During a vacation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I knew ahead of time that the classic window/door against adobe shot would be necessary to capture. This was easy enough to attain as almost every building in Santa Fe is made of adobe! While venturing down Canyon Road, the stark turquoise against the orange wall caught my eye and I knew I had a shot.

I enjoy the original composition of the photo, but thought it could use some edits to bring out the colors and contrast. In the final image I was able to showcase purple and blue hues. I have been inspired by painter Wayne Thiebaud, whose many paintings demonstrate using the blue hue rather than black for shadows–I am quite a fan of this technique.

Starting with the original image, I first straightened it in Photoshop using the ruler tool as a guideline (ctrl/cmd R) and the transform tool to straighten (ctrl/cmd T).

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.55.15 AM

In Topaz Adjust these effects were applied:

Dynamic Brightness, Brilliant Warm, Detail Light, Mild Contrast Pop, Painting Venice

1) HDR->Dynamic Brightness

I enjoy what this effect does to the adobe wall; an overall contrast has been applied:

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.28.52 AM

2. Classic -> Brilliant Warm

The cool hues are brought out in some of the shadows–I like this:

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.30.08 AM

3. Classic-> Detail Light

I noticed some detail was lost because of the previous two effects I applied. Too much detail would make the adobe wall look fake or over processed; therefore I brought out a miniscule amount of detail:

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.30.53 AM

4. Classic-> Mild Contrast Pop

Just a tad bit more contrast added here; I enjoy how the contrast pop got rid of some of the detail in the wall–it smoothed it out so to say:

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.31.21 AM

5. Stylized-> Painting – Venice (transparancy-> 0.80)

This effect smoothed out the texture in the wall just a tad bit more. I brought the transparency up to 0.80 to make it look more realistic:

Screen shot 2013-03-28 at 10.32.21 AM

The end result:


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