In pursuit of a riverside sunrise

Follow Dutch photographer Claire Droppert as she searches for moments of tranquillity in and around Rotterdam.

In pursuit of a riverside sunrise

How Claire got this shot

 


For this dramatic photo of Rotterdam’s iconic skyline, Claire uses the geometry panel to correct perspective and then adds a series of radial and linear gradients to brighten the image and make the most of the morning light.
 

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1. Basic adjustments


Because this image was shot from a moving boat, the horizon is tilted. Claire opens the Crop panel and clicks and drags on the image to rotate it until the horizon is level. In the optics panel, Claire then enables Lens Correction to remove distortion from her camera lens and checks the box to remove chromatic aberration, too.

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2. Correct perspective in the Geometry panel


To further adjust the perspective and tilted horizon in this image, Claire goes to the Geometry panel and selects the ‘guided’ upright mode. Then she adjusts the horizontal, vertical and distortion sliders to correct the perspective.

About the Geometry panel

In this panel you can remove perspective distortions like crooked horizons. Select one of the pre-set ‘upright’ modes and then use the sliders to adjust the image further.
 

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3. Crop to remove distracting objects


In the crop panel, Claire drags a corner of the image to remove the roof of the boat and let the skyline take up more of the image.

 

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4. Edit particular areas with radial gradients


Claire adds a radial gradient to the lightest parts of the sky and water. She increases the ‘feather’ slider to 91 so the effects applied will be gradual. She then increases the exposure and temperature slides to brighten and warm up the image before adding a second radial gradient over the water.

 

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5. Add a linear gradient to the sky


Claire then adds a linear gradient to the sky: bringing the exposure down and increasing the contrast to make the skyline even more dramatic. She also increases dehaze to 30 to make the starburst effect more defined.

About the linear gradient tool

The linear gradient tool is another way of editing just part of your image. It works particularly well when there are straight edges in your image so it’s useful for selectively editing the sky or sides of buildings. In the selective edits panel select the square with a gradient in. Click and drag on the image and lines will appear to show where you will be placing your gradient – move and rotate it until you’re happy. Hover over the blue dot in the centre and you’ll see a shaded radient overlay which simulates your gradient. Then you can set the effects you want your linear gradient to apply.
 

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5. Make targeted edits with the brush tool


Claire opens the brush panel, selects the brush tool and applies it to the shadows on the water. She reduces the exposure to further darken the shadows and add contrast.

 

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7. General adjustments


In the edit menu, Claire increases the contrast and exposure across the whole image and brings down the blacks. She then increases the vibrance and decreases the saturation in the colour panel. In the light panel, Claire increases the exposure again, brings up the highlights and decreases the shadows to lighten the image and bring out more detail in the skyscrapers. She also moves the tint slider towards red to warm up the image.

Claire Droppert


Claire Droppert

Claire Droppert is a photographer whose work celebrates serenity, simplicity and calm. She’s drawn to desolate spaces, waterscapes and open expanses of coastlines. Her focus on minimalist subjects combined with her unique editing style results in her signature dreamy, ethereal look.

Claire is interested in exploring the interaction between urban architecture and the natural world, finding peaceful moments even in the heart of a busy city. Her images have earned her almost 300,000 Instagram followers and her work has appeared in publications including Discovery magazine, The Huffington Post, Wired, ABCNews, This is Colossal, Visual News, Design You Trust and Fubiz.


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