Leah Konicki  

Sun against Bricks by Leah Konicki

January 2022 - Sun against Bricks

January 2022 - Leah Konicki


About the Image(s)

I had so much fun delving into the archives last month that I decided to browse some old files to see what I could find that had potential if converted to black and white. I chanced upon this image, from a trip to Philadelphia when my Panasonic Lumix GX-7 was my new camera (it has since been replaced with the GX-9). In this case, the sun sliding across a brick wall caught my eye, with patterns upon patterns (the brick itself, the pattern created by the way it was laid, the play of sunlight). Didn't do much with the photo at the time, but I rather like the way the black and white version brings out the patterns and textures. Lightly edited to crop and convert.

12 comments posted

Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

The patterns and texture in this brickwork are stellar.

My thought is the increase the contrast so the sun rays send out a little more. I used to linear grad filters in LR to darken the corner areas (lower left and upper right). I then placed narrow radial grads over the ;right shafts to lighten them more. I used the LR brush to darken the two bricks in the top row they pull your eye right to them. I think they can come down even more. I then lowered the exposure and added some contrast globally.


Emil   Posted: 01/03/2022 12:50:08
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Bob Legg   Bob Legg
Leah, I like your composition and seeing the texture in the bricks as well as the way the patterns were created and the light shafts. You didn't give us the lens used and f-stop, but having greater depth of field as only the first row of the protruding bricks are sharp. This perhaps could of been corrected by a slower shutter speed or higher f-stop or higher iso. Your composition moves the viewers eyes to the bottom right, but that area is totally lacking focus and loses the impact you were creating.   Posted: 01/03/2022 20:08:26

Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Hi Leah, The bricks make for a good composition, and the sun pattern on them make the image even better! Nice capture. I enjoy these sorts of abstracts.

For me, I would prefer to have my eye drawn to the in-focus portion of the image. I tried a few things similar to what Emil suggested. Let me know what you think. First, I gently cropped the top to eliminate the two very bright patches near the border. I increased the blacks and the whites to give more contrast. Finally, I added a vignette to further put some emphasis on the focused section.

  Posted: 01/03/2022 20:25:10
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Oliver Morton   Oliver Morton
Leah, the rays of light are striking! Very well seen and extremely well photographed!

When I looked at the original, I thought that the convergence of the rays was especially interesting. So, starting with that image, I played with the cropping and rotation. Then, I used Camera Raw to convert it to B&W and attempt to make the rays stand out a bit.

Your thoughts?

  Posted: 01/04/2022 12:49:13
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Leah Konicki   Leah Konicki
Emil, thanks for the feedback. I agree, those two bricks are far too bright (don't know why I didn't see that myself) - and I like the additional contrast, big improvement.

  Posted: 01/04/2022 16:42:49
Emil Davidzuk   Emil Davidzuk

I don't know if you use Photoshop or not but it is the tool I would use to address the hot brick edges at the top of the frame.

Here is what I did: I loaded the image I modified in my first response into PS. I added a blank layer so I could paint the brick ends for a reason. I sampled using the eye dropper the bricks on the same row on the right, the dark and then the light areas and painted each tone separately at 70% brush opacity. I then reduced the opacity of this layer until I got what I felt was a realistic tone.



  Posted: 01/05/2022 10:34:37
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Leah Konicki   Leah Konicki
Bob (the system is giving me fits, sorry, I couldn't respond above), the metadata is 1/60 sec at f/5.3, ISO 250. I agree, it gets a bit fuzzy, and I wondered about that - I was so taken with those diagonals, though, that I decided to run with it. I do very much appreciate the honest feedback/input. (Focus, at times, bedevils me.)   Posted: 01/04/2022 16:44:40

Leah Konicki   Leah Konicki
my first thought, on reading Emil's comment, was to crop out those bricks, so thanks for trying it for me. Doesn't quite work, I feel like now it's the opposite, too dark at the top and kind of shuts down the image, to my eye. I do like the contrast your version provides. Thank you for the feedback!   Posted: 01/04/2022 16:46:24

Leah Konicki   Leah Konicki
I agree, the rays of light are the star of the show, so I do prefer the edit that allows for more of those lines to appear. You also managed to get rid of those bright spots (through the crop, right?) and the rotation is growing on me. But definitely, you have brought out the patterns of the rays, so two thumbs up! Thank you.   Posted: 01/04/2022 16:48:15

Leah Konicki   Leah Konicki
I think what I really need to do is arrange to go back to Philadelphia in July and take a lazy stroll down a sunny street in the late afternoon/early evening so I can re-take this photo - more successfully. Ah, if I only knew then what I know now!   Posted: 01/04/2022 16:49:59

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
Diagonal rays of sunlight on a rectilinear surface are a sure winner. Pete (Oliver) has nailed the right emphasis for your image. It does not matter much that some of the scene is out of focus, although when you go back you can improve that. Just be sure to get that play of sunlight again!   Posted: 01/06/2022 16:35:18

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
Hi Leah,

Love your wall image! You received some great suggestions so here is my idea for an edit.

I first made the photo bigger in Gigapixel AI by Topaz. Then I sharpened it to try and improve the focus. Then I used Nik Analog Efex Pro 2 and selected Wet Plate 4. Adjustments in Basic panel: -51, -5, 27. Photo Plate was Concrete #3, Film type B&W Neutral #4.

In the end, I think I see more texture and clarity. Curious what you think?


  Posted: 01/14/2022 11:08:19
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