Photoshop to the Rescue: Cleaning Up a Magnificent Icon

by Jim Zuckerman

Before
Before
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
The famous Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain, is one of the worldís great architectural masterpieces. I was anxious to add this stunning work of art - albeit unfinished Ė to my photo library because itís one of the most famous icons of Spain. In terms of stock sales, icons sell all the time. And even though itís been photographed for decades, I hadnít photographed it and thereís no telling when a client of mine might need a picture of this famous place.

Unfortunately, at the time, there was a huge amount of construction on it. Itís unfortunate for photographers but ultimately the finished cathedral will be even more magnificent than it is now. There were an unbelievable number of cranes above it, as you can see in the Before image, but those were easy to clone out in Photoshop. The crane and the scaffolding on the left side in front of the architecture were the real challenges.

After
After
© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
At BetterPhoto.com, I teach courses in both Photoshop and in making money with photography. This photo exemplifies how Photoshop is a crucial skill needed to market your work. The cathedral with all the construction equipment (Before) is almost impossible to sell, but after two hours of meticulous work, the cleaned-up version (After) can sell in many types of markets. I chose to take this picture at twilight because of the dynamic colors and the beautiful contrast, and Iíve found that this type of lighting increases the sales potential significantly.

I used a Canon 1Ds Mark II and a 16-35mm wide-angle zoom set to 30mm. My exposure data was f/7.1 at 1.3 seconds and 200 ISO. I used a tripod, of course. Note how dynamic the graduated blue sky is compared to what a black sky would have looked like. This is what makes the difference between an average photo and one that makes a photo buyer want to use the image.


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Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.