I will admit that I was tempted to title this one something a little different. Something that Obi-Wan once said, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” I just went with the building name instead.
Why I was at Capitol Hill will remain unpublished for a bit but I had a few things I needed to test. Sometime in the distant past I purchased a Sigma 50mm macro for my Sony. I recently aquired a Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 for video work and needed to test it. I also purchased a Sony A7ii for said video work and never shot with it. So I had a destination in mind. The US Capitol just happens to be there. Nice enough building for photographs. The one issue with it now is its barricaded off from the backside so you can’t get close. Also, its under construction so if you are going to shoot the building you might want to think twice.
I knew when I took this image it was going to be a 16×9 crop and in monochrome. The sky went grey on me while I was at my primary objective. I knew with the clouds and some dehaze and clarity I could recover them. It would contrast with the dome nicely. So while it was shot in color it was never going to end up that way.
When I went to edit I applied my camera settings and then proceeded to do my usual corrections. Brought it into Photoshop and added a curves adjustment to put contrast back into the image. Then into Tonality CK to do the monochrome conversion. I just manually do these. Using the sliders to get my desired result. Once I’m happy back into Photoshop for any cleanup that may have been needed if something clipped to black and then a quick sharpening and done.
I took this photo recently along the C&O Canal. I stopped at a lock gate that I used to drive past everyday when I drove to work. The day was grey and nasty but I had my hiking boots on and my Sony RX10 with me so I figured why not take a quick hike and see what there is to see.
I wandered down off the path and hit the back trails where the the more adventurous hikers and trail bikers go. I eventually ended up at the Potomac River. There was some rain recently so the river was higher than normal. I jumped around on little islands until I found this vantage point. I am not sure if I shot this handheld or on my tripod but I was happy with the image.
There was very little color in this image. It was going to be in monochrome no matter what. The cool things about these is when you do a conversion you get way more detail because you are no longer looking looking at color. It’s all about tones and textures at the point.
Ran my usual camera profile fixes and then put a curves adjustment in. I did some dodging and burning to bring out the reflections. Then it was into Tonality CK to do the conversion. I just played with sliders until I was happy with the effect. Then back into Photoshop for another quick dodge and burn and done.
This is another from my trip to West Virginia. It’s called Capon Bridge and I honestly forget the name of the little town it’s near. It’s off Route 259 if you are inclined to visit. You really can’t miss the bridge. My advice would be turn off on the real working bridge and park in the little lot near there. You may be joined by a few locals out fishing.
When I shot this the weather had really started to go downhill rapidly. There was thunder in the distance and the storm clouds were moving in rapidly. I barely got the shots off and back in the car before the heavens opened up and I spent the next 90 minutes driving in pissing down rain.
The image is in monochrome and I did that based on the light and a real lack of color. The sky was just a flat grey and the bridge is a pea green and the trees were green so it just didn’t have a lot of pop to it. So I ran it through Tonality CK to do the conversion and then played around to where I was happy. Then I started the local dodge and burn process to tame down some areas and enhance others. The image is all about textures which it has a lot of and the reflections in the river.
I saw these logs when I took a path down towards the Willamette River in Portland. No idea how high the river gets but assume these were logs and stuff were washed ashore when the river was high from rain.
I shot these with my Olympus TG-4 since it was far more maneuverable than my Sony A7R that was mounted on a tripod. I could climb on the rocks to get to the angles I was looking for instead of trying to lug the bigger camera.
I knew when I took these images they were going to be in monochrome or some form of it. I just think it really brings out the texture of the wood when you do it. I used a filter in Tonality CK and then bumped up the structure to bring a bit more out of the wood. Slight dodge and burn and all was good to go.
This is some piece of art that is installed at the National Harbor. It’s mainly used as a play area for kids as they climb all over it and play in the sand that was installed to hold the statue. When I took this shot the park police had closed it down for the night so I was able to get a clear shot of the statue without lots of kids running around.
Not sure how I feel about the edit. I have been struck down with some virulent form of man flu that has seen me barely leave the safety of my sick bed. The weird thing is I have no idea how I caught it but it has laid me low. So when it came time to edit I was leaning towards not doing one. I knew I wanted something quick and easy and I knew when I took this shot it was going to be monochrome. Did the conversion in Lightroom then brought it into Photoshop and added the curves adjustment and dodging and burning. Then I started to play with filters till I said enough and my sick bed called once again. Sounds like a lot but honestly was done in 15 min.
I shot these two images at the National Portrait Gallery. No real idea why but I liked the spiral staircases. Most people tend to shoot them downwards but I went with shooting up. I like to be different!
I went with monochrome for these because it just felt right. It gives the images a bit of mystery. Some of it I left completely black and other bits I dodged to bring out some details. It lets your mind fill in the details instead of just having them there.
I used Tonality CK for the conversion to monochrome and went with some contrast preset and started to play with the sliders until they felt right. Then brought it back into Photoshop for the dodging portion until I felt things were done.
PS – For those of you that look for the full resolution it might be later as I am attending a Megadeth concert and I preloaded all this. I have been getting up early to work out but with the concert I will likely be later getting up so the full resolutions will be available later.
Full resolution #1.
Full resolution #2.
Not sure what this is called. I heard some people calling it the tea house but I didn’t go into it because it was a confined space and I had my tripod. Plus I liked the look of the outside and I can always go back for another run through the Brookside Gardens hopefully when it’s less crowded and I have some better light.
When I was editing this I just thought monochrome for the image. There wasn’t a lot of color other than some shade of green and I really wanted the wood texture to pop. So once I did the usual adjustments I brought it into Tonality CK and started playing with sliders from some preset until I was happy. Then a bit more dodging and burning and called it done.
Just an image I took while I was out ambling around. Happened to have my Canon S100 in my pocket so I took the image.
The image felt better in monochrome so I did the conversion using Tonality CK and then played with various sliders to get the effect I was looking for. A bit of a burning to bring down some hot spots and then called it done.
I just looked at the tree and I thought it looked lonesome hence the title for this one. It was shot at the Manassas Battlefield and I believe the tree is a marker for something or there is a grave there. I can say this because there was a small sign next to the tree. I might have
accidently removed said sign from the image because It just didn’t much for me.
I knew when I took the image it was going to end up in monochrome. I did the square crop because I wanted the focus to be on the tree. The right bias draws the eye to the tree. I then did a couple of curve adjustments to get contrast back into the image. Once I had that I did the conversion using Tonality CK then played with the settings to get it to where I wanted. In the end I’m happy.
Double bonus points if you can figure out where I removed two people walking the trail with bunny ears. The image was shot on Easter.