Night at the drunken sauna
The drunken sauna must be one of the most peculiar and most shot spots in the Southern Finland. The place oozes mystery, especially at a calm and foggy morning such as the one I visited there this time. It is almost as if a witch would crawl out of the door it would only make perfect sense. The spot is surrounded by cities with heavy light pollution, so it is really hard to get a clean shot of the sauna with the stars. This image is a composite, meaning it has been combined out of two separate images. The milky way has been shot in Porkkalanniemi on a whole another shooting trip.
Creating composite images can be a painful task, but having a foggy base image, such as in this one, often helps out a lot. I started out creating a mask for the milky way and the reflection in photoshop. I did this by using select color range feature in Photoshop and perfecting the selection by hand. Then I placed and rotated the milky way image and decided it looked the best coming out at the top of the sauna. After that I copied and flipped the milky way image and aligned the “reflection” with the actual image of the milky way, creating the X in the middle of the image.
To create an authentic and natural feel I darkened the image of the drunken sauna and masked it appropriately with a relatively opaque brush until I was happy with the result. I darkened the reflection of the milky way as a part of this process, as natural reflections in water tend to be darker than the actual subject. After and along the way of the darkening process I edited the drunken sauna layer more blue to create nightly look, and separately edited the colors of all the layers by hand to match the colors.
I used the picker to select a nice color to add some fog in front of the sauna and on the lake with an opaque brush. To finish it off I played with plenty of contrast and color adjustment layers and added a custom vignette.