Venice by Way of Google Earth

This is the image currently in circulation for Google Earth, the satellite view, for Venice, Italy.

This is probably not what people are quite used to. Most of the satellite views that I see or use are more of an overhead shot; this is clearly at an angle more suitable for a shot taken from a plane. This is the zoomed in view, so it doesn't come from a plane (at least I don't think so).

Anyway, this would make a fantastic backdrop for a document or a cover.

Here are the three that I came up with. Clearly, I'm no Photoshop expert, but this is just a quick way of creating layers and effects with a tool that makes it easy.

With a grainy effect:

A layered, almost shattered effect:

That last one is a little too severe for technical writing, unless that's consistent with the document design. Then, have at it, I guess. I like it, but I can see where it might be pushing the limits of visual tolerance.

Here's a better version with the render effect. This is my favorite:

I deliberately backed off and left the shadows and the texture. I was very pleased to see this come flying out of the box.

That's enough for now. Taking an image (remember, Google copyrights everything, so it would have to be a credited use or with some sort of permission and/or with fair use intended) is fraught with peril and emotional baggage on the Internet. It would almost ALWAYS be preferable to use a photo that you have taken yourself, but, even then, there's always going to be a person who starts jumping up and down, claiming to have been "ripped off." The best way to ensure that you won't be ripped off is to never, ever put anything on the Internet that you don't want to give away. Get it published, get it copyright protected, and watermark the hell out of it.

Fun with Photoshop Elements? I'm there.