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  • melissamoody2010

Editing: Adding drama to a photograph through color

Updated: Jun 26

It was already thrilling enough standing in a lightning storm on train tracks that are frequently in use, but to accidentally capture lightning during my long exposure was amazing. The whole time I was praying God still liked me.

I knew I wanted to photograph this scene on a rainy night so that the highlights would be stronger from the wet rocks, bricks, and railroad tracks in this scene.

Originally I pictured this scene in black and white, but I'm a sucker for color, and when I saw the slightly purple hue in the sky around the lightning, it inspired me to saturate the purple in the sky to make it more interesting and dramatic. Because of that decision, I enhanced the red in the bricks and shifted the yellow lights to orange using the Camera Raw filter in Adobe Photoshop. Purple, red, and orange are analogous colors on the color wheel, meaning they're next to each other. Any time you put three colors together that are next to each other on a color wheel, it looks good.

I then used the rubber stamp tool to remove distractions like lens flare, trash cans, art hanging on the fence, and a pile of railroad ties on the right-hand side of the image.

a before and after comparison of the edits I made to a photograph of Marietta Square during a thunderstorm.
Before and after: The Lightning at Marietta Square

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