Posted on Jan.18, 2011, under Michigan

(Nikon D700, 16-35mm at 32mm, ISO 400, Exposure 1/2000 sec @ f/4.0)

Monday was a holiday so I took the opportunity to take a road trip to find some new subjects to shoot. I had this notion to head three hours west of where I live to visit Grand Haven, Michigan to see if I could get some interesting shots of the lighthouse located there. I knew there was a snowstorm coming in and I was thinking I might get lucky to see some big Lake Michigan waves pounding the lighthouse. When I got there the snow was definitely falling, but the visibility was so poor that I couldn’t even see the lighthouse. With the wind whipping snow and sand, I declined to walk through the snow to get closer to see if the visibility was any better. Instead, I looked for some other subjects. On the way out of town I passed this old railroad coaling tower. The structure peaked my interest so I pulled over and took a few shots.

For processing, I wanted to make sure the image conveyed the cold, windy day that I was experiencing. My first step, however, was to do some perspective correction. I shot this with my 16-35mm lens and I had to tilt the camera bit which caused the tower to tilt. I used a combination of skew and scale to remove the distortion. I then used Silver Efex pro to convert the image to black & white. I started with one of the antique plate settings which uses a reverse vignette to make the outside border brighter. The default configuration uses a sepia tone which I didn’t want. I removed the tone and tried to create a whiter image. I also used some increased structure to bring out additional detail in the coaling tower as well as bringing out some of the snow which was flying around.


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

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