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Monday, May 30, 2016

Mogollon Rim Time-Lapse - With Photoshop Adjustments


As the dreaded desert summer furnace is being stoked here in the Phoenix area...I'm preparing for the first time to take a class at MCC during these scorching HOT months.

This is necessary because I ain't getting any younger...and I want to complete my degrees in Fine Art and Digital Illustration before they plant me in the ground.

: /

; )


As mentioned in previous posts I just finished the spring semester taking Intermediate Photoshop at CGC.

For my Final Project, I decided to take a time-lapse sequence I captured up at the Mogollon Rim last summer and see if I could improve it.

(Camera:  Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the Canon 24-105mm L Lens and Satechi WTR-A Wireless Timer Shutter)

- See The Final Video At The End Of This Post -

AC, a friend who assisted me with Photography and I got set up on an overlook later one stormy afternoon and captured the rolling sky.  It was kinda a "meh" day...but later when I looked at the footage I saw a remarkable thing:

Campfire wisps of smoke that I didn't even notice when there...suddenly took on an eerie, dramatic appearance in the time-lapse playback.

Unfortunately, as we lost our light in the late afternoon...the sequence got darker and darker and so I wanted to see if I could bring the foreground out a bit more towards the end.

I'd watched a video tutorial on using gradient masks in Photoshop to add adjustments to different parts of images...and decided to see if I could use that technique to improve this sequence. 


  (Click The Image To See It Larger)

 Balancing the foreground and sky on images from the beginning and end of the Mogollon Time-Lapse Sequence - © 2016 Jephyr
 Balancing the foreground and sky on images from the beginning and end of the Mogollon Time-Lapse Sequence

If you want to skip my description of the process for making corrections to the time-lapse sequence...feel free to skip right ahead to the video below.

I took an image from the first part of the sequence...and one near the end...into Photoshop and added a gradient mask (see composite image above) so I could then add separate adjustment layers to both the background and foreground of the image and help balance the light.  *

I used Photoshop's "Action" to record these steps and then the "Automate" function and added the these adjustments to the every image in the entire sequence (nearly 1,000 in all)...once for the image from the beginning...and once for the image from the end.

A look at the Sony Vegas Pro 10 interface during editing.
A look at the Sony Vegas Pro 10 interface during editing.

Then, using Sony Vegas Pro 10, I imported the two sequences and used a cross-fade between the two.  It took a few tries but eventually I got much closer to what I hoped could be accomplished.

You'll see my final result in the video below well as a side by side comparison of it and the original, un-adjusted time-lapse sequence as it was captured.

Thanks as always for stopping by!


*  For those wondering: software does allow masking and effects that might have accomplished the same thing...but this was for a Photoshop class...and is just another way to do it.

: )

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