Going back over some of my Egypt photos for my Egypt-Jordan photo gallery, when I decided to reprocess the image you see in today’s post. The image was captured back in 2007 and this is it’s third processing.
In truth this is a multi frame composite in order to remove modern day tourists from an otherwise timeless scene. The compositing and masking techniques haven’t changed, but what has changed is the final toning and lighting of the image. Two reasons, firstly, I guess it’s true that with time our tastes, our sensibilities if you like, change. And secondly there are new digital imaging software options available. To better appreciate those changes, take a look at this effort from 2010 pyramids-giza-revisited.
My earlier processing of the image in Photoshop involved numerous layered effects, I think about 6 layers from memory, each with it’s own mask. This current version makes use of Nik Software plugins of which I’ve become a fan, specifically Silver Efex Pro. From Lightroom I took the composite across into Photoshop, quickly cloned a couple of spots I’d previously missed, converted the layer to a smart object and then opened in SFX. I selected “harsh structure” from the presets as a good starting point, used control points to tweak the structure (Nik’s terminology for fine detail contrast) increasing the values for the rocks and stones whilst reducing the effect in the sky. From there a vignette was applied and the job basically finished. The current process is so much faster, it’s a pleasure to use. (if anyone wants a more detailed explanation, let me know, otherwise just enjoy the picture! )