The Wild Blue Yonder


Pulling the pumper arm out of the background has been way more work than I initially thought it would be. This tiny portion of the whole image shows how much of the original background stays in the image, even after erasing the background itself. Our eyes don’t always see how much of a blue sky is reflected in what we don’t normally think of as reflective surfaces, such as the matte green paint on the metal pumper arm.

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Sometimes things just don’t line up properly. When that happens, you can throw the rubber ducky out with the bath water, or you can make a strategic edit. Today while joining two photos into a panorama, I noticed too late that the fences weren’t lining up. The fence stretched the length of the entire photograph, so I couldn’t just pick one and go with it; they had to join together. What I chose to do isn’t optimal, but it’s the best way to hide an obvious mistake so it becomes non-obvious.

Two images join imperfectly, but we've hidden it well

Hiding the dark fence join seam in the dark water reflection was the best place to hide in plain sight. This is, by the way, the same way JPEG compression works. By taking advantage of the way the eye passes over subtle color changes, we can hide imperfections in a photo that allow us to make a file size smaller, or save us hours of editing time making something perfect that doesn’t really have to be, not for our purposes.

Let the viewer’s brain do some image processing for us. It’s one step better than doing everything in The Cloud.