Take what you can get

Every once in a while photographs are simply the result of serendipity, some crashing together of incidents that were never intended to coincide but manage to do so.  For example:

This is famous Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, the only known one in the world.  Every year the town decorates the exterior of the building in corn to portray that year’s theme of the corn festival.  All the corn is grown in the area and all the work done by townspeople.  As Mitchell is right off Interstate 90 between Sioux Falls and Wall Drug (or Rapid City, or Sturgis – pick your reason for being on I-90) the Corn Palace sees quite a bit of tourist traffic even when the festival is over.  This year was touch and go – the drought seriously impacted the quantity of corn in the area, especially the unique colored corn used for the designs.  But they managed to finish it up and everyone is enjoying this year’s tribute to youth activities.

I was in Mitchell for a couple of days on business and decided to make some images as the tourist crowds were small during the week.  Some were made before sunset and some afterwards as they light up the Palace.  The building is downtown so the opportunities for different compositions are pretty limited but it wasn’t until I started looking at my files today that I realized I had two images taken at different times that were almost the same perspective.  And that’s how the above picture came about.

Here’s the daytime image:

And here’s the night version:

I dropped them both into Photoshop as Layers (images stacked on top of each other) and reduced the Opacity of the daytime version until I got the view of the lights I wanted.  Here’s my Photoshop Layers palette:

You see the Opacity of the top layer is down to 26%, which means only that much of the image’s luminosity is showing through.

After that it was just a matter of tweaking the night image a bit in order to line up the lights with the structure (it’s not a perfect job but not bad for 5 minutes of work).  And I get a final image that looks like I waited until after sunset.

Never believe what you see in a photograph……


2 thoughts on “Take what you can get

  1. fascinating story about decorating the building with corn, how do they attach it? Cool editing I really thought it was a twilight shot before reading the rest of the post.


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