259 – Keep Stepping

I really have to be quick now. It’s well past 1am and I’ll drive to Croatia tomorrow. I’ll return on Tuesday. The hotel is supposed to have wireless LAN, but one can never know. I’ll have a laptop with me and I’ll try to keep posting an image per day, but if I fail, at least you know when to expect me back.

This is the only image that I shot today. I did it with the Nikon 50/1.8 at f4. In the morning I was in a hurry and extremely laden, thus I took the underground. This is the exit and I took the image because of the lines and the shadows.

The original was almost monochrome and I could have left it at that, but instead I went to Lab mode and applied a modified “Man From Mars”: desaturate, Man from Mars, saturate by steepening a/b, saturate once again, with all layers but the desaturation having a mask applied that is middle gray in the light areas, white in the shadows. The effect is, that all saturation steps are fully applied to the shadows and only half to the lit areas. Furthermore, to avoid having the blacks and the whites going blue, the Man from Mars is softly blended out in the extreme blacks and whites. Oh yeah, and I have increased contrast on the the right side of the image, the shadow half. Anything else? Yes, some transplantation of texture into the burnt out highlights.

Honestly, I think the difference is striking and the result looks quite natural, even though the image has no similarity with what was actually there 🙂

The Song of the Day, “Keep Stepping”, is a short 21 second piece from Moloko’s 2000 album “Things to Make and Do“. There is not much in terms of lyrics here, but when heard as a sound loop, it matches the exaggerated steepness of the steps extraordinarily well.

Good night, see you hopefully tomorrow.

7 thoughts on “259 – Keep Stepping”

  1. You are correct in that the image looks natural. In fact, my first thoughts were “what a serene looking scene.”

    I thought it was totally natural.

    Ahh. the power of LAB I suppose.

    Nice shot though, whatever the handling.

  2. I would agree. Your surgery (as Ted would have put it) was certainly successful. I wonder how much time that takes…

    Anyway, nice composition. I can almost feel the steep stairs…

  3. Very moody makes me want to see whats at the top or bottom of the stairs. Very nice as always. Have a safe trip…

  4. Had it. In fact I had another safe trip in between. I am now in Mali Losinj (Croatia).

    Glad you like it. It didn’t take me too much time, maybe 20 minutes.


  5. The blue is certainly evocative. By its insolence, it makes the image prance. I enjoy how unexpected it is within the color palette and the discipline you showed in minimizing its intrusion.

  6. Yes, the blue shine. That’s what I like in Lab. You can do all of that color things directly in the RAW converter and then combine, overlay, etc differently converted versions, use masks on them, and so on. The problem is, those things need planning beforehand. You need to know what you want to do in order to even begin with. Not so in Lab. It’s a very intuitive kind of working.

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