Necropolis Now

Just played with this a bit on photoshop. Not sure if I've added atmosphere or taken it away... Think it's better? Or should I not give up my non-photography day job?

Just to remind you, this was taken about 1am+ in the Eyptian capital's City Of The Dead (Greek: Necropolis, aka the Old Cairo Cemetary). People live amongst the sepulchres and mausoluems free of charge - like the landlord's going to haunt them? "Move out already, I've a dead couple willing to pay more rent!"

Some of the roads cut throught the middle of the cemetary, and we were coming from the EL Khalili Bazaar toards the Nile were my hotel was (and still is).

And obviously this guy panders to the universal thirst for a nice juicy watermelon in the middle of the night, as you sleep fitfully, dry-mouthed, amongst the dead.

Click for larger size, as the spam says

The original for your comparison...

Overbright, tilted, foreshortened and no shine on them there melons!


Am back in town for a few days (Mindanao, Philippines, next week), using an extended session of Photoshop to cure jet-lag.



Posted by: expat@large on May 27, 08 | 11:02 pm | Profile


I think I prefer the brighter version, atmospherically speaking. Nice image anyway.

Posted by: Dick on May 28, 08 | 12:45 am

On the other hand I like the darker one two. Hope this helps.

Posted by: Dick on May 28, 08 | 3:20 am

That should be 'too' of course. Hate when that happens.

Posted by: Dick on May 28, 08 | 3:22 am

Although I like that the second image straight and features closer to true black in the sky. I think you lost too much detail in th brickwork etc to get there.

This is the trouble of the digital age, you play around a lot and the original image is interpreted not just perfected. It would be great to have a modern version of the slide which is actually just capturing the light.

Posted by: sino man on May 28, 08 | 5:39 am

You definitely added looks like he is selling cannon balls :-)

So shall we gold class Indiana soon?

Posted by: Indiana on May 28, 08 | 6:53 am

i find the photoshopped version to be far more intriguing, sugar. the darkness hints at what lies beyond.

*hope you're feeling better.* xox

Posted by: savannah on May 28, 08 | 9:50 am

Wow, so many comments! Should turn this into a photoblog.

For your info; five layers in Photoshop. L1 background locked, L2 shiny (dodge tool) melons, desaturated color of sand under melons on left, 60% transparency, L3 noise^^^, greener melons, gaussian blur on night sky, 40% transparency, L4 gradient fill 70% transparency, L5 contrast boost. Like I said, I needed to something to concentrate on as the jet-lag tried to kill me.

Dick: helps a lot. Not.

Sino: I was trying to get more of a bas-relief effect in the brickwork - I introduced a lot of noise too to add to that. With the original I had pushed the ISO up which already gave a lot of noise, but being a bit overexposed I lost it. Mind you the overexposure does give it a sort of blinding washout effect, too, like it was a flare rather than a streetlight... an afterimage glow. Might go back and work on that.

Indie: they DO look like cannonballs! I boosted the green a lot on them, but couldn't to it too much. Re: CrystalSkull, it'll have to be in the next three days.

Sav: knew you'd understand exactly what I was trying to hint at...

Posted by: expat@large on May 28, 08 | 10:59 am

Sav: I was trying to make the door look more ominous...

Posted by: expat@large on May 28, 08 | 11:01 am

OK, now only another 350 photos to work on...

Posted by: expat@large on May 29, 08 | 2:24 pm


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