The Magic Frame – Fixing Stonehenge



In India, there is this expression – “Photoshop Kar Do”, or more appealingly, “Photoshop kar do, na?!”

The second is used by girls, speaking in their most winsome manner. The general assumption behind “Photoshop Kar Do”, or “Do The PS”, is that there is a magic wand hidden somewhere inside Photoshop, that you just swish, and voila! A perfect image appears!

As some of you know, while there is indeed a Magic Wand Tool, it is a selection tool. There is no magic wand, or the type that Harry Potter or Severus Snape swish, to complete an image.

So, to quote the much revered Ansel Adams, ‘you make a photograph’.

What this means is, that you go ahead, and photograph it, and then edit it with some sort of a vague final image in mind. The image that you have in your mind progresses along the edits. Yet, it is good to start with some clarity of the end in mind, before you start the edit.

This takes time, and sometimes it all goes wrong. In the edit above, I started by creating an Orton Effect. I changed the hue of the clouds, and did a bunch of burning and dodging.

If you look at the picture, I have highlighted some of the areas that I think are okay. I have circled those that are a complete mess, and I have added a few comments. So, that was about 45 minutes of work down the tube.

This morning, I put in another hour or so. In these edits, I used a relatively straight approach. Well, not so straight actually.

The base was the same:

Three curves layers, targeting specific highlight areas

HSL adjustments targeting blues and yellows

Burning and dodging

This is version 1


In version 2, I added a warming filter to the yellows, and a cooling filter to the skies


In version 3, I added a Restored Orton  effect. This, I restricted to the highlights


So, you can all decide which version you like most!


  1. Photoshop is really nothing but an extension of our photographic creativity and skills. We use both to create a well exposed and composed image. Photoshop allows us to extend the making of an image into whole new areas. It requires skills and creativity too. There is a learning curve and it is steep for both photography and Photoshop. The only magic wand is in your soul and your heart. It takes a long time to find it. By the way, try converting your last image to black and white. You may find something interesting.

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