Posted on Mar.14, 2011, under Architecture

(Olympus E-3, 7-14mm at 8mm (2x crop factor), ISO 125, Exposure 1/200 sec @f/6.3)

This seems to be the time of year when I take a look through pictures I’ve shot in the past but never did anything with. Some of this is due to the fact that I haven’t really had the time or the motivation to go out and shoot new material. Some of it is just the simple fact that I like to browse my catalog for images which might be interesting to work with. The raw image that I took of the Guggenheim Museum in New York was not going to be one of those images. I didn’t particularly care for the composition, I didn’t like all the people in the shot, it just didn’t thrill me. So it was somewhat of a surprise to me that I picked this image to experiment with.

I started out thinking I would try some perspective correction and some black and white work just to see where things might end up. I wanted to emphasize the texture of the building and wanted to get some interesting black and white tonalities. I took the image into Silver Efex Pro2 and ran through some of the presets. I settled on one of the presets which created a dark, but toned image with some edge vignetting. I didn’t want the toning, so I removed that. I also bumped up the structure to bring out more of the concrete surface. The end result was an image which sort of looked like a charcoal drawing. The image was a little flatter than I wanted, so I used curves to brighten the whites and darken some of the dark areas. I used Topaz Simplify to blur out the people in the bottom of the image, masking out the effect from the building. I then played with a couple of crops. The first thing I tried was a square crop, highlighting the ramp portion of the building. I wanted to look at some portion of the image and zoomed in. It was at that point that I saw a different crop, one which eliminated more of the bottom and gave a more elongated feel to the shot. The end result is what you see above.

Love to hear you thoughts on this, leave them in the comments below. Thanks!

Copyright © 2009-2011 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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