Musings on Google Street View (in Sagelight)


Google Street View from a spot in the Canary Islands (enhanced with Sagelight)


The Street View Challenge – Making Artistic photographs from Google Street View

Many people know that I am a fan of the underdog.  The blog post I wrote detailing how to get great pictures out of the small compact cameras like the Canon Powershot is just one example (see: Keeping it Simple – Using Sagelight with Small Compact Cameras).

 (The images in wordpress are very small.  Go to to view the same article with larger images

I guess I like a challenge, and what better challenge than Google Street View?  The pictures are not framed, taken from an automatic setting on top of a car, and the cameras used aren’t exactly top-of-the line.   Though, I have to admit, while searching around, I do see that the pictures taken more recently definitely have much better resolution.  In fact, I would say that the fact many of the pictures in Google Street View actually have decent resolution is one of the things that makes it possible to search for interesting pictures in Google Street View.  

It’s a fun challenge, and finding interesting pictures is even more challenging.  Fortunately, there seems to be a fair number of people driving the Google cars that really didn’t care about sticking to the road and just drove wherever it made sense. See the picture below where the children are running out of the way of the Google Car!  

Why did I call it the “Street View Challenge”?  For two reasons.  One, it was really hard to find interesting photographs.  Two, it would be great to see others find and enhance street view (i.e. random and  automated) pictures into bona fide art.  Not that I am calling what I did bon-a-fide (Why am I hearing Holly Hunter in my head?) — I’ll leave that for you to judge.  But, it was fun anyway.  

Without further adieu, let’s look at some of the pictures I found on Google Street View.  (note: All pictures remain copyright Google).  

First, let’s look at least one original picture, so we can see what the originals tend to look like:   

View from the Canary Islands (untouched Google Street View Image)


 This is the same picture as the one above, just from a different angle.  There is a little house just behind the camera.  Someone definitely has a nice view.  

Edited Version (Canary Islands)

After exploring the Canary Islands looking for pictures to use, I am amazed at how beautiful the place is.  It’s definitely on the list of places I need to see.  

A few more pictures:  

 South Africa

Elephant at Johannesburg Zoo




Elephant at Johannesburg Zoo.  When I went looking for Google Street View pictures, I never really imagined a picture like this.  But, there it was.  

Children running from the Google Car (at Johannesburg Zoo)


Johannesburg Zoo.  directly on the other side of the elephant were these kids running out of the way of the Google car.  

Women with Umbrellas in Soweto, South Africa

This picture was taken in Soweto.  While I was roaming around Johannesburg, I thought I’d look around the area, and found this interesting picture.  


Picturesque view in Norway


A great roadside picture somewhere in Norway, by the eastern coast.  I don’t really know where it was.  

Another Picturesque View in Norway

Another roadside picture in Norway.  


Men working on Utility Pole in Benemérito de las Américas, Southern Mexico

This picture was taken in southern Mexico, in  a place called Benemérito de las Américas, very close to the border with Guatemala.  The small size of this picture does not do it justice. This is an example of a picture with a human element you might take anyway.  The man up the pole, with the other man watching him is quite a scene.  


Roadside View in Switzerland

The after picture doesn’t really look too much like the original.  The original picture was actually quite boring.  I used Sagelight to add a an orange glow, and then used a number of functions to make it look more like art than a photograph.  I will update this with a link to the large size.  

If you’ve found any great Street View pictures in Google, send me a link!

5 thoughts on “Musings on Google Street View (in Sagelight)

    • Thanks. It’s good to be back, though I can’t believe how much work I have to do yet.

      That would be pretty cool to start a trend. I mean, why not? It was challenging and fun, and I have found some more examples where I got even more creative. I don’t know how to promote anything, though. ha.

  1. Pingback: More Google Street View Art (with specific Sagelight examples) « Sagelight Image Editor Blog & Newsletter

  2. Fantastic Rob.
    It is very clear that you are not only creative with your software but that you obviously enjoy it. More power to you and I am one of the lucky ones who have come across your superb editing tools.

    Enjoying your blogs, hope you don’t tire of it.


    • Hi, Neil.

      Thanks… Yeh, it is kind of fun, especially this particular subject, since it was more focused on enhancing Street View Images, rather than emphasizing any particular topic within Sagelight.

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