905 – From Out Of Nowhere

Every once in a while the amazing power of digital image processing makes even me speechless.

Today was one of those Sundays when I rise late and when I’m reluctant to go out shooting. In fact I did not, and I was already determined to use one image from the archives.

Just as I was about to sit down and browse my images of lately, I looked out of the window and saw a cloud looming over the mountains behind the ruins of castle Landskron. Hmm … strong oblique lines, the castle at the bottom, the cloud in the upper right corner … it looked like a composition.

I mounted the Nikon 70-300 VR, and really, its magnification was just enough to fill the whole frame with what I had imagined. But, oh my, the contrast! Imagine one of those wonderful, warm, sunny days that have only one problem: haze at the horizon. The image had very low contrast and the shadows had a sickly bluish cast.

Like always, even when I know that I’m going to B&W in the end, I tried it in color first. With two different versions from RAW, selective Photoshop photofilters applied and with some selective color manipulation, I managed to get an image that would be OK for documentary purposes. Nothing special, but the colors were not too bad.

That was the basis for the B&W conversion. It’s always easier to convert from healthy colors, because this way the B&W adjustment layer gives you many more possibilities.

The rest is my usual B&W process, with only one twist: The slightly mottled look was created with two strong contrast curves layers, each at 50% opacity, one in luminosity mode, one in normal blending mode, and each having a mask created with “Filter / Render / Clouds”. I have used two different masks for the two layers, in order to make the effect a little less obvious, and the two different blending modes were used to get a certain amount of contrast with a little bit of color shift, but not as much as one 100% layer in normal mode would have yielded. Well, that’s it: a Sunday image from out of nowhere. It’s not a masterpiece, but, hey, shooting it cost me only a minute and I could stay at home 🙂

The Song of the Day is “From Out Of Nowhere” from “Inquisition Symphony”, the Finnish heavy metal string quartet Apocalyptica’s 1998 second album. See them perform live on YouTube.

3 thoughts on “905 – From Out Of Nowhere”

  1. You are right. This is epic. It is an explosive feeling Andreas which you have rendered in a way that ignites it – KA-BOOM!

    Not a shabby neighborhood buddy. My window looks out on… on… well a wall 🙂 Ahhhhh… city living. And you overlook the ruins of a castle? I’m really happy for you. And for the way you’ve sent the feeling to me, here… in this explosive epic.

  2. Andreas, you’ve no idea how helpful and inspiring your work and your blogging are … and I’m confident, not just to me … Thanks again for each and every post!

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