A trip to Washington DC would not be complete without a visit to the White House.   

We tried to get tickets for a White House tour through our representative’s office  but were apparently too late for the spring rush on visiting Washington.  So doing a walk by would have to suffice.

While I was standing in front of the fence taking pictures of the White House along with several hundred other tourists, I wondered to myself why I was doing it.  I seldom, if ever,  take the “usual” sorts of images in tourist locations.

Then I thought of my new project doing portraits of people’s homes.  This would be the ultimate home portrait – the White House!  

It was fun and a good way to practice my skills, as each image presents it’s own challenges.

Like the post from a few weeks ago, Makeover Story: Portrait of a Cozy CottageI thought I would share with you the steps involved in creating this home portrait of the White House.

  • For this image, I wanted to capture as much of the landscaping on either side, so that I could make decisions later about what to include or not.  So I took three images, as you see below.
White House Originals_©Gail Haile

White House Originals_©Gail Haile

  • In Adobe Photoshop, I merged those three to make one image that included the whole wide view of the house and the landscaping.
  • I added to the sky to give more space above the house and the one tall tree.
  • The image was cropped to make an interesting composition.
  • There were quite a few distracting elements that needed to be removed, a green golf cart, some blue things (no idea what they were), some spot lights, a person walking down the front left steps, and a few other small items.  I use a variety of tools and techniques based on the specific element and what is around it in the image.
  • There was a long row of spent tulips in front of the hedge, between the red tulips currently blooming.  I decided to paint in red tulips over the spent ones so they became a focal point that frames the house.
  • I love cloudless skies, except in a painting.  So I painted in some clouds, just enough to balance out the image.
  • After that, it needed some contrast and brightness and extra color painted in on the shrubs, trees, and flowers.  Some overall adjustments to contrast and color were also done.

The result, a home portrait for the White House! 



As always, please share this with anyone you know who may also be interested.  Thanks!