More Google Earth Street View Art (with specific Sagelight examples)

I recently posted two blogs: Musings on Google Street View and Color Contrast Feature & YouTube Tutorial This post is more about showing some more examples of enhancing Google Street View images into something artistic, but this time I spent a little but more time on a few more.  I also created a Youtube Video called Elephants in Google Street View (see below for embedded video).  

(note: this is posted in a better format at 

There are some interesting notes about them, in terms of how I used Sagelight differently in these, and it shows. 


I wanted to make sure I pointed out that these pictures are from Street View Images, hence the challenging aspect.  Not Panoramio or other associated images.   

Screenshot from Google Earth showing a Street View Image prior to unfolding into a VR image 

The thumbnail above is how the Street View Images appear in Google Earth before being entered as a 360-degree VR photograph. 

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge from Google Street View Image


Unless you knew, you wouldn’t know this was originally a Google Street View picture (except the logo, which I left in on purpose).  I’m please with this one, because it let me use a few aspects of Sagelight. With this image, it was too shadowy for a straight-on color picture.  But, it certainly has great framing (once I cloned out the concrete), and the shadows present other opportunities.   

In this case, I decided to do an antique-mixed-with color effect.  I think I was thinking of those old Judges Postcards for the antique effect, but wanted to keep the color   

Sagelight Aspects   

Color Contrast

This turns out to be a good example of the Color Contrast function.  I was able to use it to get an aged effect in the color picture.  I then mixed it with the Vintage Effect   

Vintage Effect and Image Blending

I took the image I toned with the Color Contrast and used a Vintage Effect on it.  Then I used the Blend Undo Image and blended it in the Overlay Mode.   

Add Border

I then used the Add Border multiple times to get the White, Black, and Yellowish Border.  I then used the Antique effect again on the Borders, and then used the Undo Brush global blending to limit the antique effect.   

The original, for reference   

Original Image


30 Rock


In this image, I made it a duotone and added a vignette to give it an older look, but not too much.  I also left the red and blue neon in the lettering, but subdued. 

Goats and Sheep Ferry, Governor’s Island, New York

Goats and Sheep Ferry, Governor's Island, New York


This ferry was on the way back to New York , from Governor’s Island.  It was only one of three Street View pictures on the entire island.   

Sagelight Aspects   


The masking was used initially to bring down the colors in the sky.  The Light and Color options were used with a medium range to get the sky and some of the surrounding cloud area.  The brightness was then brought down to give a little bit of stormy effect in the background, even though there is blue sky.  The effect is to bring the ferry into the foreground much more than it already is.   

Dodge and Burn Brush

The Dodge and Burn Brush is really used in most of the Street View Pictures and, probably, in some form, in about 90% of the pictures I post.  It’s just a very useful tool.  In this case, I used it to deepen the sky and then to brighten up the foreground — I used the Brighten Brush and Darken Brush sequentially to brighten the foreground and then darken it — this basically lightens an area and adds contrast at the same time.   

Boats in Newfoundland

Boats in Newfoundland

I’ve always been a big fan of the movie The Shipping News. So, I headed to Newfoundland!    I found this picture.  It really turned out nice, and is a prefect example of how you can take something that really seems fairly mundane and make something out of it.  In the original picture, these were just sitting on the side of the road.   

In the enhance picture, they are a beautiful subject with great lighting.

Sagelight Aspects   

Image Smoothing

This image has a bit of a very strange glow to it.  It has a ‘clean’ look of sorts. This is, in part, due to the Soft Glow.  But it’s really capped off by using the Image Smoothing.  The Image Smoothing can be used to get rid of large swaths of noise.  In this case, it was used in the sky and in the smooth areas of the boats — these areas lacked any real definition and had a lot of JPEG noise in them.   

Soft Glow & Unsharp Mask

The Unsharp Mask was used (with the “Quick Sharpen” function), and then the Soft Glow was applied with Sharpening and Contrast set to ON.  This always ads a nice glow to a picture, and can bring out details in low-resolution pictures, especially ones like this with a lot of jpeg artifacting.   

Dodge & Burn Brush and Masking

The Dodge and Burn Brush and Masking were used in the same was a described in the previous image.   

Elephants in Google Earth (Youtube Video)

Here is a video I created where I take a Google Street View picture (of an elephant, no less) and edit it in Sagelight, using the Smart Light function and Cropping feature.   

This example shows something I really should talk about more: using the same function twice.  In this video, I use the Smart Light feature two times in a row.   This is where you can get a lot of power in Sagelight — because most editors (like Lightroom, Siklypix, others — not knocking them; they are great editors on their own, this is just the way they work on the surface) tend to want to keep just the information of what you want to do with your image, they can tend to limit your options.  Again, this is not to knock any editor, but I think that, primarily because Lightroom does this, that it can tend to seem like you can’t do nearly as much as you actually can.   

I’ll be writing an article on that soon. Anyway, here is the video (it’s in HD if you want to enlarge it)   

2 thoughts on “More Google Earth Street View Art (with specific Sagelight examples)

  1. That is a neat idea – and there are some great edits.
    Now I would only need some time to roam through Streetview for artistic impressions.

    • Thanks. I only intended to do a couple, but it ended up being pretty fun and challenging at the same time. I also like the idea that since it’s just a Google Car taking pictures, these pictures are a slice of life somewhere on a given day.

      If you find some, it would be great to see them!


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