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How to make lemons into lemonade in Photoshop

I love photoshop. It never ceases to help me find ways to tell more powerful stories for my clients – and myself – through images. It also is really a lifesaver (and budget-saver) day in and day out.

My client here in Miami is a builder who has a niche in historic restoration – which in Miami is a bit of an oxymoron but between the Deco/Modern buildings of South Beach and the MiMo (Miami Modern) strip on Biscayne Blvd. on the mainland, there is a lot of architecture from early to mid 20th century that needs preservation and renewal.
Restoration work just wrapped on two adjoining properties on Collins Ave on Miami Beach – The Lynmar Hotel and the London Arms. This image is focused on the Lynmar which is being handed over to the hotel developers now to be built out on the interior. My client wanted a dramatic image that shows the building looking refreshed, vital and restored.

The thing is, the building isn’t really done yet. The interior is a shell. There’s no lighting, and still a lot of work to be done. That’s what photoshop is for! I went up yesterday during the late afternoon, shot a hundred frames or so of the facade, details, etc. There was traffic, people walking, parked cars – you name it.

So I sat down this morning to see what I could make of this. Here’s how it happened.