Stills V3

October 26, 2009

Back Hilton Road

Filed under: Colin — Rex @ 04:19



  1. Is that lamp a BFF?

    Irrespective, it does play a significant role in this shot. Its positioning in the frame along with the wall give no ideas as to what it’s meant to be lighting. It also adds a sense of movement – a gliding on water feeling. Interesting ‘colours’ and another sky that works well.

    Comment by akikana — October 27, 2009 @ 02:11

  2. I am interested as to why you decided to handle the image this way?

    The image is almost entirely in the lower half of the histogram with only the reflection in the text and the text itself in the top half. This produces a rather dull looking image with a sky that seems unrepresentational in its darkness.

    Comment by Rex — October 27, 2009 @ 20:30

  3. Rex – I knew you wouldn’t like the histogram on this one.

    People go to great lengths to make their skies unrepresentationally dark. See almost any popular photo mag article about filters. I thought it was the fashionable thing ;-)

    I’m only looking at this now on a borrowed uncalibrated monitor, so I can’t say I wouldn’t tweak it back home, but I’m broadly happy that I’ve got the relationship between the parts right. It’s about the sign. Followed by the granite wall that never sparkles like the copywriters want. Sun angle and location mean a clear deep sky. Lampost for playfullness.

    Want a copy of the scan?

    Comment by Colin — October 28, 2009 @ 01:58

  4. Following your discussion with Rex, I presume that you exposed for the glint on the sign.

    This is very much about the difference between the making and how the end result is seen. On opening it I thought that it was too compressed in perspective (which it is!) but when one unravels it then it has its attraction, as does the tonal register. I’m wondering whether, with the complete sign in view, this is the end of the series?

    For quite a few openings, the street lamp appeared as a UFO-like object or a surveillance helicopter, but that impression has subsided a bit now, which does rather lower its appeal. The name is great and might even have the good woman calling her lawyers to sue for libel.

    Comment by John Ellis — October 28, 2009 @ 08:05

  5. John – this would have been a sunny 16 exposure. However, I scanned raw to preserve the glint and then brought up the histogram to where seemed like a good idea.

    Scanning with an S curve applied would have lost the qualities in the glint that I liked.

    Comment by Colin — October 28, 2009 @ 09:41

  6. Looking at the histogram it seemed that it had been exposed (scanned) for the reflection on the sign which then produced the dark sky, grey text and slightly ‘dull’ wall. (Now confirmed by Colin)

    I played to see what I would have done (note that I accept my play is just different, not right!) and I played with levels and then almost recovered the original ‘glint’ on the sign in the mask. My level play gave ‘white’ text, a lighter sky and wall (still darkish). The image looked slightly flat so I used a very slight S curve which improved the textures on the wall.

    My interest was almost a bit of self criticism as I am slightly formulaic in my work flow.

    I am interested in Skies at the moment as a stock comment in the club is ‘your sky is burnt out’ and I think ‘so what’. Lots of iconic images have burnt out skies. Why have we become so scared of the 255,255,255, it seems to have become a new demonic number. Shows what I know as didn’t realise that dark skies are currently a fashion although now you mention it I can think of lots that have that feature.

    Colin, if you are interested in my treatment then I’d be delighted to play with your scan.

    Comment by Rex — October 31, 2009 @ 07:28

  7. There’s a richness to that dark sky, but I think there’s a little posterization going on at the boundary between sky and roof line. I run into the same thing fairly often; skies are challenging in and A/D B&W workflow.

    That lamp post seem sinister, like something out of War of the Worlds.

    Comment by matt — November 1, 2009 @ 14:54

  8. Rex: I’ll email you during the week.

    Matt: I’ll have to look at the uncompressed file. This pic was posted remotely and it is a long time since I’ve seen the original. But I’ll be back online properly soon.

    Comment by Colin — November 1, 2009 @ 15:46

  9. Hmmm
    I like the line of the wiggly tin and the sign and courses of the stone.
    I’m abivalent about the lamp post. I don’t hate it, exactly, but my eye gets dragged up there when really it wants to run along the horizontal lines.
    Then again, its inclusion did make me smile…go figure

    Comment by Lillput — November 1, 2009 @ 22:39

  10. At first glance, the lamp post was somehow translated by my twisted little brain into some sort of weird, tethered helicopter (a space ship, maybe?). Then the glint on the sign made me think of that old movie spoofing the glinting white teeth of movie heroes. Tony Curtis supplied the smile, I think. Even after I came back to earth I am wondering, why does a rather somber image, definitely in that lower half of the historgam make me smile?

    Comment by Anita Jesse — November 14, 2009 @ 16:12

  11. catching up…
    I like the dark sky. combined with the bright reflection it says “bright summer’s day” to me. Get that robot probe thing again from the lamp post.

    Comment by doonster — November 16, 2009 @ 13:49

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