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.


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.



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



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!



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.


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


Liverpool Street, how it was done…


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.


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.