I wanted to go back to my glass pics from the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. My intent was to just manipulate a few and crop them to post. I hadn’t really intended to do lots more to them. Until….

I chose this one with the purple glass. Here’s the original.

Not a bad photo, but too much distraction. The amazing glass mimics the ripples throughout the cactus. It is truly spectacular to see. I wanted to emphasize that part of the picture, but then there’s all these shadows and people in the background. I know about the cloning tool to remove unwanted things like lampposts, but I decided to go the whole way and remove the people. The more I did, the more I learned – where to sample and make it appear like there were more cactus. I started creating cactus beds where there weren’t any, and they looked natural. I discovered that I could increase the size of the photo until I was almost at the pixel level, which gave me much more control of the cloning/removal process. The signs went away, the people went away, shadows I didn’t want went away.

I found I wasn’t satisfied, because the photo kept looking better and better! I worked on the columns. I love the adobe orange and wanted to lighten the dark more. I tried some brushes, after sampling some colors – it was okay. Then with the “move” tool I clicked on the black shadows of the cactus, jumped them to another layer, and lightened through an adjustment. The ground became lighter, without sacrificing the work already done. I did that 4 different times to get shadows lightened. Then I looked at the columns again, jumped them to a new layer, same process, and smoothed out some of the cloning strokes. Lots of previous learning just snapped into place. Here’s the “finished” look at Chihuly glass:

As always comments are welcome! I know many reading this are experts at Photoshop. I’m learning, and enjoying at the same time. You can look back some of the very early posts to see how far I’ve come!

Earlier work:
Hawaiian Surf
Orange Fabric
Seasons 1
Moon Series

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