Shot of the Week

After some creative Photoshopping last week, the theme of the 52 Weeks group on Flickr this week was “Surreal”.

This obviously gave another opportunity for some pixel manipulation but with the hustle and bustle of my working week nothing really jumped to mind.

Then, suddenly, it was Wednesday night – deadline day – and I had nothing to show. So while I sat in the kitchen eating my dinner I glanced up at our kitchen clock and the idea came to me.


The process was quite straight forward really;

  1. Take a copy of the clock face from which to extract the numbers, keep this layer switched off.
  2. Wipe the clock face on the main image clean using the clone stamp tool. In making the face out of the lightest areas from the middle of the clock I could use the ‘Lighten’ blend mode with the numbers to ensure that none of the edges of the number cut-outs would show up.
  3. Extract each number one at a time by drawing roughly round it with the lasso tool and then right click – new layer via copy. I included some edging from the original shot initially so that I could line the numbers up properly (highlighted below).Edge
  4. Rotating was easy, as every number on a clock face is 30 degrees so I just needed to work out how many degrees to rotate depending on the new position of the number and go to Edit – Transform – Rotate and type this value into the box at the top.Rotate
  5. Drop the number layer opacity to 40% to aid lining up correctly – this was where having some of the edge still in the selection really helped.
  6. Add a layer mask to the number and mask off the edge and the bulk of the unwanted area around the number. Set the number blend mode to ‘Lighten’ and check that the new number looked clean in position.
  7. Repeat for all of the numbers.
  8. For the two numbers that went under the hands I selected the hand from the saved clock face and made this into a new copy layer then moved this layer above the numbers.
  9. I added a new blank layer called ‘shadow’ and with a small brush painted a dark shadow roughly along the edges of the hands, copying how they looked in the original photo. Put this layer under the hands layer and reduce the opacity to get a realistic looking shadow.

Job done, and I’m pleased with the outcome.

On a separate note, you might remember my recent post on expensive photographs.

Well I saw this article in the Daily Telegraph this week that another photo of Billy The Kid is to be sold and could make $5m. Amazing.


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