Repost: Evolution of an Image: Going Through


There are going to be a few reposts of images over the coming weeks as I find my feet again. Today I thought we could look at the evolution of an image and one that I titled Going Through.


This is reposted from April 29th, 2016. To see the original post click here.

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. So this is the first of my posts on the Evolution of an Image, and we start with one I call Going Through.

Evolution of an Image

The image for this discussion was taken up in the Mallee 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. A couple of times I managed to, and I pretty much got what I wanted, but I think it might be the start of it really. It will be good to get back and try 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.


Nothing has been done 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 and 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.

Starting the work

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. It was also converted into a black and white image.


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

Do more of the work

Lots of things were done to the image. The sky was darkened because Dark skies in images are wonderful. I like that effect and Ialso put some noise into the sky to help with any distortions that can happen as you darken it.

Once work started on the silos themselves next and 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 away. I like dodging and burning so did quite a bit of that all over the image.


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. Plus, I knew that I would want this image in colour.

Getting the final look

I converted it back to colour and my orange silos were back. Sometimes when you convert them back you can end up with some over saturated colours. That can ruin the image and you can’t fix it. 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. More work was done on the silos, so in the final image they stand would out. Though as a final bit of processing I also put some purple into the shadows.


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

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  1. Thank you for walking us through your editing process. It is still a high level overview, but one step where I would be interested in learning some more detail is how you convert from black and white back to colour. Do you use the camera raw filter or the black and white adjustment layer to go back and forth? Thanks for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome Nicholas, I don’t teach anymore, and I won’t be giving much detail on how I process my photos. I’ve become too bitter and twisted. I do shoot in raw and start the processing in ACR. I do the conversion there as well. Thank you.

  2. I love the new version of the photograph. The lighting is still dramatic but much more striking and those warmer-hued silos draw the eye much more.

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