In my courses at BetterPhoto.com's online photography school, one of the things I hope to communicate is to visualize creative options. You can do this with your photography before you make the picture, by thinking about how you wish the end result to be portrayed. My vision was for something sparkly and romantic, a far cry from the "before" photo below taken in downtown Orlando, Florida.
The second decision was to use a different lens and point of view than with the original image. To create a dramatic photograph, I used a fish-eye lens. To make it more fun, I positioned my tripod partially underneath the tower. This may require some limbo with the tripod and upward-facing fisheye lens.
The third decision was to make several exposures for HDR (High Dynamic Range). This allows you to retain detail in the highlight and shadow areas of the image. I made three exposures (-2, 0, +2) and merged the photos to create a single HDR image.
Last, but not least, a few finishing touches in Photoshop helped enhance the end result I had in mind when I made the picture. My vision - for gold, blue, sparkly and romantic - materialized through visualizing creative options! Make great pictures...
Notes from the Editor: Deborah Sandidge teaches two photo workshops online - Photoshop - Enhancing Digital Images and Creating Works of Art and Digital Infrared Photography - BetterPhoto's digital photography school.