Before-After : Scottish bridge

Here is a picture of Sligachan Bridge, on the Isle of Skye. The photo was taken during summer, on a warm sunny day. Unfortunately, the sun was a bit too high and -what did I expect- I wasn’t alone.


The sun right above the camera generates lens flare. The light is too hard, and the bridge is dark because of the back-lighting.

I first remove most of the details that dispute the fact that I am alone in the scenery.  With the clone stamp tool, I remove the people behind the bridge, the car and the electric pole on the right.

B_A-ScottishBridge_p1b B_A-ScottishBridge_p1a

B_A-ScottishBridge_p2a B_A-ScottishBridge_p2b

I then reduce the lens flare using the techniques I described in another article.

B_A-ScottishBridge_p3a B_A-ScottishBridge_p3b

B_A-ScottishBridge_p4a B_A-ScottishBridge_p4b

Then I get started on the exposure levels.


The bridge suffers a lot from back-lighting, so I increase its exposure using a Levels adjustment layer coupled to a layer mask of which I kept only the bridge itself.

I then simulate a graduated ND filter (which I did not own at the time) to decrease the sky exposure, too bright because of the sun orientation. I do this by coupling a Levels adjustment layer with a layer mask in which I painted a black gradient.

I am not quite pleased with the gradient-only solution, so I add another mask to reduce the exposure in the upper right corner.

Et voilà !

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