Developing an Image: Royal Exhibition Building
There is no doubting that I have come to Instagram much later than many others, but I am doing my best to catch up. I decided a while ago that I would post a photo everyday and see how I went. Luckily I’ve been doing photography for years, so I have years of photos to go back to. It is nice that many photos done previously can now get another outing.
While I was looking for a photo for today I went back to some I had taken at night of the Royal Exhibition Building here in Melbourne.
I processed this one at the time when I took it. I was thinking of putting it up, but when I looked I didn’t like how blown out the dome at the top was. I went back to the original photos to see if there was another one I could use as well.
The problem I found was that the originals that had the dome in nice light meant the rest was too dark. Then I thought, what if I did a HDR image, this is the perfect example of when it is useful. Images with lots of contrast between light and dark really do benefit from being transformed into a HDR image.
This (above) was the HDR with 5 images processed in Photomatix. It give the lighting a much more balanced look. Of course, if you know me, you know I couldn’t leave it at that.
I know before I start an image like this that I want to do it in Adobe Photoshop. I will want to work in layers and I want to do things to it that aren’t possible in Lightroom. I always do my “arty” images in PS.
I did some more work on it, mainly on the lower buildings to try and draw them out a little more. While they are fairly dark in the image and the dome is the star of the image, that didn’t mean the bottom part couldn’t stand out a little more. I also cropped it a little tighter.
It is endless what you can do on these kinds of images. When you decide that you are going to make it a manipulated image then it is up to you where you stop. In the end the only person that has to like it is you. I don’t think there is anything wrong with manipulation, but be upfront about it. Don’t claim the image is natural when you know you have done heaps of work to it.
I am reasonably happy with the final result. I might look at it tomorrow and wonder what I was thinking. I know there are definitely things I enjoy doing to images and since my trip to New York it has been wonderful to rediscover them.
I am so glad I found architecture again.