Faking It

Posted in Photography Tricks on July 9th, 2009 by MadDog
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There are few things that I can do with a computer that I enjoy more than faking it. I’m not a professional faker or a “faker for hire” (today’s Top Gun types) such as you can see on Worth1000.com, but I’d say I’m an enthusiastic amateur.

One of the easiest ways to make fakes that still look realistic (depending on your tolerance level) is to modify the colours. In Photoshop you can use the Replace Colour gizmo under Images / Adjustments. It’s pretty intuitive and can produce spectacular results:Sunrise faked by replacing colours
You saw a tamer version of that sunrise here.

A step beyond colour replacement, but still very easy, is image overlays.  Here is an original sunrise shot from the same post as is pointed to by the link above. It has a bit of reflection of the town and clouds in the water, but not enough to suit me. So, if I could just copy the top part of the picture, flip it top for bottom, and then overlay it lightly over the bottom part, I’d have just what I want:
Original sunrise shot
A it turns out, this is a surprisingly easy job with Photoshop. It’s as easy to do as it is to say. Draw a marquee around the part you want to copy, copy it, start a new file, paste the copied bit into it, flip it over, copy it again, go back to the original and paste it, then position it properly and adjust the opacity and fill levels. That is it – finished:
Faked 'reflection' sunrise

It looks surprisingly real.

Another little step toward effective fakery is laying on of bogus images. Here’s a daisy. Nothing special, just a daisy:
Original daisy
This is a daisy after dropping some acid. This is why we don’t take dangerous drugs, kiddies:
Daisy with Glowing Outline filter appliedI got that effect by using one of the outline filters in Photoshop. I think it was the “Glowing Edges” filter.

The next step is similar to the process for the reflections, but we don’t flip the image. We just lay it directly over the top and adjust how strongly it overlays the original:
"Venusian Daisy" composite
Now, miraculously, we have produced a Venusian Daisy.

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