Beaver and William: Making the Image

Posts, Show and Tell

It’s not easy to provide a lot of explanation or discussion of process in Flickr. It’s mainly for showing images, which is fine. I figure this would be a good place to go into more detail about how I produced an image.

I’ve been shooting a lot of Olympus Live Composite shots recently for what I call Architectural Stars, which basically place an architectural element in the foreground with star trails behind. I’ve mostly used longer focal lengths for these shots, but I tried a wider focal length for the image here.

I chose a spot at the corner of William and Beaver Streets in Lower Manhattan right outside Delmonico’s facing 20 Exchange Place and pointed the camera up toward the sky.

The following images describe my process.

Test Shot

This is a test shot at f5.6. There is visible lens flare in the shape of the aperture in multiple places.

Another Test Shot

I opened the aperture to the maximum of f2.8, which reduced the visibility of the lens flare. I then noticed a plane fly through the frame almost immediately after starting the exposure.


Here’s the straight out of camera base for the final image before any processing. You can see the color is too warm and there’s a lack of contrast. You can also see the plane trail on the right and the overexposed building in the upper right corner.

Processed Image

Here’s the image after adjusting color, contrast and clarity in Lightroom CC. I also applied a local adjustment to darken the shadows and add clarity and brighter whites to the sky.

Plane Trail Removed

The plane trail has been cloned out here, but that bright building is still there.

Replacement Image

This is the image used to replace the bright part of the building in the upper right corner.

Final Image

Here’s the final image with the bright part of the building in the upper right corner replaced. I brought the two prior images into Photoshop CC and aligned them as layers. I then erased the bright portion of the building to reveal the better exposed image below. That’s all folks.