February – How I faked it – Red Wharf

_MG_4798Following on from my walk around Canary Wharf,  I arrived home and set about editing the shots.

One shot stood out from the rest. You might think this was a pretty bland shot. It is… and I thought that too until I started to play around with it.

In any apocalyptic film be it zombie, plague,  alien invasion or general stupidity with nuclear space hoppers, you will almost always see a shot like this. Everybody is dead or dying and it is all over. No point worrying if you left the gas on at home. Your home is most probably gone by now so get over it.

_MG_4798_aI first wanted to tone down the happiness of the first shot. For an apocalyptic scene this was far to ‘afternoon tea’ for me.

I pulled down the exposure but a lot but added to the highlights and sharpened slightly as I wanted the windows and the edges of the buildings to remain intact.

As it is still winter the trees looked dead anyway so they added to the scene of death and destruction quite well.

_MG_4798_bI added one of the texture files from the SLR Lounge Texture pack to add haze and grittiness to the scene.

It could be fall out or flakes of skin from the rotting flesh of zombies, you decide.

It was starting to take shape now but I thought it was missing something. What is a horror shot without something to add a bit of blood to it?

_MG_4798_cSo that is what I did. I added a layer of red over the top, blended the layer as just Colour and reduced the opacity to 55%.

So what else was needed? What else could happen after a cataclysm? It would rain…

Of course it would rain! There is nothing like beating back a hoard of zombies with an umbrella.

_MG_4798_dRendering a new layer of fibers, setting the blend mode to Screen and reducing the opacity to 33% gave me rain that was heading straight down. Adding a final motion blur filter created the slant I was looking for. Rain straight into the eyes.

_MG_4798_eI needed a bit of foreground interest in the shot to distract from the decay. I needed a positive.

If you find yourself being dragged to the floor and screaming while your leg it bitten off by a pack of rabid zombies then please relax and take comfort that in a world that is tearing itself apart, at least the municipal power company is still making a profit. If you ever do make it home alive you will probably find the bill on your door mat.

The lights were added by creating a standard lens flare and mirroring and flipping it three times to create the flood light lamps. This was then copied twice and reduced for the distance the other lights were situated.


The final composition per effect added.




  1. Hi Jon,
    Thanks for visiting my website following my FKP critique! Thanks for sharing your links with me! Wow great pictures and top blog you’ve inspired we! You need a full website with your blog and photos all in one place with your own Domain!!! Your style is wonderful keep up your hard work and look forward to following you in the future! 🙂

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