Experimental Images : A Window to the World


A Window to the World

WTTW Channel 11 is the local Public Television Station here in Chicago, IL. Their byline is “A Window to the World”. It is a play on their call letters. Not far from where Channel 11 does its broadcasts is the local Garmin Store.

What you might not expect is that there is a confluence between Bicycling and Photography these days that revolves around the now ubiquitous GPS system.

You will notice that on the home page of this site along the right edge are a collection of bicycle routes. These are generated by capturing the log file from the Garmin Edge 605 bicycle GPS unit and uploading them to the Garmin Connect site where the data is displayed as an overlay onto an electronic map.

Now cameras are increasingly coming equipped with a GPS unit built into or attached as an aftermarket option to allow the camera to capture the GPS coordinates of the photographer at the moment of image capture to be later displayed as a single pin point on an electronic map. The Nikon Coolpix S9300 has such a system. And so does the Nikon 1 V1.

So here I was waiting for Connie outside the Garmin Store on Michigan Avenue when I spotted these giant planters. I took the picture because the pots were interesting against the stark wall. Then it occurred to me that the large expanse of wall needed something, anything to liven it up. Why not turn two of the granite slabs that make up the facade into windows looking out onto a cloud-filled sky? So that is what I did.

Technical Discussion

This image relies on two big steps. The first is to export a finely adjusted image from Adobe Lightroom 4 to Adobe Photoshop 5.1. Once inside of Photoshop the first thing to do is add a new layer. When you have the layer added make certain that it is selected because you now want to run a real-time script called Render which will produce a cloud patter for you. I would advise however that just before you run Render that you choose a specific color blue for your foreground color and let white serve as the background color.

Once the cloud is rendered you should turn the layer into a layer mask where the attribute is hide all. Now go back and set the foreground color to black and the background to white and then choose your brush tool to “paint in” those portions of the cloud layer where you want them in your base layer.