woomelang-silos-train-tracks-longexposure

Evolution of an Image: Going Through

Since this is a new beginning for this blog and you are all here I would like to do some new things. One thing that I would like to go back to doing is looking at an image and seeing how I processed it. More a discussion on it rather than a tutorial, but perhaps over time I might start doing some of those as well. So this is the first of my posts on the Evolution of an Image, and we start with one I call Going Through.

Going Through

The image for this discussion was taken up at my mothers last week. I had lots of plans of getting lots and lots of long exposures, but the weather was unseasonably warm, or hot if you like. It also meant bright light and not many clouds. I did manage to get out a couple of times, and I pretty much got what I wanted, but I think it might be the start of it really. I am looking forward to getting back and trying more.

This is the basic image that I managed to get. I love these silos, they say the Mallee to me, however they are no longer used, like so many things there.

basic-image-1959

I haven’t done anything to this image, and this is how it was shot. It was a four minute exposure with the Firecrest 16 ND Filter from Formatt Hitech. It was starting to get too bright so I had to make some adjustments. I am starting to think I might need to get the Firecrest 3 as well, do some stacking, especially with our harsh light.

Once I got it home I opened it up in Adobe Camera Raw to make some preliminary adjustments. I always do these images in Adobe Photoshop as I know I will want to do things that I can’t do in Lightroom. I also converted it into a black and white image.

straight-from-ACR

You can see the clouds moving and the black and white conversion allows for more concentrated effort on the textures and patterns. Sometimes we can get too distracted by the colours.

Lots of things were done to the image. The sky was darkened because I like dark skies. I like that effect. I also put some noise into the sky to help with any distortions that can happen as you darken it.

I started working on the silos themselves next. I wanted people’s eyes to settle on the ones at the end. The oldest silos, and the ones that you see everywhere in the Mallee. They are no longer used, so they are the subject for me. The silos on the left were too bright so I had to work on them to take the focus off them. I like dodging and burning so did quite a bit of that all over the image.

woomelang-silos-train-tracks-longexposure-monochrome

There is a lot more contrast in the final image. The silos stand out more, but the ones at the end get a little lost. I knew that I would want this image in colour.

I converted it back to colour and my orange silos were back. Sometimes when I convert them back you can end up with some over saturated colours that just ruin the image and you can’t fix it, but other times you can. This was one that I could. I chose to get rid of a lot of the colour from the sky, it wasn’t the subject. I worked on the silos at the end more. I think in the final image they stand out more. Though as a final bit of processing I also put some purple into the shadows.

woomelang-silos-train-tracks-longexposure

I know some people are going to prefer the monochrome version, but for me it is the colour one. I think it is a much stronger image. For me your eyes go to the end silos.

This image is also for sale and I will be putting up a page for pricing soon with a blog post on it.

62 Responses

  1. Great job Leanne! Love that you show the whole process! Colour one I like the best aswell.

  2. Hi Leanne. I really enjoyed learning your process for this shot. You really achieved your goal–highlighting the silos in the rear and drawing our eyes from the front to the back of the line of silos and lingering on the sky. Wonderful.

  3. I like both the B&W and the colour ones. I think I need more practice and to do a lesson (or 50) for lightroom and photoshop.

  4. An interesting walk-through of the main processing steps. The final image is a powerful one and the eye is immediately drawn to that furthest silo. Nice work,Leanne.

    • Thank you Andy, it has been good to hear that others like hearing the thought processes. I’m glad to hear that your eye goes where I was hoping it would go as well.

  5. I like what you did and the colour version. It’s muted and so the it’s still the lines and the mood that strike the eye!

  6. I love reading and understanding how an artist creates an image. You have certainly done so here. I love what you did and you give just enough explanation on how you did it. I’ll be an avid follower of these “discussions”. Thanks!

  7. Hey Leanne .. I love the focus on the two distant silos.

  8. Always so interesting to read your explanations of the art form!

  9. They are all beautiful images, Leanne. However, the final last image looks more dramatic.

  10. I tried to sign up for email updates, but it says I’ve blocked them which I haven’t. So I’ll keep bouncing over when I can, but I have no idea why your site thinks my site doesn’t accept email updates. I love your new site, by the way. It’s lovely.

    • That is very strange Marilyn, I have no idea why that would happen. though you should get updates in the reader, I hope. Thank you, I am happy with how it is going too.

  11. Love seeing you getting back to talking about processing an image Leanne πŸ˜ƒ
    This one is stunning with the dark skies and the focal point of the silos.

  12. Many thanks for a first-class photography lesson! It taught me a lot about what one can do with a picture that looks quite ordinary at first and then is being transformed into something that is truly part of our unique perception of the world around us.

  13. I agree with your train of thoughts on this.

  14. Wow beautiful Leanne! Thank you for sharing your process. A lot of work goes into the magical photos you create!!

  15. Yes, I prefer the colour one.

  16. this is really fantastic! I love the photograph. Your discussion of what you did, is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the post and loved that photo… in color. πŸ™‚

  17. Like a few others, I also prefer the final coloured image. It’s simply magical. Many thanks for sharing this process as it has definitely given me a few tips (as an amateur photographer) on different ways of editing an image to accomplish varying effects πŸ™‚

  18. Wow, definitely the color. It’s beautiful! I love hearing how you did it step by step. Not that I know how to do most of the things, but it’s still great to follow along.

  19. Thanks a lot for sharing your work process. It was very much educational to me.

  20. It’s a great image. Thank you for describing processing . Given me a couple of ideas.

  21. Your final photos have a very distinctive ‘look’ and it’s interesting to follow what you do in processing. I look forward to more in this series, thanks for taking the time to set it out. And I agree — the colour version just draws the eye to the old silos.

  22. Enjoyed your post. Not many if any, posts i’ve come across discussing the
    process of image development.
    Thanks

  23. Amazing work. I liked your explanation of how you arrived at the final image. Love it.

  24. Thank you for sharing the details of your processing! Admiring your openness.

  25. Awesome image Leanne. Thanks for sharing the process πŸ™‚

  26. The orange glow on the old silo’s really makes this shot, it reminds me of images of the midwestern US shot in the 1950’s

  27. Barry Lively

    Beautifully done, Leanne. Normally I would prefer the black and white but I agree with you, color is a good addition here. Congratulations.

  28. I agree the final color version is better than the B&W one. The warm glow on the distant silos enhances the contrast.

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