Trials and Tribulations

Sometimes things just don’t work. When what is not working  is editing  a picture, I am as stubborn as a mule.

exposureI took this shot because it reminded me of an image I had seen before. In my mind I knew this image would work but would need some creative pixel editing to get it to its final form. I knew I wanted the image as a black and white and for the blue the sky to be black creating a negative space and adding contrast to the image, making the focus the building itself. Then I pressed the shutter.


I took three exposures knowing that to create the image a HDR toning would be best to bring out the details in the building, the wooden shutters and the sky.

Looking-up2The first image was a bit blah. The HDR processing had created far too much contrast and so when it came to the black and white processing, I created more contrast by darkening the sky. I felt the whole image lost something. My eyes were always being drawn to the clouds that seemed artificial  and the building itself looks flat. This was an ok image but nothing to write home about.

I saved the file and walked away from the computer.

The image kept playing in my mind and I went back to the image a few times trying to make changes but nothing actually worked. Until I had a simple thought. Maybe It was not the black and white processing that was the problem. Maybe the image was the problem.

I went back to my original raw files and decided to start again.


I started with the raw HDR conversion. I created a less contrasted version of my original file. I paid particular attention the clouds and the building. I felt the big problem was the amount of adjustment I had made with the structure slider (midtone contrast), which created contrast detail.  With a slightly softer processing I moved onto my black and white conversion.


I finally got to the image I wanted. I converted the image in Silver Efex and used Topaz Detail to bring out details in the highlights and reduced the noise in the image using Noise Ninja. There were some areas of harder noise in the sky, I removed this by duplicating my image and using a slight blur.

The trials of the image, was not  being able to create the image I had envisioned and not seeing how to get to it. The tribulations were getting there in the end.

What you you think about the images? Do you like the original edit more than my favourite final version? Let me know in the comment box below?

If you liked the post please share with others using your favourite social media site.

If you wish to get notifications when I post on my blog, you can follow me on Twitter@aperture64, on or alternatively be emailed by subscribing below.

6 thoughts on “Trials and Tribulations

  1. I like the one in your header the best – don’t ask me why but it reminds me of Tattooine, the Star Wars home planet of Luke Skywalker for some reason – the sandy dryness of the wall and the odd angle of the shutters sticking out like trap doors against the hot clear sky as if they are waiting for something on the verge of happening – gorgeous and expectant!

    • Most of the buildings of a similar age in the city have these style windows with wooden shutters, and I can see what you mean with them looking a bit tattooine like. I think the angle of the composition makes the scene feel slightly on edge, not quite a duch angle though, and with the contrast it could be a still from a film i suppose. Really got me thinking now.

      • This comes from previewing posts on my phone – everything is reduced so much that I have to go back and see them on the monitor to get a really good idea of what I am looking at most of the time! I like photographs that are “out of the box” (and well-executed) because, like you say, they get you thinking….

Let Me Know Your Thoughts, I Know You Have Some

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s