Messages from Prague

My grandchildren are in Prague with their parents today. My son-in-law’s niece is playing at the opera house as part of a tour. Such an opportunity for all of them 😎

Anyway, yesterday my grandson, Parker, sent me this photo he took while they were walking about the town. I thought it was an awesome travel shot.

Parker is nine, and I am excited to see his skill grow. Here are my suggestions as to how the image can be edited to improve it.

Before and After

Post Processing Steps

Let’s begin by saying this was shot on a cell phone and sent via WhatsApp so the original is a JPEG.

What really makes this photo, in my opinion is the contrast of light and dark. The light on the building facade, and the dark on the people in the plaza. The timing was perfect to catch the sun and the shadows like this.

Architectural Lines

The first thing I did in Photoshop was to straighten the buildings a bit. The automatic fix isn’t perfect, but it is better.

Cropping is so powerful

I cropped it to a 4×5 ratio. This removes the sky from above, and the cobble stone from below. I think the crop is pinching the top of the steeple a bit much, but I didn’t want to take the foot off the person in the bottom right.

I also wanted to remove the building on the left as it was intruding way too much.

Enhance the base

The base of the photo is the plaza. I used a linear gradient filter to darken the plaza. You can see how the pedestrians and the cobblestones are slightly darker. They were already in shadow, and I just wanted to enhance the look.

Tone down the facade.

Finally, I used a technique (luminosity masking) to tone down some of the brightest parts of the building facade.

Print it!

This is one of those photos that needs to go in the Travel Album.

Parker. I encourage you to print this shot and paste it into a notebook, scrapbook, whatever you want to call it. Make some notes beside the photo so that when you are old and grey, like me, you can show your grandkids what you did at their age.

Maybe we can start that project when we get together at Christmas.


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