Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC

June 17, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC FinalEarth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC

The tip of the day is about selecting circles and moving and resizing selections. See end of this post.

I have wanted to do something like this for a while and the recent wet weather provided some good editing days. The picture is intended to depict a view of the Earth from the Moon about 4.5 billion years ago. This was soon after a (few hundred million years) the Moon was formed by a collision between the Earth and another Planet. At this time the Moon was much closer to the Earth about 12,000 - 20,000 miles as opposed to its current 239,000 miles. The earth would have looked enormous in the sky of the Moon. Following the collision the Earth had magma oceans and a lot of volcanic activity. This was also a time of volcanoes and lava flows on the Moon.

I wanted to achieve this image entirely photographically from my own images. No digital painting, no textures and no planet or star images from others like NASA.

Landscape Image

3 main layers were used. First for the landscape I used a picture of the Volcanoes National Park, Timanfaya on Lanzarote. This immedite area where the picture was taken is the appropriately known Tranquillity Valley. This area had many volcanic eruptions and massive lava outflows only 250 years ago. This area in the centre of the Park can only be seen from a coach on a road near enough the width of a coach with some steep drops. I pressed the lens against the glass to avoid reflections.

The image below is the original image.

Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC original LandscapeEarth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC Original Landscape

From the RAW file 3 tiff files at different exposures were created and processed in Photomatix. Then the first adjustment was to bring out details and colours using Topaz Adjust Vibrant Preset group, Autumn Preset. Adjustments were made in levels to enhance. Vibrance increased 36 points. Saturation reds increased for a redder volcanic look. Spots on the window were removed with the healing and clone brush. The road was removed with the clone brush.

The image below is the landscape after all edits.

Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC Landscape after editsEarth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC Landscape after HDR and Photoshop

Planet Image

The next image was the Planet. I cut out a portion of an earlier HDR image of Lava Caves in Lanzarote with the colours provided by the lighting on the rocks.

The image below is the original before the crop was taken.

Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC LavaEarth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC Original for Planet

The planet was created from this using the 3D tools in CS5 extended creating a sphere object from a layer. This was selected and pasted into a new transparent image. Then filter, distort, blur, radial blur, spin blur at a low setting of 4 was used mix things up a bit. Edits were made to make the planet look three quarters phrase. The atmosphere was created using layer styles inner glow and outer glow.

The image below is the Planet after edits.

Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC PlanetEarth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC Planet

Stars Image

The last image was a combination of various Star field images taken on various trips to take star trails. 3 images were used and pasted together in layers using the lighten layer blend mode so each image added to the previous one rather than overlaying it to provide a denser star field. I used some Photoshop Actions called Astronomy Tools to brighten the stars, enhance the colours and add some star effects.

The image below is the star field after edits.

Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC star fieldEarth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC Star Layers

The star field was used as a base and selections of the landscape and planet pasted in. The image below is the final result.

Earth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC finalEarth Rise 4.5 Billion Years BC

Tip of the Day

For planets it is necessary to make selections of perfect circles and this may also be necessary in other areas. To make a circular selection say roughly in the centre of an image choose the elliptical marquee tool and to make it circular rather than elliptical hold down shift when drawing. It is a bit trial and error to get the shape in the right position as it moves away from where you start drawing. However to make a selection of say a circular object you can start from the middle of the circle by holding shift and alt while drawing. To adjust position click the move tool and drag or use the arrow keys to nudge. To resize the selection click control and T. To resize while keeping proportions drag in a corner marking while holding shift

Edwin Jones


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