Retouching Architectural Images

Architectural images often require some retouching to help focus the viewer’s attention on the structure and its architecture and away from irrelevant visual distractions. Scroll down to see what was done to take this photo from the “before” version to the “after” version.

Extending the sky upward to alter composition.

1. The lawn hadn’t been established and was enhanced using Photoshop.
2. The black light pole on the left was cropped out of the final image.
3. Obviously it is always best to compose in the camera. But in architectural photography, it is also important to maintain a level camera to prevent distortion of lines. Because of the slope of the land, I had to place the building in the vertical center of the frame when the exposure was made. I wanted the final composition to have the building be lower in the frame, at about 1/3 from the bottom. So I extended the sky upward and cropped out some of the foreground grass to achieve the final preferred composition.
4. The pavement was darkened using a curves adjustment.
5. I “harvested” the blue Virginia State flag seen in the final image from another exposure taken moments before so that it would be flying in concert with the American flag.
6. The white plastic PVC pipes along the roadway were removed.

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