As a change of scenery, here’s an inanimate object that works well for stock photography.  And with stock photography, you’re usually trying to tell a story, so the story could either be a run down railroad crossing sign, or a more vibrant colored setting where it looks like the sign is actually being used.  I chose the later.

RR CrossingWork that was done:

  • Cleanup of the background, to make a nice blue sky.  A little tricky because the sky had some specific texture to the clouds, so you couldn’t just clone from anywhere to anywhere else.
  • Color enhancement – saturated the blues and adjusted the contrast a little, to bring out more texture in the sign.
  • Straightened the sign in the image.
  • “Turned on” the red light by making a curves adjustment layer that brightened up the mid tones and painted a mask just where the bulb was (and right around it for some glow onto the nearby metal).

You can also see this image at fotolia.com.