Challenge: Architectural Detail - Triptych (Expert Editing)
Collection: Challenge Submissions
Camera: Nikon D3
Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 G ED
Location: Seattle, Washington (USA)
Date: Apr 14, 2013
Date Uploaded: Apr 17, 2013
On Sunday, I spent 4 hours shooting various buildings I like in Seattle. I was pleased with the take, and I said to my TPL teammates at the time, “If I can’t make something out the photos I took, I’d hang up my pixels!” Seeing what I was able to produce, I’m pretty sure I can keep my pixels.
Not to do a full tutorial … but this wasn’t technically difficult and I wanted to share. Each photo is of the Pioneer Square Transit Tunnel in Seattle. For each one, I took 7 bracketed images 2/3 f/stop apart using natural light and shooting from a tripod. I can handhold this stuff but tripod is better. I merged and tone mapped them to B&W HDR in Photomatix. Much of what I shoot professionally is HDR and I strive for a natural look.
I wanted a dreamlike feel with lots of detail so I used OnOne’s Perfect Effects filters: 1) Details – Portrait Sharpen; 2) Glow – Angel Glow; and 3) Movie Looks – Hollywood Intensity. Then came a bunch of algebra to get the images sized right to fit together. I am sure I could have eyeballed it, but with math, I was able to get it perfect.
I created a new black canvas sized to fit the photos with precise spacing between them and dragged each one to its own layer. I could then expand the canvas to obtain uniform spacing around the collection that precisely matched the spaces between them – 186 pixels if you must know. I then stroked each image with white and added a minimal drop shadow layer style on them. Fail – when I resized for DPC the layer styles and stroke failed. So I removed them and did that at a later step. At this point I had a 4273x4215 pixel, 200 MB image. At that size, it is magnificent. Shrinking it to 800 pixels and 300 K is a crime against nature, but I digress.
But shrink it I did, and stroked each layer, and drop-shadowed each one, too. Save for web and Bob’s your Uncle. I hope you like it. I had fun doing it.
Late breaking news: I decided to kill the drop shadow. More I looked, the less I liked.
And now, as Paul Harvey would say, for the rest of the story. While shooting, I earned a long interview with transit authority police. What are you doing? Shooting pictures? Why? Because I like to. Live around here? Yes, have for years. That’s a pretty nice camera, is it expensive? Thanks, and yes it is.
At this point I started interviewing him. I said, how about you? You live around here? Yes. Lived her long? No, just a couple of years. Where’d you grow up? Houston. See any hurricanes there? … And pretty soon he was distracted (“This is not the terrorist we’re looking for.”) I showed him the pictures I was taking on the back of the camera. Those aren’t very good, he said, pretty dark. I haven’t finished them yet, I said. ???, he said. In Photoshop, I responded.
By now we were best buds and he stood bodyguard duty for the rest of the shoot. Did I mention this isn’t the greatest part of town and we were attracting attention from some of our sketchier citizens?
Anyway – fun shooting; fun in processing; I hope the update button is fun this week.
Dedicated to Frank and Brent, two fine Seattle photogs - my inspiration!
• As above
• Date: 2013.04.14
• Camera: Nikon D3
• Lens: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 G ED
• ISO: 3200, 200, & 200
• Aperture: f/3.2, f/18, & f/18
• Shutter: ~1/400, 0.8, & 1.3 Seconds
• Clockwise from the top