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Abstract Spiral
Abstract Spiral

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Collection: Architecture
Camera: Canon PowerShot A620
Date: Jul 7, 2006
Aperture: 3.2
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/15
Galleries: Abstract, Architecture
Date Uploaded: Jul 19, 2006

Viewed: 1168
Comments: 7
Favorites: 2 (view)

I took this while looking for perspective III entries.

This is my office building (lucky me!). There are two grand spiral staircases in it that are 7 stories high.

I learned a lot while taking and prepping this shot, so I'll explain all of this in more detail than you want in hopes it helps some other newbie learn. :)

I started by looking for ideas from the previous two perspective challenges. I thought of my building immediately when I saw the spiral staircase red ribbon winner in the second one. ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/377/120/229120.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/377/120/229120.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

I originally tried to get the whole spiral into the photo, but there's a chandelier going right through the middle of it. Since I was shooting near the end of the day, and I have no lights, that meant I couldn't get the shadows to show up without blowing out the chandelier's lights. Lesson one from DPC. :) So I cut them out of several shots.

As I started editing this, I realized I had these great secondary curves formed by the friction striping that keeps people from slipping. That clinched it for me to choose one of these.

The main light is a series of windows that go down one side. Avoiding them in the background was lesson two from comments I've received and seen on DPC.

Since I was holding the camera, I had a conflict between low light and noisy ISO. On many of my shots, I went with 100 and deliberately underexposed a stop. On this one, it turned out okay even handheld at 1/15 because I was bracing against the handrail (my level on the staircase is out of the frame).

My editing resulted from more lessons from DPC:
Noise reduction (community version of Noiseware)
USM before doing anything else (thanks to the great tutorials on how to prep a file and on how to use USM: //www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=26 and //www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=4)
Cropping to remove a distractingly visible wall
Using curves to brighten it up while keeping the detail in the highlights (the railing is too bright, but it came out of the camera that way) //www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/command_primer.shtml
(I deliberately kept the color warmer than it really appeared to emphasize the brass in the railing)
Resizing and USM again, but less this time
Exporting to JPG

I reshot this for the Shapes III challenge and won my first ribbon:
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I've taken several other images of the same staircase. This one is my favorite, but here they are:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/714/120/556433.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/714/120/556433.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/551/120/399450.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/551/120/399450.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/60862/120/465730.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/60000-64999/60862/120/465730.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/646/120/481207.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/646/120/481207.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

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02/09/2007 11:21:37 AM
I think this is my favorite too. I love that crop, it just falls into place perfectly in your eyes :) Such a striking, powerful staircase!

I love photos like this!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/08/2007 09:34:25 PM
This is my favourite!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2006 01:14:46 PM
This is beautiful!! Lucky you to have this to photograph any time you want.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2006 01:26:03 AM
I love this one! Wonderful lighting and detail! I'd be on this staircase ALL the time, taking shots from every floor and angle.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/22/2006 11:46:55 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/15/2006 08:31:47 AM
screw the DOF...the abstraction is superb!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/19/2006 02:57:39 AM
Cool shot, well composed. I think you needed a little more DOF, I see you used f3.2. Did you try this hand-held?
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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