Larry Beller, APSA, MPSA  

Santiago IV by Larry Beller, APSA, MPSA

May 2020 - Santiago IV

About the Image(s)

Taken in downtown Santiago, Chile, some time ago, and just rescued after a recent computer storage failure. The original was in color, but in my opinion, color is usually distracting in architectural images. It was taken at 1/500 second, f 11, and ISO 250 in a Nikon D80.Processing was in Photoshop in an iMac. My standard processing workflow starts Selective Color (to adjust appropriately each of the six colors and shades,) adjustment of intensities globally and locally, an iteration of all adjustments with special attention to details, and finally cropping and addition of a thin border to define the image from its display background. This final color adjustment is the starting point for further change to monochrome of any promising images. This was one of those.

During the conversion, I watch the monochrome (B and W) version while tweaking each of the six colors and tones again while they are operating on the color version; the layers are, starting at the bottom: color version, any major additions to the color layer, Selective Color layer, Black and White conversion layer, Levels layer (adjust black point, white point, and contrast), and usually Brightness and Contrast layer. Most monochrome images can look very gray unless they have significant areas of both real black (color number “000”) and real white (color number “255”. This can be checked easily with the histogram, and errors remedied with adjustments of the white or black point.

6 comments posted

Arun Bagga   Arun Bagga
Thanks for explaining in detail the sequence of adjustments made to achieve this final monochrome image with a very good tonal range. I think the various patterns in the image are well defined, sharp and quiet striking. The dark background enhances the highlights in the image. Did you leave the thin lines in the center left of the image on purpose?
Speaking very personally I find the keystoning in the image somewhat overpowering.
  Posted: 05/10/2020 09:04:46

Larry Beller   Larry Beller
Thank you for pointing out the thin white lines; I should have seen them, and will remove them since they distract.

The image is not necessarily a literal rendition. It is intended to show a striking pattern of converging verticals, and I should have said so. Your "somewhat overpowering" comment suggests that I succeeded.

  Posted: 05/11/2020 12:13:56

Gregory Waldron   Gregory Waldron
I like your image and appreciate you sharing your workflow.
Best regards,
Greg   Posted: 05/12/2020 19:06:55

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67 & 89)
I do not do a tremendous amount of B/W as my preferred genre is Nature and Wildlife

I have played with some B/W with mixed results, however I did find your workflow both logical and interesting. I will give it a try as I would like to learn the B/W process. Thanks for the ideas.

In your current image I really like the way you have used the chiaroscuro effect of the old masters to highlight the image I would really like to see the original so as to better understand where you came from and how you reached this result. I think the camera angle and the composition really add to the impact of the image.

I do have a question: On the left edge there are a few faint lines between the building and the edge of the frame. With all the drama in the image why did you not remove these from the image? Do you find them distracting.   Posted: 05/13/2020 08:08:25
Larry Beller   Larry Beller
I didn't see the lines, but if I had,I would have removed them. Thank you for calling them to my attention.   Posted: 05/14/2020 17:39:29

Syed Shakhawat Kamal   Syed Shakhawat Kamal
Hello larry,
Nice architecture photography. I love the way, you give treatment to the image with black and white. The frame reflected a very professional touch. Even though I don't know
your expertise on the subject. But from the presentation, I can tell very well, that you did a great job. These are the image you usually see in the brochure or a profile of a big corporation. Loved the work my friend. Cheers.   Posted: 05/28/2020 21:37:33


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