Night Photo to Sketch

Back in April I came across a cool technique on the NAPP member website, written by Darrell Heath, that takes a night photo of a building and turns it into a tinted “archival sketch” type image. (members can sign in to view the tutorial here).

Here’s how it works:

  • First off, find a good shot taken at night with the outside lit up.
    (I used a photo of Washington, DC found on Wikipedia by Fernando Revilla under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 license.)washington_dc_at_night-1.jpg

  • Next, apply an Invert Adjustment Layer to the image.
  • Duplicate the background layer (Ctrl+J) and make it the topmost layer in the Layers Pallette.
  • Though it’s not mentioned in the tutorial, it is important to now select the color you would like to use for the final color cast now. I chose black and a brownish copper color.
  • With the duplicate layer selected, apply a Filter>Sketch>Bas Relief to the image with the settings of your choice. I set the light source to Top Right with settings of Detail: 14 and Smoothness: 2 (per the tutorial, but it’s up to you). And click OK.
  • Change the blend mode of that same layer to either Hue or Color – whichever you prefer.
  • Adjust the opacity of that same layer to dial in the color cast to your liking.
  • The resulting image should look something like this:washington_dc_at_night-2.jpg

Have fun with it!

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