Bob Wills  

Nightscape by Bob Wills

July 2021 - Nightscape

July 2021 - Bob Wills


About the Image(s)

I took this image from a parking lot. in 2010, in Custer State Park. I was not very good at all as you can tell, but I was having fun exploring parks. While looking through my old images, I saw some possibilities that I could make a composite. Being a science fiction fan from my youth, I decided to try B&W, crop all the bad stuff, and turn it into a nightscape in Photoshop. I added a night sky and a moon in PS (Luminar AI as a filter.) Brought it back into LR and cropped some more. The original image was shot on a Nikon D700, 14-24 mm lens @ 20 mm, ISO 800, 1/8000 sec @f3.5. (I said I wasn't very good) handheld.
Let me know what this needs (or wants!)

This round’s discussion is now closed!
10 comments posted

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hey Bob, you have a very interesting futuristic creation where fantasy becomes premonition. The cool color feel of the rock formation adds to the 'otherworldly' effect. Your backdrop of the starry sky, which could be seen as debri from a distant explosion adds to your effect. I appreciate your effective use of 'Threes' (rocks, moon and sky) which makes for an uncomplicated image. Despite the simplicity of your photo, you created a thought provoking image.
At first view, I felt that the moon was too hot and was missing it's defenition at the lower end. But after several follow up viewings, I began to see the vision and artistry in your picture. I see the moon thrusting out from behind the opening of the rocks. It's High-Key effect makes it appear like a flaming tail. I personally enjoy the aesthetic quality of your creation.   Posted: 07/08/2021 10:36:32
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Thanks, Dan. I appreciate your comments, and I am still wondering if there is a directional light issue. I had to bring out the shadow detail in the rocks to keep the image from too large a black area, which may have increased the moon brightness, so I'll continue to work that.   Posted: 07/09/2021 12:28:36
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Bob, when you brought up the shadow detail in the rocks (which I presume you increased the light with exposure, levels or curves), did you do it with a mask in PS? If this was performed in LR, you could have simply brushed in your light on the rocks which should have not effected the moon.   Posted: 07/09/2021 15:43:47
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
I only use LR for the data base, profiles, auto tone, and straightening. All else is done in PS and I use either blend-if to protect highlights and shadows, or inverted masks to brush on curves, or both. Levels adj may be needed locally on this image. Thanks for the hint.   Posted: 07/10/2021 09:22:54
Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hey Bob, I'm impressed that you use 'Blend-If'. Blake Rudis talks a lot about its use, but I don't quite have a handle on it yet. A 10 minute viewing on YouTube will probably give me the info I need. Thanks for the tip!   Posted: 07/12/2021 12:27:34

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Bob, this is a very artistic image - from a humble original, you've produced something quite interesting. The cool monotonic colors definitely are a key element of the artistry, and I like the somewhat high key washed out moon which appropriately gives it a sense of distance despite its size.

You mentioned concern over a directional light issue - that is the one significant issue I see. The illumination of the right side rock clearly can not come from the moon which is behind the rock. So where is it coming from? I think your options are to hope no one notices or cares, to move the moon to the left (out from behind the rock), or to add a second moon to the left (either up near where the sun was in the original or perhaps somewhere in between there and the current moon position. I'd start by trying to move the moon. I suspect it will not work because where it is now gives you the visual balance you need, but I'd try that first. Then I'd consider a second moon. That destroys Dan's rule of three (both as he stated it above and because you only have 2 moons). I suppose you could add two other moons for a total of three. I think the image would be too complicated at that point, but there might be a subtle way to do it (maybe one of them is very small and distant).

In any case, I'd play with it further and see if something works. These are interesting problems to try to solve. Perhaps others will also have additional ideas.
  Posted: 07/10/2021 14:27:23
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Thanks, Robert. I've hopes this image can be solved. Good suggestions, and I have had lighting issues like this just ignored by viewers, or I might be able to add a light painting effect.   Posted: 07/11/2021 12:51:19

Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Bob
Everyone else had said exactly what I was thinking. The directional light from the original image doesn't match the placement of the moon. I would try to remove the light on the left side rock. I also yearn for more detail in that lovely moon and I think that we should be able to see the bottom half. If it was a sun then it would be different. For me we should be able to see bottom half of the moon.

This is a really creative image and I like the mood. I get kind of an eerie feeling from it. Maybe a silhouette of a tiny alien on the top of the right rock, or maybe that is going to far ;)

Great image I enjoy looking at it.   Posted: 07/15/2021 17:28:43
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
The alien idea is funny.
I decided to use light painting on the final image (for now.) The bottom of the moon is barely visible, just left of the top of the bush. I want the dark of the moon to mimic the shape of the right rock formation, so that is why it was placed in that position, and size. I created a high key image and dodged the left formation, so it wasn't a "dark hole." Then I burned the top left peak. Now you know why I don't mind sky replacements.   Posted: 07/18/2021 15:24:52

Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Great edit Bob. You cleverly and creatively repurposed the original image so that it became something better image-wise, but also a different image/scene entirely. Kudos!   Posted: 07/23/2021 10:32:51