382 - Things Have Changed

This was hard labor, I can tell ya!!

Yesterday we had lousy, rainy weather, but on my way to a certain bakery in Ferlach, a small town not far from us, on my way there and back again, I have shot some images, some three or four of them even usable, and while one of them was quickly prepared, the other one is the reason why you had to wait so long. Well, now it’s here, and in comparison to what the camera believed to see, things have changed substantially πŸ™‚

This is the back door of a building in Ferlach, called “StadtmΓΌhle” or “Town’s Mill”. I saw it and immediately liked how the vines twisted, along with the crooked door frame. Well, it was probably slightly less crooked, I may have exaggerated … a bit. The only problem was the bright, featureless, blank wall, and in order to get the door and the vines, I had to include quite a lot of that wall. I took the image and postponed the problem.

The image, as you see it here, is the result of some extreme distortion control in Capture NX, along with major darkening using color control points, but then I had to take it to Photoshop for serious twisting. I used mild doses of “Liquify”, some hard curves, masks, blending modes, blurs, photo filters - what ever … and in the end, after three attempts and many hours of work, I really like it πŸ™‚

The other image, my backup image, is a piece of autumn forest. I have changed colors a bit, bringing more variety into the image, cloned out some minor distractions, one of them a sign, but that was all. The only other thing that’s probably interesting, is that for a year now I have mostly used Lab color mode and the technique called “Man from Mars” for such color surgery, while now I do a lot with “Select Colors” and “Photo Filter” adjustment layers. Basically I select the color(s) that I want to affect, probably edit the selection in quick mask mode, and then apply a photo filter layer. That’s quite effective and very quick. Try it for yourself. In this way I have taken out the yellow cast from the bark, the logs and the bare ground, intensified the greens and increased some of the reds. The result looks much more lively than what the camera spat out.

The Song of the Day is Bob Dylan’s “Things Have Changed”, a song that I don’t even have, at least not sung by His Bobness. It was first released on a two CD compilation called “The Essential Bob Dylan”. Don’t you hate that? They want you to buy 35 tracks for the single one that you don’t already have? Well, you can hear Bob live on YouTube, or you can do it like me and hear Barb Jungr’s version on her album of Dylan covers, “Every Grain of Sand”. Highly recommended!

There are 3 comments

mcmurma   (2007-10-31)

I can really appreciate all the hard work that went into this piece, the final result looks great, especially the shading. It really draws your attention to the ivy. The door does look bit contorted and unnatural, like it was shot with a wide angle, or even fisheye lens. I'm undecided on whether I think its distracting or actually adds to the visual interest. The backup photo looks great too.

Also, your comments about selective color enhancements were interesting. I thought I was the only one who bothered with that! I use an application called Color Mechanic that really makes such corrections a breeze. I do not work in layers the way many ppl do (could never get in the habit) and CM makes it really simple to manipulate color with a minimum of effort.

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Thomas   (2007-11-01)

Looks as if one photo per day isn't challing enough, hm? πŸ˜‰

Impressive work on that shot! I really enjoy the photo, the perspective, the vignetting and especially the colors. Only the left side of the door looks a bit too... strange maybe. Might be the skewed, liquified (?) left frame or the (very) white wall that makes the frame there.

Your "backup photo" is a great study in bi-color. The reds are gorgeous and the grey-tones that are mixed in, really complete the photo.

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Ted Byrne   (2007-11-02)

I like the mystery of the bulding doorway as if it is trying to contain too much life, thought, creativity and the energy's pushing a it, expanding. Will it blow? What will come out? The colors are so warm, so romantic, that I supsect the hidden things will only add to life. I like what i suspect. This is a great image to look through...


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