Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Park Avenue at Sunset

Painting 1.18, Park Avenue in Arches NP. One thing that you see a lot of in the desert are horizons where the landscape blends into the sky as it stretches off into the distance. When I first discovered photoshop I thought that I could take a picture that was taken on a cloudy day, remove the blown-out white sky and replace it with a more interesting sky from some picture taken on a sunny day. This, of course, results in a picture that looks completely fabricated and ugly. One big reason is that the horizon line will be all screwed up, the sky is dark and contrasty while the land in the distance is gray, or the sky on the horizon will be hazy while the land is sharp and clear. I tried to consider that issue here, where I wanted to create the impression of a landscape that continued on to the horizon. Dividing the scene into fore, middle and background I added increasing amounts of gray to the colors I was using as I moved farther away from the observer. This may seem like the obvious thing to do, but I painted over the background a number of times trying to find the right amount of gray to distinguish it from the sky while making what I thought was a realistic horizon.

The last time that I visited Arches, I assembled a time lapse video of sunset at Park Avenue over the course of two hours which can be viewed here. It was my first attempt at time lapse during day light and I learned a lot which I will try to share in my posts on that page.

Giclee Print