Rain

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Step by Step – Snow

Over on my black and white blog, Monochromatical, I recently posted a photo taken on a snowy day at a bus stop in London.

I have huge admiration for photographers who venture out in inclement weather, but I am not one of those photographers.  That photograph was taken on a damp, cold, but not snowy day.  Here’s how I did it.

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Above is the original colour image.  It was uninspiring and, to be frank, a little dull.  When I took it, I knew that I would eventually use it as a black and white, though.

 

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So this is the black and white conversion, but it doesn’t look bleak enough for the way I had pre-visioned it.

 

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After some dodging and burning, I felt it was getting there, but still not quite bleak, and the white bit of sky is a bit annoying.  What it needs is snow!

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So, after making a snow brush (yes, really) and fiddling around with huge amounts of snow, I decided on just a drizzle of flakes blowing in the wind.  The blank sky is still annoying me, though.

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So some black snow in the sky, and it is finished.

Liverpool Street, how it was done…

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Some readers may have seen the photograph of Liverpool Street Station above, either on FaceBook, or on my website, and wondered whether or not the station really looked like that.

Well, it did – sort of.  The out of camera image is the one below.

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It is fairly similar in many ways, but I use Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop on all of my work, and on this image I only used Lightroom.

The first thing I did, was to boost the exposure by about a stop.  But I also like to add contrast in an image.  I don’t simply mean luminance contrast – making the whites, whiter and blacks darker.  I like to add colour temperature contrast.  Increasing the colour temperature of brickwork really makes it stand out, so I used an adjustment brush to do that on the brickwork at the far end.  There was already sufficient luminance contrast caused by the spotlights shining onto the wall, so I didn’t feel the need to add any more there.

In order to add colour temperature contrast to the image I then used a graduated filter from the bottom of the image to add a cooler temperature in the lower portion of the image.

Anyway, that is the before and after process, for those who might be interested.

Symbol

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Two symbols.

We know what they are, and what they mean.  Do they mean something else here?

A symbol is a sign which represents something else.  A red cross might suggest an idea, or even an ideal.  The symbol ‘2’ might represent a duality, the possibility of another.

We identify with symbols (flags or crosses, for example).  They give us a basis for understanding who we are, what is our place in the world.

Does the placing of a symbol within a frame constrain it?  Placing two disparate symbols within a frame could alter the meaning of both.  Or could it?

Detail

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I have to admit straight off the bat that I am not a landscape photographer.  I should also say that I don’t really like looking at landscape photographs.  I can appreciate and understand the effort and skill which goes into producing stunning landscape photography; getting up at dawn, choosing appropriate filters and lenses, trekking to the ideal location, waiting for the perfect light, returning again the next day for better light.  No, that’s not for me.

When I am out and about with a camera, although I, like most people, will be drawn to the vista before me, I often end up looking for the details around me; the fragments of a scene which can stimulate the imagination to visualise the whole panorama, without showing it.

The image above is a case in point.  It is simply a ‘No Entry’ sign.  But where could it be?  What else could be nearby?  The viewer can build the scene in their mind’s eye which will be biased by what they have seen themselves, by what experience they have, maybe by what they might know – or think they know – about me.

When you look at this image, what else do you see outside the frame?

Brave New Start

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So, where does one start when beginning a photo blog?

I guess an introduction would be good.  I’ve been taking photographs for a good long time now, maybe more than 40 years.  It’s been an on and off process; I’d throw myself into it for a while, then back off for a while and you’d be right to guess that I’m in an into photography phase at the moment.

I do sell some photos through various agencies and what not, but I’ve always considered myself an amateur.  I like to keep things simple, and running a business isn’t a simple thing to do.  It would certainly get very much in the way of taking photos, so I’ll carry on bumbling along in the slow lane, if that’s OK with you.

The photo above is available to buy as a print, if that’s to your fancy.  Just click on the word “buy” back there.  In fact it would be kind of helpful to me if you’d click on it anyway.  No obligation and all that, but you’re getting this fabulous prose free and gratis, and I intend to keep doing it – for a while, at least.

That’s the hard sell done – I was never cut out to be a salesman, as you’ll have guessed.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the read, that you have a great day, and that you’ll carry on reading.