Posted on May.03, 2011, under Michigan

(Nikon D700, 50mm, ISO 200, Exposure 1/1000 sec @f/8)

We’ve been having a pretty blah spring here in Michigan, lots of cool rainy days. It hasn’t exactly motivated me to go out and shoot. Sunday started out this way, but in the afternoon the sun started to come out and the temperatures warmed up. I decided I might as well go out for a little while and see if I could find something interesting to shoot. I spent a little time in Chelsea, Michigan shooting around the train station and old clocktower they have there, but none of those pictures really thrilled me. On the way home, I went past this grain elevator. I like grain elevators, they have an interesting industrial quality to them. I stopped and took a few shots including the one you see above.

Processing for this image took a few steps. First, the image was created from 5 handheld exposures merged together using Photomatix. In the images below, you can see the raw shot on the left, which has the ‘normal’ exposure, and the image on the right is the HDR produced in Photomatix. I only used Photomatix to do the blending, and relied on some Photoshop filters to take the image the rest of the way. The next thing I did was use OnOne’s PhotoTools to add some more interest to the shot. I started with the Daily Multi-Vitamin and then went to the HDR effects. I used a combination of effects at various opacities to add both gold and blue/green tones to the image.

At this point I had an image that I liked, but I often times like to see what an image might look like in black and white. At a minimum, you can get some interesting additional texture by applying a black and white layer in luminosity mode, so I took the image into Silver Efex Pro 2. There I played with the structure and contrast a bit. I also played with the vignetting. The image looked interesting with a reverse vignette, but I decided on adding a normal vignette instead. Back in Photoshop I switched to luminosity mode and really liked what I saw. The addd structure brought out more detail in the grain silos and the vignette gave the clouds the look of toasted marshmallows. I liked it. so that’s what I posted!

Would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this one.

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

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