I was recently asked by a client to style an image that showcased their relocation. Google maps was mentioned as a relevant starting point but the quality is too poor to work with, not great for text overlay and too much unwanted detail. So to get a high end pic from a low res screen shot here was the process…

I did 2 screen grabs of the location. One with the location pinned for reference and one close up without the pin. I merged the 2 together in Photoshop to achieve the correct amount of detail at the focal point. The outer parts of the map were irrelevant as they would be out of focus on the final shoot. I deleted 2 or 3 street names from the original image I overlaid a sharper text layer for specific streets plus a coloured location address.

From there I printed out the finished image onto paper. After finding a well lit room, I shot the paper with a macro lens, highlighting the street name and pin, which was strategically placed at their building location. I took a bunch of shots to give me options to pick from such as perspective, focal point and aperture.

After a bit of grading and adjustment to the image I added some gradient layers to create space and contrast for the copy.

I could have achieved a similar result with a street map, but there wasn’t one handy, plus this method gave me more control of where I focused the detail and where I highlighted information on the map.