The Bradlands

6 acres of get off my land

I had some friends out to Leavenworth last weekend for Leavenworth's Oktoberfest celebration. It was an amazing weekend. One of the things that made it special is Samna Chheng, a coworker's fiance, surprised me with this sign. She made it herself. I absolutely love it. I hung it this morning on the tree that I pull my truck up to. It's my "home sweet home" sign.

The Fonts (from Samna):

For the "the", I used the lowercase version of a font called "Vast Shadow". It's also the font used for "Bradlands" but uppercase. For the "6 acres…", I used a bastardized version of "Special Elite". I tried burning the letters true to the font, but it looked too messy, so I cleaned it up a bit. Both can be found under Google Fonts.

The Photo:

The final image took some work, something like 1.5 hours in Photoshop. The challenge was that the background was in direct sunlight yet the sign and tree were not. Cameras end up exposing for one of both, neither way will work as the light was so drastically different. If I had an off camera flash I may have been able to get it in just one exposure but I know nothing about flash photography nor do I have a flash. Regardless with camera on tripod I auto bracketed 3 exposures at 1 stop apart. As normal I only end up using 2 of the resulting exposures.

I blended the two below photos together using the properly exposed portions from each. The blending was a pain as none of the selection techniques I know allowed me to quickly and easily select the tree and sign. So I had to do it manually with a small brush around the edges.

Properly exposed background

Properly exposed foreground

After blending the background was brighter which distracted the eye. I needed the eye to go to the sign not the background. With some contrast, sharpness, a very minor Orton effect, and other Photoshop wizardry I managed to draw the eye to the sign. It doesn't look completely natural but I'm happy with the end result.


-bradrer on Oct 11, 2013