I’m Just Waiting on a Friend

I had an early morning meeting today with a coworker and good friend. We both have busy lives, and have a difficult time meeting consistently, but we do make the effort. I got to his office this morning, and he was not in his office. I started wandering around the building, waiting on my friend, and saw this view of the Bay Bridge and the surrounding buildings which extended up into the fog. I got out my cell phone and started taking pictures, which immediately gave everyone the impression that I was a tourist and didn’t belong in the building. I had to let no less than three people know that I was just waiting on a friend for an 8:00 am meeting, who was not yet in his office.

Morning Fog San Francisco

A photograph of the Bay Bridge through morning fog where it connects to San Francisco taken from the 18th floor of a nearby building

This picture is a composite of two separate images. I took these images with my cheap little 5-mega pixel cell phone. I was shooting through the conference room windows, so I did my best to wrap my hands around the phone to eliminate the reflections from the room, but I did still have to remove two small ghosts of the light in the room.

Once I got the pictures into Photoshop, here is what I did to get the final image:

  • I used Photo Merge to stitch the two images together
  • I used the Free Transform tool to correct for some of the perspective distortion (keep the buildings standing up straight!)
  • I used the spot healing tool the get rid of the reflection from a light in the conference room that was reflecting off of the glass.
  • I used curves to increase contrast and do some general exposure correction to the image.
  • I added a layer mask to the curves adjustment layer, and applied a gradient to the adjustment layer mask so as only to change the lower portion of the image
  • I created a sharpening layer using a copy of the background upon which I use a high-pass filter and made the blending mode soft light.
  • I copied the layer mask from the curves adjustment layer to the sharpening layer, because sharpening fog just increases the noise.

And, just in case you didn’t get it, I have a hard time saying “I’m just waiting on a friend” without thinking of the Rolling Stones song, “Waiting on a Friend

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