|Camera||Konica Minolta 7d|
|Lens||Sigma 15mm f/3.5|
|Shutter / Aperture||1/6s / f/11|
|ISO / Metering Mode||100 / Spot|
Shot the same day as Saturday's shot.
Taking this shot was easy enough: stay up all night in order to be up early enough to take this photo without having to contend with traffic or people, setup a tripod on the median, and take the photo with the spot-meter on and bracket. The hard part was in the processing.
This may very well be the photo I've put the most work into trying to get it to look how I wanted. The challenege is getting the photo out of the camera to look like the picture you took with your mind. All and all I would guess there is somewhere around 24 hours of my time invested into this photograph trying to reconcile an idealism with an actuality.
The problem centered around the fact that I knew that I wanted to take this powerful, brooding picture of the new Walker building as how it stuck me: a sort of hulking metal monstrosity that deeply groans, "come inside—I'm filled with art." The things I wanted to pull together in order to make this a power brooding groaning picture was a composition that featured the richness of the pavement, the metallic smoothness of the building, and the moodiness of the sky without having any parts of the picture be underexposed or blown out.
The real problem with this is that the frame-up that happened to look the best to my eye was my fisheye lens. Unfortunately I don't have a neutral density filter that works well with a fisheye so I resolved to try and knock down the sky digitally in post-processing. I've used this technique before to some success. I had no idea what I was getting into.
What I found when I loaded the pictures off of my camera was that when I created the levels adjustment layer masked for the sky and began adjusting, all of the subtle chromatic aboration around the building began to glow as if the building was wrapped in neon. I tried many, many techniques to try and knock down this halo but in the end I ended up cheating my way from combating the problem directly.
Around the street lamp, at left, I applied the "traditional" technique of making a narrow selection and applying a color replacement on the high-luminosity colors. I couldn't quite get this this to work for the top of the building so I ended up just cutting out the building, pasting it on a new layer, and scaling it by 1% to paste over the layer containing the halos on the background. What you can't see, won't hurt you in this case!
The remainder of this image was processed more or less "normally" for how I finish my workflow. I applied a couple of HSL layers to convert to grayscale and used a single darkening layer to burn and blend some spots that needed blending. The end result is an image I am happy with...even if it did take a little cheating. I also have a color version of this shot I am happy with that I may post some time in the future.
Does anybody have another other techniques they would like to suggest? I would love to hear them!