It always amazes me what you can do with Photoshop. I’m in a bit of an Ernst Haas phase at the moment as I have to create a collection of images in his style for a course assignment which is coming up soon. I’m planning to base this on his book The Creation, in particular the section of it that deals with the four elements.
I saw this pattern of ripples and sunlight on the bed of a stream, and thought I might be able to make something of it. This is the Haas image I was thinking of at the time; I couldn’t find a link to it online so I’ve scanned it in from my copy of the book. It’s not a great scan, so you have to use your imagination a bit. I also wasn’t aiming to replicate it, but just to use it as inspiration for my own version.
Ernst Haas: from The Creation
And the next photo is my original: as you can see, it’s a little dull. Using Curves made the biggest difference, bringing out the rich blue colour and emphasising the shadows and highlights. Then I cloned out the little stones underwater and the piece of grass floating in it, as I thought they were distracting. I then duplicated the layer, using Soft Light blending mode, turned that down a little by increasing transparency, and used a touch of dodging to bring out the highlights. Et voila! – quite a difference.