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Fw190 A5 of the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington

For those of you that follow me on Facebook this would be the image that I spent an immense amount of Photoshop time on and I promised I’d blog later about what I did.

Step one was to shoot a three shot sequence for HDR, with two stop increments. Then I opened it in Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro. Then I used the presets from Jason Odell and Tony Sweet and used the “natural exteriors 3” and of course made some customized tweaks, mainly intensifying the blacks. I find that most HDRs need a black boost to look real.

Then came the difficult part. This photo was taken at one of the Flying Heritage Collection’s free fly days, Luftwaffe Day to be precise. Thus, there were a ton of folks and other clutter behind the image. So to clean that all up I first started with the quick selection tool and selected the Fw190. I then went into refine edge to use the tools there to clean up the selection a bit more. I chose new layer with layer mask as the output option. I then went to the background layer and used content aware fill to eliminate the clutter. This left some weird spots, so I cloned those out manually. Then I did some lens blur on this background layer to make the next step blend better. Finally, I took an image of some grass around the airfield and composited in on top of the now weird looking line between the sky and pavement. I used free transform to stretch it into position and blurred it a bit to blend better.

Below is the mid exposure shot from the original HDR sequence.

As this is my first attempt with PS work of this type. I know I can do better in the future.

A word about the plane. This is a fabulous rare bird. It is currently the only Fw190 in the world flying with the original BMW801 engine. I suggest you go see it.