January 29, 2011

Previsualize and Go Back!

How many times have you looked at a scene and wished you either had your camera with you, or had the time to stop and take the snap?  For me, there is this building we always drive by on our way to Denver to visit our daughter's scoliosis doctor.  It's on the northern outskirts of Trinidad, Colorado.  For some reason I'm really drawn to this building.   Every time we pass it coming and going,
I tell myself I want to take a photograph of it.....it's not easily accessible and I think someday I'll try to inquire as to who owns it and try to facilitate permission to access the property and make a photo shoot of it...in the meantime I wanted to get a snap of the building on our way up so I could have it in case my description of the property was inadequate as I made future inquires on ownership and permission access...so how does this have anything to do wth my post Title...well sometimes a little pre-visualization and the effort to go back to the scene can pay off.

As we were approaching Trinidad, the sun was setting and the sky was giving that awesome "I'm gonna give you some cool colors in a moment...do you want to see?"  As we approached Trinidad, I thought "omg...that building would look so cool in silhouette with pretty sky behind it!"  I had a previsual of what I thought would be cool and since I already had the camera ready for a roadside shoot I was all set.  Once we got to the building, I SAFELY pulled over and started snapping.....

In order to cover all my esthetic basis, I bracketed the shots by changing shutter speed...left the aperture at 2.8 and was using my Nikon 70-200 f/2.8...

As for the GO BACK! portion of this post, I must say that this particular building will get a multiple GO BACK...the first GO BACK happened to work out because we go back to Denver a lot, and after passing this thing several times, I put my mind to just pulling over and taking the shot to start...but I'm going to specifically try to go back separately to this building if I can get the permissions....

Once I got the photos back on the computer at home, I found some cool shots that I decided to post process and play with, and I'm pretty pleased with what came out...Here's the 411 on what I did:

Here's the image with bland old exposure:

[caption id="attachment_1085" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Plain old exposure of Trinidad building"][/caption]

Now, here's the finished product.

[caption id="attachment_1086" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Final Trinidad Building Image - with final cropping"][/caption]

To get the finished product, I took one of the bracketed shots and then applied changes to the curves and increased saturation to +3 and +5 sharpness in Capture NX 2.  Then exported the image out to jpg and brought it into photoshop elements 6.  HOWEVER, as I was looking closer at the plain old image I saw in the windows some very cool reflections of the sunset, so I also decided to bring in a layer of the windows of the original bland exposure image and play around:
Notice rich colors in the windows from sunset reflections - This is plain old exposure
Created a selection of the windows area and brought in to the final image psd file - why did I choose the shape of the selection?  Not a clue...just felt right for blending purposes:



windows area selection added to final PSD image
Notice how I added the layer and then created a copy of the layer to increase the effect and add a little more Pop to the windows colors...on the windows layers I used Color Dodge layer option.

OK, so now your take....let me know if you like it or hate it...

Mike