LightningPaul

12 Jan 2010 823 views
 
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photoblog image The Communistic Facade

The Communistic Facade


While I was in Poland, I visited Warsaw alone for a whole day to shoot images (and also to play tourist). During the day I did mostly scouting and making snapshots. Most of my beauties are shot around the blue hour, though at that time it became cloudy. Nevertheless, I have some nice images of modern buildings which I'll post the next coming weeks and months. During scouting I noticed many gray buildings of communistic times. Here is the facade of one of them. It has this typical ugly and depressing look. The good news, they are renovating and painting them in nice colors, all over in Poland. Every time I visit this country it becoming more beautiful, so little time left to photograph the darker side.



TECH-INFO: one RAW file converted into a TIFF file with DxO. I used to shot often in JPG because I love the Nikon rendered colors. But the combination of my D300 and the newer DxO Optics Pro 5.3 (instead of the older 4.5) yields beautiful and very natural colors. Not quite as poppy as Nikon but nevertheless more natural. Of course, I'm not using the default settings of DxO, I had to tweak them. In combination with lens correction modules, it is probably one of the best RAW convertors. Here for this case I increased saturation and contrast a bit, which is needed for post-processing.

Afterwards, as usual for my photo blog, post-processing in Photoshop. First a contrast boost (using soft light blending mode) then converted it to B/W using the newest tool (the one introduced in CS3). The stronger saturation came in handy of this process. The reds and yellows of the walls are darker, the blue reflections of the sky in the windows are lighter. To leave some color I have set the opacity at 75%. Using a few other masked adjustment layers I brightened and darkened certain elements, like the lamp, and added a vignetting effect. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Normally I always leave a gray border around the image on my photo blog, except on this one because it was too much interfering with the color of the wall.

The Communistic Facade


While I was in Poland, I visited Warsaw alone for a whole day to shoot images (and also to play tourist). During the day I did mostly scouting and making snapshots. Most of my beauties are shot around the blue hour, though at that time it became cloudy. Nevertheless, I have some nice images of modern buildings which I'll post the next coming weeks and months. During scouting I noticed many gray buildings of communistic times. Here is the facade of one of them. It has this typical ugly and depressing look. The good news, they are renovating and painting them in nice colors, all over in Poland. Every time I visit this country it becoming more beautiful, so little time left to photograph the darker side.



TECH-INFO: one RAW file converted into a TIFF file with DxO. I used to shot often in JPG because I love the Nikon rendered colors. But the combination of my D300 and the newer DxO Optics Pro 5.3 (instead of the older 4.5) yields beautiful and very natural colors. Not quite as poppy as Nikon but nevertheless more natural. Of course, I'm not using the default settings of DxO, I had to tweak them. In combination with lens correction modules, it is probably one of the best RAW convertors. Here for this case I increased saturation and contrast a bit, which is needed for post-processing.

Afterwards, as usual for my photo blog, post-processing in Photoshop. First a contrast boost (using soft light blending mode) then converted it to B/W using the newest tool (the one introduced in CS3). The stronger saturation came in handy of this process. The reds and yellows of the walls are darker, the blue reflections of the sky in the windows are lighter. To leave some color I have set the opacity at 75%. Using a few other masked adjustment layers I brightened and darkened certain elements, like the lamp, and added a vignetting effect. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Normally I always leave a gray border around the image on my photo blog, except on this one because it was too much interfering with the color of the wall.

comments (20)

beautiful architectural shot, Paul. The repetition here makes this building feel absolutely endless and vast. such an incredible photo
  • ismerie
  • France
  • 12 Jan 2010, 06:54
Même vue d'en bas, cette hauteur me donne le vertige ! :o))
  • zed
  • Australia
  • 12 Jan 2010, 07:37
Great depth to this image Paul
great POV and dito linework
Great composition ... Grey day and only one Sat' dish ....

Does this mean that the inhabitants prefer, instead, to sing and dance and drink Polish spirits and actually talk to each other.

richard
Nice composition, Paul - I've visited Warsaw a number of times and know what you mean about the changes being made. I'd never heard of DxO - is it an alternative to Photoshop?
LightningPaul: DxO is not a Photoshop alternative, except for Adobe Camera Raw. DxO is especially good for lens corrections (like distortion, vignetting, softness, ...), the differences are huge, especially needed for architecture and/or when using wide angle lenses in general. It can also improve contrast, exposure, saturation, do some basic filtering. Noise reduction of RAW files is pretty good too. I also love the DxO Lighting module, which you start seeing more often in other software with names like dynamice lighting or fill light. Another feature I use often are the perspective correction tools when lines are not straight or parallel (even applied on the horizontal lines in this image). Some people complain it is less intuitive to work with this program but I fully got used to it. You also need to have the supported camera and lens combination to get full advantage of it (but with version 6 you can correct any lens distortion manually). I always use it to process all my RAW and JPG files which come straight from my camera. I hope this helps a bit.
Thanks for your comment.
A great perspective composition Paul!
Great pattern shot and I like the lamp breaking the pattern at the bottom.
  • hoi
  • United States
  • 12 Jan 2010, 18:32
Wow...awesome photograph! This is a really cool perspective!
superb shot here Paul and great tech info smile
Well taken and processed Paul. We built plenty of soulless blocks like this in the UK, so you don't have to be a communistgrin
Very good Paul, the one satalite dish and a few aerials and of course the lamp post add to the photo. Its nice to see the taint of blue coming through. In sunderland there are lots of high rise flats, recently most have had a paint scheme, amazing what a transformation it makes, could make a good before and after Paul. Photoshop is a great tool as we all know but there are some other great tools out there as well, thanks for the info
  • faisal
  • United States
  • 13 Jan 2010, 15:25
nice! brilliant composition.
Very beautiful perspective
  • Santi
  • United States
  • 15 Jan 2010, 01:50
Fantastic composition.
  • Luis
  • Mexico City
  • 27 Jan 2010, 00:10
LOVE this...man you really shot this and processed beautifully. Thanks for the details...I use DXO myself, but only for lens correction.
  • Franck
  • Canada
  • 27 Jan 2010, 00:54
Good idea, very interresting shot ! I like the gray here ...
  • Marco
  • Netherlands
  • 29 Jan 2010, 09:39
Yes, love this one! It's almost b&w. You really captured the mood here, well done.
great sense of scale.
great shot, love the angle

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for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera NIKON D300
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 1/50s
aperture f/11.0
sensitivity ISO200
focal length 12.0mm
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