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A Lexus Composite

In my 2021 fall semester at Southwest Minnesota State University, I enrolled in Digital Art - I dive into Adobe Photoshop. As a photographer, there are many images that don't meet your expectations. For my final project, I wanted to revive one of those old photos that didn't make the cut. This shot of Jason Chunn's beautiful Lexus was taken at MN Cars & Coffee in Shakopee this last summer. The most difficult part in my eyes of making this final composite was removing unwanted reflections on this car. On the bottom left of the vehicle, you'll notice another car made its way into the shot - frankly this is just part of shooting at car shows.

I achieved this blacked-out, studio look by masking the vehicle into a black background. I wanted to create this scene of the car emerging out of the night's darkness. I played around with tone curves and used the burn tool to really enhance the depth created by the car's body lines to get my desired lighting situation.

The next big task was the headlights - working in photoshop as a beginner is 90% experimentation as there are a million ways to achieve the same thing. Discovering the way that works best for your situation takes a lot of trial and error. After switching up blending modes and opacities, I got my desired look.

With so many raindrops all over this vehicle (the August Cars & Coffee was a wet one), I decided to just add a rainy overlay which was much more efficient than trying to remove the drops on the car (and ended up adding a lot to the image). I followed that up with fog to add to the headlights' effects. Last but not least, that grille is such a prominent part of the car so I mimicked a reflection at the bottom of the photo, using the liquify tool to give it some movement.

While I am no photoshop professional, I made exciting strides this semester. Thank you to the guidance of Professor Hale, in addition to the countless YouTube creators that helped me grow!

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