Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ghosts from the Past

I was out driving today and I passed by a farm that I've passed by many times. The farm used to have a barn which had one end painted to look like a classic 'old master' painting. In this case, it was a famous painting of a portrait of Baldassare Castiglione done by Raphael. The artist painted several other barns in Michigan using the same idea, but using different artists. Across the road from this barn, there was one painted to look like a famous painting of Paul Revere. Sadly, the images have all faded away and in some cases the barn itself is gone. I took this shot in 1999 and some time after that the barn was torn down.

The original image was shot on 35mm slide film, most likely Ektachrome. When I was working with the image, I wanted to emphasize the image itself and less about the barn and its surroundings. I decided that a black and white image would suit the subject the best. The main colors in the original were red and blue. I didn't want the sky to dominate, so I made the blue areas dark. I let the red areas also stay mostly dark. I added just a bit of reddish-sepia tone to the image as well. To add just a bit more contrast, I took the image into Photomatix and did some tonemapping.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Grand Central Terminal

This is a shot of Grand Central Terminal in the heart of New York City. The image was taken at 7 am, just as the morning rush hour was getting started. I didn't have a tripod with me (and the transit police probably would have hassled me) so I just set my camera on the staircase railing. I wanted to use a relatively slow shutter speed to capture some movement, but I didn't want everything to be blurred. I really like the fact that there is a mix of people who are blurred, and others who aren't.

The shot of the left is the original, unprocessed image. As you can see, it was originally a color image. However, I didn't think that color really added to the shot so I converted the image to black & white.