A Simple Trick to Make Your Photos Pop

Do you find that your cityscape photos lack punch? Check out this tutorial for an easy way to add some pop to your images.

Coming to you from Photoshop guru Nemanja Sekulic, this tutorial demonstrates how you can add life to your images by stacking and blending multiple shots of the same scene at different times of day and in different lighting conditions to create spectacular results. Students of Elia Locardi's tutorials will find this to be familiar ground as it utilizes similar techniques as his "Moments in Time" approach.

The key is to use a steady tripod in the field so you can take the same shot over and over throughout your given time period. This makes life simple in Photoshop as you can easily blend your chosen shots over each other without having to worry about creating precise masks. As with most things Photoshop, subtlety is paramount. I usually blend a combination of late sunset and early-to-mid blue hour in my cityscape work to maintain a semblance of reality. Blending together a fiery sun with late blue hour lighting may look amazing but won't necessarily ring true to the viewer. 

What do you think of this approach? Please comment any tips or best practices below.

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5 Comments

Sam Emerson's picture

Oh wow I took about 100 shots of virtually the same composition when I was in Lisbon a couple weeks ago and have been dreading trying to figure out how to blend them. This helps so much! Thanks!

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Glad to hear it! Lisbon is awesome - what did you shoot? Did you make it to Porto? One of my favorite photography moments was shooting the town and Dom Luis bridge across the river from the Vila Nova de Gaia side. What a scene!

Krzysztof Kurzaj's picture

Since technique requires considerable time investment (for best effect) I would hardly say it's a good way to "add pop" to the photos. In that sense I find title of the writeup a bit misleading. It's fine of course to do it as a paarticular project but it's not some magic filter or trick that will turn any photograph into a more desirable one.

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Krzysztof - that's a fair point and I agree. The idea was more to teach a new way to improve travel, cityscape type photos and take them to the next level. Certainly not a magic technique that will improve every photo. Thanks for reading and commenting!

dale clark's picture

Yes, I agree..the title is a bit mis-leading