Photo Shopping

Last week I posted a bit of behind the scenes information about the setup for the picture Zombies at an Airport. This time I'm publishing the original image along with the finished photo so that you can see what can be done to give a photo some flavour.
I actually shot this for a competition on Photogen, but then it turned out I had misinterpreted the topic, so I submitted something else instead. If it wasn't for the competition which requires anonymity though I might have taken the picture the other way around, showing myself pushing the trolley.
I borrowed Alison's EF 17-35 2.8L lens for this. (I don't have a proper wide angle lens for the 5DMkII yet. I'm hoping for Canon to release the 14-24 2.8 L that's being rumoured about this year.) The camera is mounted to the trolley's handlebar using a Manfrotto superclamp. I dialed the camera to ISO100 to get the best possible image quality, and then closed the aperture down so that I could get a long enough exposure time. In this case I ended up with f/9 and 1,6 seconds.
The post-processing should be pretty self-explanatory from the pictures. I fixed a highlight from a ceiling light with the clone stamp, then I used Curve and Hue/Saturation/Lightness adjustment layers to add contrast and shift colours the way I wanted them. The advantage of using adjustment layers to do this is that you can re-adjust them later if you change your mind, and that you can easily apply layer masks so as to apply the effect of an adjustment layer to a specific area of the image only. As you can see it's nothing too fancy, but I think it makes all the difference between a picture that looks fairly flat and one that pops.
In case you're wondering what I was shopping for (I didn't go to our local supermarket just for the photo), it's Spicy Moroccan Stewed Fish with Couscous from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. Lots of great recipes without too much fuss in there. And some cool and helpful pictures by David Loftus and Chris Terry (although I think they went a bit overboard with the tonemapping on some portraits).