Quick Fix Fridays: Turn Day into Night

This post is about turning a photograph that was taken during the day into one that appears as though it was taken at night. It’s about altering the reality of a scene and, perhaps most important, having fun with your photography.

When we remove the true color from a photograph, we remove some of the reality. The same is true for removing some of the sharpness from a scene. When we remove some of the reality from a photograph, that photograph can, but not always, look more creative and more artistic.

One of the techniques I use to remove/alter the reality of scene is the Midnight filter in Nik Color Efex Pro. That filter, when used correctly, can also change the ratio between the shadows and highlights in a scene, darkening the shadows and brightening the highlights. That’s another way to change the reality of an image.

Let me take you through the process I used to create the opening image for this post. I call that image, "By the Light of the Midnight Moon."

The first step was to crop my original photograph of several sandhill cranes. I took the shot in the late afternoon in Bosque del Apache, New Mexico on one of my digital photography workshops.

After a careful crop, I selected the Midnight filter. In Color Set, I selected Neutral, but try Blue, Green, Sepia and Violet for other creative effects. After selecting Neutral, I played around with the other settings to fine-tune my image.

The resulting image reminded me of a moonlit scene, but there was no moon in the shot. I grabbed the moon from another image and, because it was small in the frame and lacked detail, I used the Detail Extractor filter in Nik Color Efex Pro to bring out more of the detail in the moon.

Then I grabbed a horizon line from another image and used it as foreground element. My final image is a composite of three images. Good fun for sure!

I’d like to leave you with a John Lennon quote: "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."

Have a fun and creative weekend! Got questions? Drop by my website at www.ricksammon.com.

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