Adding Drama to Epcot’s Spaceship Earth

Sometimes I look at a photo and know it has more potential than what I see straight out of the camera. For instance, this photo of Spaceship Earth in Epcot’s Future World is good but looks a little flat. All the elements are pretty much the same color and exposure.

Spaceship Earth Before Processing
Spaceship Earth in Epcot’s Future World just after sunset at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida before processing. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 1800, EV 0, 120mm Focal Length.

I wanted to add some drama to the scene. Using Adobe’s Lightroom CC photo editing software, I started by dropping in a Graduated Filter from the top down to where the sky meet the trees, monorail and buildings.

Spaceship Earth with Graduated Filter
Spaceship Earth with Graduated Filter.

By lowering the exposure of the filter, it brought out more color and darkness to the sky. It also did the same to the top of Spaceship Earth. To remove it, I selected the Luminance Mask and checked the Show Luminance Mask box to see where the mask was active.

Spaceship Earth with Graduated Filter Mask
Spaceship Earth with Graduated Filter and Luminance Mask.

By moving the Range Slider, I raised the mask (seen here in red) away from Spaceship Earth.

With that done, I wanted to pull out Spaceship Earth from the background. To do it, I selected the Radial Filter which uses a round filter. I carefully set it to cover Spaceship Earth. I increased the exposure, added texture, clarity and saturation inside the filter.

Spaceship Earth with Radial Filter
Spaceship Earth with Radial Filter allowing for processing of what is inside the circle. I used it here to bring up the exposure of Spaceship Earth and add some saturation and texture.

Here is a Before (left) and After (right) the addition of the filters to the photo.

Spaceship Earth Before and After Processing
Spaceship Earth Before and After Processing in Adobe Lightroom CC.

I think I accomplished my goal for adding drama and making Spaceship Earth  the subject of the image. Here is the final image:

Spaceship Earth After Processing
Spaceship Earth in Epcot’s Future World just after sunset at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida after processing with the Graduated and Radial Filters.

I found to not add a lot of change. I go slow and add and subtract slowly so as not to overdo it.

If you process your images, what tools do you like to use?

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Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

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