to get effects. I will play with this later on, using Tom's start I will throw a few masks and blending modes in. Topaz and the others are as Tom said Quicker, Most can be done in PS and ACR
 
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I liked to play with this one...but since it is a copyright issue I posted a small size image and watermarked it.

Iron-Maiden-HD-Desktop-WallpaperChris700pixel.jpg
 

dmiraie

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Hi everybody, much thanks for all the responses and info/suggestions!!

To clarify my aims a bit (I probably poorly titled my post), here is the original lighting style (1st photo) and then the
goal lighting style (2nd photo). Why, in theory, do the two shots look so drastically different in tone/mood
(keep in mind that I'm a noob!)?

This universe of lighting theory is brand new to me, but I'd very much like to dive into it!
I just don't know where to start..

maiden.jpg
metallica.jpg
 

dmiraie

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Hi Tom, much thanks for your time and detailed response! Your examples may be the direction I want to head.. being an ultra-noob, though, I may also have mis-titled this post.. I just posted in this thread an example of the before and after lighting style I'm going for..? Do you think it is possible for me to execute this type of transition (the original is under said pale sunlight, and the goal seems to be in a "dark room," under some type of "spotlight").. thanks!
 
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dmiraie

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Hi Chris, thanks for the response and image! Is there a way to bring some type of "artificial spotlight" glow back to the figures? "Nighttime" may have been the wrong word for me to use in my post, fyi.. (I just posted a more accurate example of my aims to this thread).. thanks
 

MikeMc

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With a good high res image you can do something like this...I left the bottom of the color fill open, you can see the vignette effect that I used on that layer...After masking things I darkened the background with a simple exposure adjustment, along with the vignette that's all I did. Your second image is done with lighting , reflectors and camera position when the image is shot much easier to do this with the camera, not the computer in post processing

Captureband.JPG
 

Tom Mann

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Yup, it's too bad we initially went down the wrong path, ie, a dramatic night look vs a spotlight-in-a-dark-room look, but so be it.

With respect to recreating that look, as Mike said, one can sort-of / kind-of fake it in post processing, but without any doubt whatsoever, it would be vastly easier, and the result will be of much higher quality if you just photograph your own band right from the start with the desired lighting. (At least, I presume that's what you are doing, and you are not under contract to Iron Maiden to re-do their old photos, LOL.)

The problem with attempting to accurately simulate the spotlight look is that it's not just a matter of quickly darkening some large areas. To make it believable, you would have to manually paint in new shadow and highlight areas on each of their faces, jackets, ... everything. Also notice that the light source in your 2nd sample image is from below, whereas the sunlight in the 1st version is coming from above. Changing that sort of thing everywhere in the image is a big, tedious job even for someone who is used to doing it, and it's easy to get it wrong.

HTH,

Tom M
 
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dmiraie

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Ah, I see. That's clearly further removed from my abilities than I thought.. Well, would you agree that the lighting in the original maiden photo looks rather plain/unprocessed/underwhelming (as opposed to what you might expect from your standard flashy/grabby/dramatically processed commercial photo? If so, are there any easier strategies you might recommend to make the image look more like a souped-up, artificially embellished promo pic?
 

Tom Mann

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OP: "...are there any easier strategies you might recommend to make the image look more like a souped-up, artificially embellished promo pic..."

When you say, "the image", do you mean:

(a) this one particular image;
(b) other existing, relatively "straight" images / snapshots that you might want to work on; or,
(c) photos that haven't been taken yet?

If it's (c), the answer is really simple and unambiguous: Find a good pro photographer who has a portfolio that demonstrates he knows how to shoot in a style you like.

Another option is to try to learn enough about photography to reliably knock out images in a certain style, ie, just like the pro photographer mentioned in the last sentence. Depending on the style you want, learning how to shoot in a particular style might be extremely easy, or it might take years. For example, the style of the example you posted is actually quite easy for a newbie photographer to emulate -- getting close just requires two flashes: #1 is an off-camera flash laying on the ground and pointed slightly upwards towards the band and provides the main exposure. Flash #2 is an on-camera flash dialed way down so that it slightly fills in the shadows created by flash #1. This simple setup will get you surprisingly close to the example you provided.

If your answer is either (a) or (b), the answer is a bit more complicated. First, you have to realize that you have to start with a photo that's reasonably close to what you want. As the old saying goes, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear". The technical aspects of the starting photo that matter may not even be obvious to someone just beginning to do this sort of work. For example, one has to become well versed in seriously analyzing lighting, ie, direction, intensity, number and types of light sources, etc. Assuming the photo you select to work on matches in these ways, then, IMHO, it would be a matter of personal preference as to which of the thousands of plugins, actions, techniques you feel give an effect you like on your starting photo. Deciding this comes from long experience (ie, years) of familiarizing yourself with the all these post processing options. Of course, you could always use the fun approach of just playing around with images. Unfortunately, an undirected approach, while fun and may result in some really interesting efx, isn't likely to be the shortest route from point A to point B.

If you just want to play around with push-button simple efx that others have created, two really good places to start might be Nik Color Efx Pro (part of Google's NIK collection) and Topaz Restyle. Unfortunately, these are not free. If don't want to invest that amount of money, there are plenty of free efx available. They won't be as comprehensive or have such a slick interface as the commercial plugins, but they might be a way to get your feet wet. Try Medhi plugins, the zillions of free "actions" for PS (just Google it), and the hundreds of editors (eg, GIMP) and related efx available through sourceforge, e.g., http://gimpmp.sourceforge.net/.

HTH,

Tom M

PS - You might have noticed that I didn't mention the various "filters" that come with both Photoshop Elements and the full version of PS. I didn't mention these because, IMHO, they are waaaaay too overused.
 

Tom Mann

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Also, you can also just Google {best free photoshop plugins} and see if any of the ones listed appeal to you.
 

dmiraie

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Hey thanks again for the detailed/thorough response.. I'm doing a (comedic) personal project on "band image," and I need the photos to look as slick/commercial/overproduced as possible. So, in this case, I'm leaning towards (a) .. (i find pro photography very interesting, but I may never have the stones to get a substantial handle on it myself..) ..I wanted to try and work with this photo because the compositional layout aesthetic works well with my other photos..
..Yes, since I didn't know what I was in for, you're probably right that redesigning the foundational lighting in post is far removed from my (current) abilities.. And thnx for the plugins suggestions, I will check them out..

Ok, I guess, for my current means, I could phrase this one final way:
If Michael Bay right now knocked on your door, handed you this photo (below) and said, "Mr. Mann, you have 20 minutes to produce this photo to my liking. You can only use Photoshop, and no outside plugins. If you blow my mind, you've got yourself a starring role in Transformers 53, including some scandalous scenes with Megan Fox. Your time begins.. NOW!" What do you do!?

maiden 1.jpg
 
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Tom Mann

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Hey, Dmiraie, this is definitely a fun topic to think about. When you proposed that hypothetical challenge from Michael Bay, I had a good laugh. My first thought was to recommend that you composite in a couple of explosions, do some more compositing and have the members of the band sitting on / standing amidst some military vehicles, add environmental efx like smoke/fog, especially some blinding rays of other-dimensional light piercing the smoke (... hey, wait a minute, I already did that ... LOL), and definitely composite in some sexy chicks to round out the mix. If one of the road cases was emitting jets of steam and starting to open up and transform itself into a large Marshall speaker stack, that would be even better. :)

Now, kidding aside, all of the above is quite do-able in PS. A major part of the work / skills needed involves compositing in PS, but there are a huge number of other skills necessary to make the compositing look realistic (e.g., simulating shadows, accurately cutting out the component images, and when pasting the component images into the composite, adjusting the light on each component (color, intensity, direction, directionality and size of the light source, etc.).

Obviously, even just one the above changes can't possibly be done in 20 minutes, even by an expert, so going along with the challenge you posted, one is left with fairly simple, less time-consuming approaches. The problem is that there are so many of these to choose from, everyone is going to have their own idea of which they think is the best. This is why there are so many different genres of album and publicity art. I kind of like the second tweaked version that I posted (blinding orange light from behind), but, without a doubt there will be lots of people that either hate it, think it's blah, or inappropriate for album art / publicity use.

So, since there are so many different viewpoints on this, and executing each of these will require a significant investment in time, my suggestion is that you start a new thread titled something like:
[Challenge] Turn this straight Iron Maiden snapshot into slick/commercial/overproduced album art.

Copy over some of your previous explanations into the body of the new thread. This way, you might get more people to illustrate their own visual preferences, and interpretation of the challenge.

There are lots of folks here that are good at compositing, so you might even see some of that, but I'm sure you also will see plenty of other approaches that don't involve compositing.

Me ... I've committed doing several hours of much more mundane (event) photography tomorrow, so, for the purpose of this challenge, I'm going to stick with the tweaked image I produced earlier.

Have fun,

Tom M
 

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