by Gary A. Cain, Ph.D.
Experiment With Blending Modes
It’s amazing how an ordinary daytime photo can become awesome by altering it to simulate night.
I love to use texture images to jazz up images in general, but some, such as the Cosmos series by Denise Love at 2 Lil’ Owls Studio (sold online through Design Cuts), excel at creating colorful night skies.
Execution is simple. Drag the texture image on top of your active image. Then go up to the blending modes menu and give several a try.
I often combine more than one blended texture to add even more visual interest. For the examples below, I used two in each to produce a rich, colorful night sky.
Rustic Country ChurchSimple use of layer masks [Remember: white reveals, black conceals.] kept the sky texture from appearing on the building.
Selective dodging and burning gave full control over the degree and areas of light and dark throughout the image.
Historic Colonial Joseph Bonner HouseThe beauty of converting a daytime photo into night is that much more visual detail can be kept from the original image than would normally be visible in a genuine night photo.
Historic Bath, NC Images
I shot the original photos handheld around midday in historic Bath, North Carolina, the area where my mother grew up. The church is the Athens Chapel Church of Christ, located about two miles west of Bath. The colonial residence is the Joseph Bonner House, built in 1830 right in Bath, overlooking the Point.
History buffs should visit Bath, as it is the oldest incorporated town in the state of North Carolina and runs along the scenic waterfront of the Pamlico River.
Museum-quality prints of these images can be purchased online using the following links: