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Google Street View transformed (photos)

Photographer Aaron Hobson spent four years traveling the world in Google Street View, looking for images he could modify to create "enchanted and remote lands."

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Edward Moyer
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
Edward Moyer
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Atmospheric, ethereal

Aaron Hobson isn't the only photographer whose imagination has been captured by Google Street View. But unlike Doug Rickard, Michael Wolf, Jon Rafman, and, no doubt, others, Hobson isn't especially interested in Street View's documentary and photojournalistic qualities. His work leans more toward the atmospheric and ethereal, in part because he manipulates the images he culls from Street View.

Using Photoshop, Hobson bumps up highlights, deepens shadows, adjusts colors, and stitches together different images to create panoramic shots. By the time he's finished, the Street View provenance of the photos has become anything but apparent.

Hobson's "Cinemascapes - Street View Edition" project depicts actual spots on the globe, but the photographer hopes it also takes viewers to "enchanted and remote lands." For more on Hobson and the project, see the introductory blog to this slideshow: "Google Street View gets photographic makeover."

In this shot we see a row of stone houses in Inverallochy, Scotland.
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Glowing

An otherworldly glow suffuses this image of a Detroit, Mich., residence that's seen better days.
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A portal

A mysterious portal in Morrone Del Sannio, Italy.
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A portal

Through the portal and down a strange path. Dearagon, Spain.
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Who's the viewer?

Are you looking at this image, or is someone in it looking at you? Hobson's imagery often repays the lingering eye with an unexpected detail that suddenly becomes the focus of the piece. This shot is from Saska in the Czech Republic.
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Crossroads

One might not want to get caught here at sundown--there's no telling who could appear. Route 17, South Africa.
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Storm clouds

Figures beneath a threatening sky. Prejmer, Romania.
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A pinpoint of pink

Spots of bright color among whitewashed houses. Kranskop, South Africa.
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A modern bend in the road

One good turn (Okinawa, Japan)...
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An ancient bend in the road

...deserves another (Utsira, Norway).
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Needle

The ivy-covered needle in the Street View haystack. It's amazing that Hobson spotted this. Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave, France.

For more on Hobson and his "Cinemascapes - Street View Edition" project, see the introductory blog to this slideshow: "Google Street View gets photographic makeover."

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