Pontiac Trans-Am Firebird Photo Composition

I love Firebirds and American Muscle cars in general. Maybe the universe will be good to me and I’ll be able to afford to own (and run) one some day! Some guy in Leitrim has a Firebird amazingly and I see/hear it pass by the odd time and drool. The Firebird is a version of the car model featured in ‘Knight Rider’.

Anyhow, for a bit of much needed Photoshop practice, I decided to edit a photo of a Pontiac Trans-Am Firebird into a photo of my dining table (no idea why the table!) and try make it look like it was really there instead of on some American highway.

Here’s what I started with, said pic of a Firebird on a highway sourced from Google (sue me):


And a pic of my dining room table top, taken at an angle to try to emulate the viewpoint in the Firebird pic above:

Dining Table

After careful cutout of the car with the Pen tool and placing it at the right point on the Table image as well as a bit of Perspective Lens Correcting of the table, I was able to make it look like it blended in a bit. Here are the steps I took to finish the composition off:

  1. Duplicate the Car layer and set the new layer to Multiply blend mode to make it fit in better light wise, after all the original car pic was taken outdoors daytime and I’m putting it in an indoor, dusk shot,
  2. Select the car layer and add a Photo Filter Adjustment layer with a colour sampled from the table. This helps the car fit in colour wise.
  3. Duplicate the car layer again and completely darken it then use the Transform tool to squash it down to the rough shape of a car shadow underneath the original car layer. Remember to match the shadow direction with the light source coming from the windows at the back of the table,
  4. Blur the car shadow layer until it looks about right then add a layer mask and tidy up with the brush tool,
  5. Create a new layer and select a soft brush, black colour and paint in the shadows under the wheels. The previous shadow step leaves the car looking like it’s hovering off the table and painting in a small shadow under the wheels really brings it back down,
  6. I had to cut out the windows too and lost a bit of the sun shield built into the windscreen but I was able to draw the missing bit back in, match the colour, add noise and blur it a bit to make it look like it was always there,
  7. Reflections for objects like this are very tricky but I managed to get a slight bit of a reflection in my shiny table for the wheels using the Transform – Skew & Gradient/Mask Tools.
  8. I then used the Burn (darken) tool to further darken some shaded bits and the Dodge (brighten) tool to make those beautiful chrome and gold strips really pop out,
  9. Next, I duplicated the Table layer and blurred the new one then added a layer mask and gradient to blur behind the car but keep in front in focus, just to give the image better depth,
  10. Finally, to add a bit of mood to the pic, I added a Vignette on top of everything and stuck a layer mask on it then a gradient on the mask to fade it out towards the back of the image,

And after sticking my business logo on the car door (as you do) using Transform – Skew/Warp, here’s the final composition. Like?:


Pontiac Trans Am Firebird


Make a 3D Image in Photoshop

I was surprised to find out recently that making 3D Anaglyph images, ie – old style Stereoscopic, Red & Cyan as opposed to the modern Polarized type of effect used in the likes of Avatar, was really pretty straightforward and quick.

Here’s how:

  1. Get a proper camera, (not phone!) and take 2 images of any object from the same position using the viewfinder. One with each eye,
  2. Import both photos into Photoshop and copy and past the image taken with the right eye into the image taken with the left eye so that they both overlap exactly,
  3. Double click the Right eye layer to open up the Blending Options screen and turn off the Red Color channel under “Advanced Blending” as below:
  4. Blending Options
  5. Select the Left eye layer and use the Move tool to align the image to whichever Focal point you prefer to make that point the focus of attention.
  6. DONE!

Get hold of some 3D glasses and view the result! Here’s my effort:

3D Office


Crazy BP Photoshop Twitpic Stats

Twitpic is a Twitter related service for sharing photos via Twitter in real time and is normally included in the likes of Phone and PC Twitter clients by default. As you send out a tweet, you can attach a picture from your PC or Phone camera and the application will automatically embed a Twitpic link so your followers can view the picture. One of the best things about Twitpic is the stats it gives on how many people have viewed your pic and while I suspect they are not terribly accurate (Simply refreshing adds hits!) and possibly count search robot visits, etc..it’s still a good, rough indication of viewer numbers.

Most of the pics I post to Twitpic go out on Facebook too and I get on average about 30 to 40 hits, however a recent upload went totally off the scale! Readers might have heard about the recent controversy involving British Petroleum (BP) when they released a poorly Photoshopped (edited) image to the media depicting a BP monitoring room where workers were keeping an eye on the oil leak. The image was edited to make it look like they were a little busier than they actually were but it wasn’t a great job!

I spotted a link from Wired magazine on Twitter asking for members of the design community to have a go at altering the original BP photo for the laugh and to see if they could do a better job than the botched BP one so I gave it a bash, seeing a good oportunity to get my Photoshop skills some coverage and maybe get some work in considering the Twitpic links to my main Twitter account with all my business info and web links attached!

Here’s the result below depicting some ‘alternative/lighter viewing’ in the BP control room and here’s my Twitpic with stats (currently 17,864 hits):


Photo Restoration & Editing Leitrim

Photo Restoration and Editing is something I do a lot of here.

I can offer the following * Digital Photo Editing services at affordable rates:

Photo Restoration:

We’ve all got a lot of printed photos from way back and unfortunately they degrade and fade over time and thats WITH proper care and storage! If you have old black & white or color photos that are gone sepia toned or faded or if they have scratches, fold marks or torn edges, I can scan them in or accept your own digital scans, and fully restore them for posterity.

Photo Colorization:

If you have an old black and white photo that you’d like to see in full color then send it in or send a a scan and I will apply your chosen colors.

Photo Collages/Montages:

Got a bunch of photos from a studio photo shoot or special occasion? I can arrange them in a nice collage with suitable background.

Photo Compositions & Editing:

A photo composition involves removing or adding objects or people from photographs. New backgrounds or locations can also be added or just about anything else you can imagine!

DVD & CD Slideshows:

I can arrange a themed group of photos in a video slideshow with zooms and transition effects accompanied by the music soundtrack of your choice. This is a very effective and modern way of viewing your photos and will last longer than traditional printed photo albums.

* Printing is not a service I currently offer.

For samples view the Graphics page on the main Reverb Studios site.

To upload your photos for processing, click HERE.

For other photographic work not mentioned here, please contact me – most things can be done!