One Four Challenge; Buttermilk Tower Black & White

Last week I pointed out that I wasn’t too happy with the tower and sky, and I am glad you all agreed and it wasn’t my eyesight that was failing. The problem is that the sky is quite flat and the tower is sitting in the mostly in shadow, while the rest of the picture has some nice tones. This week to try and correct this issue in the picture I took a different approach to balancing the tones in my image.

Buttermilk Tower Malbrok bw

I decided to open the image in Photoshop and then duplicate the layer twice. Above the top layer I added a levels adjustment crushing the blacks slightly; I clipped the levels adjustment to the top layer. Above the second layer I added a new levels adjustment also clipped to the layer below; this adjustment was used to soften the highlights. I then set the top layers blending mode to overlay. This gave me a really contrasted image.

I grouped all the layers together and added a black and white adjustment layer on top. This allowed me to tone the image a bit and create a nice black and white image. I then used some curves adjustments to teak the overall tone of the image and also did some dodging on the tower to bring it out a bit more.

I used the iris blur to blur the image but leaving the tower sharp. I added a colour balance adjustment layer to give a slight split toning and added a custom vignette.

I think the image is better than last week but I think I could do better still.
I would love to know what you think. Let me know in the comments below.

Also remember to check out Robyn’s post for this week, as this challenge is her brain child.

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5 thoughts on “One Four Challenge; Buttermilk Tower Black & White

  1. Really like what you have done, Ben, and your explanations are very useful… food for thought for me – always learning!
    The tower is nice and contrasted; I think may be you could bring out more contrast in the water too so it is a little less flat.

    • I am glad your eye is drawn to the tower as that was the purpose of adding the blur and using a vignette which slightly reduced the contrast in the foreground. I glad you like the final effect. not sure what next week will bring.

  2. So nicely done Ben. A big difference this week and I like the tones of the image.
    I like working in layers and the BW layer is very useful for changing the tones, colours etc.
    Can’t wait to see what’s next 😃

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