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I’m excited about this month’s behind-the-scenes, because I had so much fun putting this one together.

This artistic rendition of the eclipse is a composite of ten images.

First, I combined three images of varying exposures into an HDR to pull out the details of the corona along with the solar prominences.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Next, I added a blue color cast, because I really liked the cooler tone, and I cleaned up some of the noise with Topaz DeNoise.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Then came the fun part!

I gathered a handful of images at different phases of the eclipse.  As I was shooting all throughout, it was easy to choose a good sampling of sizes.  I touched up the color somewhat in Lightroom (though not much was needed), and I made sure the color, relative exposure, and cropping were all the same between them.

Then I took them over to Photoshop.

Using my HDR image as a base, I simply began with the narrowest sliver of sun and worked my way inward.

Each layer was applied as a “lighten” layer, which means it would only apply pixels that are brighter than what’s behind them.  This works well on a black background, and I didn’t have to worry about square corners obstructing the blue corona of the background or any of the other pieces.


It took me a few tries to get the rotation of each piece where I wanted it.  I kept the orientation of the first and last pieces true to how they were shot, and the rest were placed at even intervals between them.

I also had to adjust the size as I moved inward, attempting to fill the space but not crowd it, and make minor tweaks until everything looked just right.

And then it was done!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Questions?  Feel free to leave them below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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