Now You See It, Now You Don’t!


What you see here is the new student housing building at VCU. What you don’t see is the traffic signal and traffic sign that was in front of it. Due to the tight constraints of this urban environment, the best view included the signal and sign covering part of the building. There was just no way around it. What was the solution? Did the city of Richmond remove the light, sign, pole and all? No. What I did was photograph the building from the ideal spot, despite the obstruction. I then moved a few feet over, far enough for the camera to see parts of the building that were covered in the first shot but not far enough to change the angle too much.


Using Photoshop, I copied the uncovered areas from the second shot and placed them over the signal, sign and pole in the first shot. The concept was simple, but required great attention to detail to blend the two. I had to skew some parts to match the lines of the building. Since light is always changing at dusk, I also had to color match. Next, I blended the streaking car lights from shot 2 into shot 1.


At this point I chose a sky from my library to replace the existing sky and remove the remaining traffic signal and street sign.  I also flipped the new sky photo so the darker clouds would be on the right side above the building instead of hidden behind it.


Charles Register is a North Carolina photographer and videographer with over 30 years experience producing quality, creative imagery for corporations, advertising agencies, magazines and small businesses in boardrooms, resorts and remote locations around the world.  Emphasis on travel and tourism, master planned communities, lifestyle, environmental portraiture, architectural photography, scenic landscapes and golf courses. Contact for assignments at 919 414.8235 or and please visit

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Raleigh, North Carolina photographer

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