Posted on Nov.09, 2010, under University of Michigan

Hard Light

(Nikon D700, 70-200mm at 92mm, ISO 200, Exposure 1/125 sec @ f/16)

For mid November in Michigan, this past Sunday was very pleasant. It was a bright sunny day and I took the opportunity to walk around Ann Arbor looking for interesting things to shoot. I went out mid-afternoon, which meant the sun was already at a low angle since the sun sets here around 5:20pm right now. I was hoping to get some architectural shots which took advantage of the raking light. The shot above shows the steps of Angell Hall on the campus of the University of Michigan. I liked the patterns the sun had created on the pillars and steps so I took this shot.

When I took the shot I had in my mind a conversion to black and white. While I liked the warmth of the color image, I thought black and white would be better suited to the high contrast image I had in mind. I used Nik’s Silver Efex Pro to do the conversion. My process was fairly simple. First, I started by looking at the presets. I didn’t see any preset that I cared for so I moved on to selecting a film type. After finding the film type, I played with some of the global settings. I gave the image more ‘structure’ to bring out more of the detail in the stone and concrete. I finished things off with a curves layer to darken and add additional contrast to the image. The original, out of camera shot, is shown below.
Hard Light - as shot


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

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