Posted on Oct.25, 2013, under Mechanical

CBOT Vault Door

(Nikon D800, 28-300mm at 35mm, Exposure 1/10 seconds @ f/5.6, ISO 2500)

This past weekend the Chicago Board of Trade opened it’s bank vault to the public. The bank vault was one of many places in Chicago that were open to view as part of the 2013 Open House Chicago event, sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Not surprisingly, the vault was a popular destination for photographers and non-photographers alike. What attracted my eye the most was the enormous vault door with its intricate locking mechanism. I also found the use of the contrasting metals to be quite attractive. I don’t know if there is an engineering reason for the selection of metals, or whether it was just an example of great combination of functional and aesthetic design, but the end result was wonderful.

When processing the image I first used Lightroom to make some visual adjustments. The most visible change was probably the heavy use of clarity. I wanted to have an ‘enhanced’ look to the shot, something that brought out all the details that I could muster. I then used Perfect Effects to do some more work with the contrast. I also decided to try a conversion to black and white using Silver Efex Pro 2. Since my focus in this image was on the intricate design, I thought that black and white might work. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep the nice contrast between the brass parts and the steel parts of the door, everything sort of muddled together. Besides, the color elements were as much a feature of the design as the gears themselves so doing this shot in black and white just wasn’t going to work. In the end I created a black and white conversion and the reduced the opacity to let much of the color come through. I think this creates an interesting look.

CBOT Vault Door - As shot

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below.

All images available for sale or license. Please visit my Imagekind Galleries, Fine Art America Galleries or contact me for more information.

Copyright © 2013 James W. Howe – All rights reserved

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