Chateau Queyras sitting on the top of the World

Sitting on top of the world, or so it seems. Like many other castles and fortress in mountain areas, Chateau Queyras sits overlooking a pass for protection. --Jacob Surlandwww.caughtinpixels.comArt sale as limited prints. Photo by Jacob Surland, Licensed Creative Commons non-commercial v4.0. No Derivative Work. Protected by Pixsy.com.

Chateau Queras in the French Alps.

Sitting on top of the world, or so it seems. Like so many other castles and fortresses in mountain areas, Chateau Queyras sits overlooking a pass for protection. While Chateau Queyras might not be the most famous castle in the world, it certainly is picturesque. I shot this photo, as I was coming down from the mountain, after having shot this one:

Chateau Queras is placed like the old fortress it is, to guard the entrance to Queras, a beautiful area in the French. Quite a gem really, full of beautiful places and then this beautiful old castle. Photo by: Jacob Surland, www.caughtinpixels.com

Long exposure photo of Chateau Queyras.

I shot these shots while attending a photo workshop by Duncan MacArthur. One of the advantages of going on a photo workshop is, that you get the photo locations served right in front you.

About the processing of the first photo

The top photo is a combination of an HDR photo and long exposures. Cars don’t come by very often, and I had to wait for at least 5 minutes, after having shot my HDR series. I think the light trails adds a nice touch to the photo, and it fills an empty space area in the lower left corner. If you are interested in my general HDR workflow, you can find it here.

I did a lot of cloning in this photo. As a Fine Art photographer, I see myself as an artist I am not trying to portray reality in any way. I am bridging between reality and surrealism, and I do to photos what I like, and what I find fun. And actually I sometimes find it a great sport, to see how much you can remove from a photo, and still not notice, without scrutinizing it.

In the case of the top first photo of this post, I removed a fence and a phone booth.

Chateau Queyras - clone away

In this case I found it a great sport to remove in particular the phone booth. I end up feeling like a painter.

I use a combination of the Healing Brush Tool and the Clone tool. The Clone tool makes an exact match, while the Healing Brush Tool does some magic, to match both lights and tones. And to be honest, it quite often fails in doing a good job.

Chateau Queyras - clone away - tools

In this image I used the Clone tool a lot, to get exact match texture control. This resulted in a too bright piece of wood (see #2 below). This area is more in the dark, than the areas above, I used to clone from. To fix that, I added an Exposure layer mask, set the exposure to approx -1.27 stop, inverted my mask (CTRL+I or on a Mac CMD+I). My adjustment layer is now hidden, but I can paint it in using the brug tools. And by doing this with a 30% opacity I can dark areas I want to darken.

Chateau Queyras - clone away - fix light

I ended up darkening the two areas #1 and #2 (se image above).  The first area was just ‘too bright’, as a result from the HDR tone mapping and it attracted too much attention, to my liking. But #2 was a real problem, because it was obvious it was faked.

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