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After Midnight

In the previous lesson, you learned how to turn the clock ahead by warming up a picture. Now, I'll show you how to transform a picture taken during daylight hours into one that looks as though it were taken at midnight—on a night when the full moon was shining brightly.

First, think about how a picture taken by moonlight differs in light quality from a picture taken at noon. The nighttime picture is cooler, has less saturated colors, and looks softer than a daytime picture. Knowing that, you can make the appropriate enhancements in Photoshop.

Here's a picture I took of a jaguar in the Belize Zoo (Figure 3.21). To cool off the picture, I went to Image > Adjustments > Color Balance (Command-B: Mac or Ctrl-B: Win) and used the sliders to boost the Blue and Cyan tones (Figure 3.22). Next, I chose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and used the Saturation slider to slightly desaturate the image (Figure 3.23). To soften the picture, I went to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and added just a touch of blur (Figure 3.24).

Figure 3.21

Figure 3.21

Tech info: Canon EOS 1v, Canon 28-105mm lens @ 105mm. Exposure: 1/250 sec. @ f/8. ISO 400.

The resulting picture is cooler, less saturated, and softer—with one more added touch (Figure 3.25). I used the Burn tool (press O: Mac or Win) to slightly darken the area around the jaguar to create the impression that the big cat was standing in a beam of moonlight and the surrounding area was in a shadow.

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