Enhancing images with filters in Photoshop

Mechanisms is the April monthly topic, which is not the normal sort of thing I photograph. My best selection of mechanical things are trains, since that is one of my favorite subjects after space art, landscapes and flowers. This particular set of SD 90 Mac locomotives was used to create my jacket for Harvesting Terra, but in quite a different color scheme. This blue was one of my renditions.

First the locomotives: When you look at color schemes and wonder how in heavens name you can customize something, it’s really not so difficult. The locomotives were Union Pacific, which are mustard with a red stripe and a bronze gray top and undercarriage. After separating the 2 engines and dragging them onto a white canvas, I simply went to hue/saturation and adjusted hue for various colors. You can control color combinations by selecting a color other than master. This is just one of those things you actually need to experiment with, for there is no way for me to explain how you can end up with blue and white from mustard and red, or thousands of other color combinations by just moving a slider.

Denver Art Station 2

The next challenge was to have a name other than Union Pacific, so I typed Trans-America, then rasterized the text and distorted it to overlay UP. I didn’t erase the UP until after distorting the Trans-America since I wanted to use it as a guide.

Denver Art Station 3

Next, I wanted to have an unusual setting, so chose the Denver Art Museum. I embedded the rails in the concrete and then duplicated the image and split it on the right side of the right rail. I then inserted the engines in between the two layers. The background layer was left alone, but the foreground layer required some careful erasing, leaving the people, signs, light poles and trees, while removing the sky and building.

Denver Art Station 4

At this point the image was basically done, but I wanted to experiment with filters. Number 1 is the straight image, 2 neon glow, 3 a combination of neon glow, colored pencil, and paint daubs, 4 inverse, 5 B & W after equalizing, and 6 Poster edges. Now, I have a dilemma, trying to choose the one to use for competition.

Denver Art Station 5

The final element of course is adding a frame, signature, and copyright. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Denver Art Station 6


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