Posted on Nov.24, 2010, under Detroit

(Olympus E-3, 7-14mm at 11mm (2x crop factor), ISO 100, Exposure 1/80 sec @ f/11)

As I was going through my Lightroom catalog recently, I ran across a series of shots that I took on the Detroit edition of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk from 2009. Yesterday’s image of Detroit’s Renaissance Center was taken on the 2008 edition. This shot was taken at the end of the walk as I was walking around the Ren-Cen to see what other angles might be interesting. I had seen an image of the Renaissance Center on Flickr which was similar to this so I thought I would try. What attracted me to the shot on Flickr was that it reminded me of a shot by Michael Kenna of the Rouge Plant in Detroit. I really liked the criss-crossing elements and when I found this angle I knew I had what I wanted. The combination of the towers of the building, coupled with the people mover track and the pedestrian walkway also made me think of the visions of the future that people had in the early 20th century. I wish there had been some low hanging clouds or something to add a bit more atmosphere to the shot, but I still like it.

Processing consisted of several steps. I did a slightly different version of this shot and posted it on Flickr but I wasn’t completely satisfied with it. I went back to the original PSD and made some further refinements. One change was to do some perspective correction. It would have been nice to have a tilt/shift lens for this shot, but all I had was my 7-14mm (2x crop factor). For the black and white conversion, I started from the color image and used Silver Efex Pro. I bumped up the structure setting for the entire image and selected the Panatomic X ISO 32 film setting. I wanted a slightly darker image, particularly where the people move track comes out of the image. In my original conversion I used some curves layers to brighten it up. The raw shot is below.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the conversion and what you think about the two different treatments (the Flickr one and this one.

Copyright © 2009-2010 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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