Posted on Mar.19, 2011, under New York
(Olympus E-3, 14-54mm at 14mm (2x crop factor), ISO 400, Exposure 1/4 sec @ f/5.0)
On my last trip to New York (too long ago), my wife and I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a rainy Sunday and the museum was quite crowded. This was my first time visiting the museum and I really enjoyed shooting some interior shots. Unfortunately the camera I had at the time wasn’t great at higher ISO values. I took several shots of the main entry area, but many of them ended up being blurry because the exposures were too long. My camera had image stabilization which did help me hand hold some shots at slower speeds, but too many shots still ended up being useless. The one you see below was a borderline image. I liked the composition with the arches and the skylights and for the most part the image was fairly sharp. I finally spent a little time with it to see what I might be able to come up with.
With this type of shot, my first inclination is to go with black and white. The picture was meant to capture some architectural shapes and black and white does a nice job of keeping the focus shapes and textures. As is my usual process, I created a copy of the background layer and took that layer into Silver Efex Pro 2. I then took a pass through the presets to find a starting point to work from. I’m not sure why, but I’m finding myself drawn to a preset called ‘Antique Plate II’, which provides toning and reverse vignetting. I think the reverse vignette works well with this image because it was already bright from the two skylights. The added vignette brings the eye more to the center which highlights the curves and lines that attracted me to the image in the first place. The Antique Plate uses a yellowish tone to create an old photo look, but I thought it was too yellow, so after I got the image back in Photoshop I added a HSL layer and reduced the saturation to give the image a more muted tone.
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Copyright © 2011 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.