Retouch: Artificial Sun

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When ANZ rebranded, one of the stipulations in the style guide for the Institutional sector of ANZ was that all photographic images needed to have a clear blue sky, and the sun. While sourcing images with these elements in itself is not difficult, finding these images which also have a relationship to institutional banking is a bit harder.

I’d often come up against an image which was perfect conceptually, but had no sun in the sky. This led me to created a couple of artificial, but photo-realistic, sun images that I could insert into any image with a clear blue sky. Bingo, that image was now brand compliant :)

Using existing sun images as a reference, I created two versions (I needed some variation!) of a completely artificial sun, complete with realistic lens flare.

While the suns looked authentic, the illusion could only be fully realised if any elements in the non-sun-blessed image had a light source and shadows that would be true to where I placed my artificial sun. For example, you could not have a an object lit from directly in front, because my artificial sun needed to be in the shot, and not behind the photographer’s position.

The illusion has worked every time so far :)

The sky and yellow grass image in my example is by Jon Wiley.