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Rebekah on the Hawthorne Bridge

Posted by
Stephen Phillips (San Francisco, United States) on 15 April 2010 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

Portland, Oregon

You may remember my niece, Rebekah, from some of our earlier bridge photography in Portland, Oregon - and our twilight adventures at Oaks Amusement Park. Rebekah may well have saved my life here and more than once. There is a huge amount of bicycle traffic over this bridge. As you can see from the markings on the sidewalk - the lanes on the sidewalk are prescribed - bicycles to the inside - pedestrians along the rail.

I would set the tripod and then would start fussing over the camera settings - while Rebekah would yank hard on my collar - pulling my head back in as one bicycler after another whizzed by. I was not used to this arrangement - and the experience was unnerving. Thank heavens the niece was along.

[Photoshop Trick]: The bicycler in this shot was as bright and sharp as my niece. His jacket is electric green and - next to her face - was most distracting. I used the 'quick selection tool' to isolate both he and his bike. After cleaning the selection a little bit with the lasso tool - I then copied him onto a new layer. Next, I applied a motion blur. I experimented with the amount and angle until it looked natural to the incline of the bridge. Finally - I used the hue/saturation tool to remove a good deal of color from his bright jacket and to tone down the lightness. Mission accomplished. And the effect on this element adds now to the image - instead of standing as an annoying intrusion.

I only took 3 photographs during my week here. You will see all three of them - taken right here at the Hawthorne Bridge (this is the first). It rained and then it rained some more. As we walked along this bridge - I was looking at the sky and becoming nervous - as all of my weather bags were in the car - blocks away...

© copyright 2018 by Stephen Phillips Photography / Oakland, California /
please respect these rights - do not copy or use these images without permission.

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

great shot, love the guy on the bike

15 Apr 2010 5:08am

Karthik from Chennai, India

Great shot. Interesting tip on the technique. Waiting for the entire series to unfold

15 Apr 2010 5:58am

@Karthik: Thanks, Karthik.

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Very good trick, Stephen, it worked perfectly. Thnaks for yout tutorial :)
Good moment also, I like her taking her own photos. And that paths look dangerous, really.

15 Apr 2010 6:19am

@Paco Díaz: It is dangerous for those that aren't used to the system. Had my niece not been there to pull my head back on at least one occasion - I would have either been hit or the biker might have wound up having to shoot off of the tall steel curb into the roadway to avoid the impact.

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Excellent Photoshop trickery glad that you shared it, some others will learn a fair bit from that tip.

15 Apr 2010 9:49am

JPS from Le Havre, France

Nice shoes !! Fa caldo ???

15 Apr 2010 10:24am

Marcie from Newton, United States

Nice portrait. Love the candid expression!!

15 Apr 2010 11:17am

Anthony Morgan Lambert from Bielefeld, Germany

That´s alot of processing for just one bike rider..Hats off to your guardian angel niece as well !!

15 Apr 2010 11:35am

@Anthony Morgan Lambert: Hey, Anthony - I will confess to having spent a good deal of time in Photoshop - so I have become fairly fluid with its tricks (at least the ones that I know). There was very little time involved in this little patch - well less than three minutes.

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

Amazing work on this Stephen and I like what you did with the bicycle rider and I like the perspective also! Stay dry!

15 Apr 2010 6:57pm

sherri from Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

A coat and sandals. I see that so often and wonder how they can stand it. Love the green lights on the bridge.

15 Apr 2010 10:09pm

@sherri: I'll be certain to ask Rebekah about the footwear when I speak with her a little later. Thanks for the visit.

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

cool shot......and i LOVe the coat and sandals!!! that's Livin' !! Nice job taking the focus off the bike rider too!!

15 Apr 2010 11:17pm

@Susan: Thanks, Susan - "Fashion Tips of the Pacific-Northwest" - yours here at no additional charge.

Charles Dastodd from Chicago, United States

nice shot!

15 Apr 2010 11:29pm

JJ from Jersey City, United States

Great shot looks a cool old bridge, thanks for the info on the processing, will have to try that

15 Apr 2010 11:46pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Same fashion tip as down here in S Florida in the wintertime!!! Perfect Look !!!

15 Apr 2010 11:56pm

Susan from Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Just hate wearing shoes!!! fact is....last Sunday, stopped at world famous ron jon's surfshop, (pics coming up!), and bought just one thing...... NEW FLIP FLOPS!!!

15 Apr 2010 11:57pm

drphoto from Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Nice trick with the cyclist. I like all the green lights in this shot and their reflection in the rail on the right. I think this would have been just as good wihout anyone in the frame!


16 Apr 2010 12:26am

@drphoto: Thanks - I agree, Dan - and hope you'll be back tomorrow - I'd love to know what you think...

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Kudos to Rebekah for giving you the heads up.

16 Apr 2010 1:59am

@Ralph Jones: Oh, Ralph - ouch - that hurts...

Bethany from Michigan, United States

Interesting story behind the photo. So easy to get caught up in the camera!

16 Apr 2010 3:07am

ordinaryimages from Kentucky Bluegrass, United States

I have to sit think you of all people, would resort to cheap photoshop tricks...oh dear. All my images have motion blur : ] best...jerry

16 Apr 2010 3:11am

@ordinaryimages: Cheap tricks - - - Cheap thrills - - - it all depends on which end of the binoculars you're looking through.

k@ from Paris, France

The man leaving in motion blur under the 3 green eyes, love it with all those signs

16 Apr 2010 7:38am

David from Detroit, United States

As soon as the temperatures hit 40 degrees F, my students broke out the flip flops! Amazing. Anyway, this story continues to be fun. Thanks for the PhotoShop tutorial!

17 Apr 2010 2:11pm