Foto Friday – Otiose

Foto Friday - 5

Taken with Nikon D40 in San Francisco on January 26, 2008. Aperture Priority Exposure, 34mm, 1/60 sec, f/4.5, ISO 800, SB-600 Flash unit, Nikon Raw Format. Edited in Lightroom 2.0 Beta.

See Otiose on a black background

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Julie’s work last week on the flower collage.  Julie did a great job expressing a message that is so needed at this time.  My selection for the week is somewhat of a departure from last weeks’ theme, but hey, I need to change it up around here right?

Otiose comes to you from deep inside the Rock located in San Francisco Bay.  In January of this year, Julie and I spent an evening on the Island of Alcatraz.  Visiting and photographing the prison at night was an experience that I will never forget (great idea Julie!).  Near the beginning of the tour, I was waiting for Julie to return from the restroom (she was seven months pregnant after all) so I unleashed my imagination on everything nearby.  A radiant heater on the outside wall of (Michigan Avenue) caught my eye.  The heater showed its age and struck me as something that the prisoners may have appreciated on the winter nights in the bay.  The heater was not located close to the cells and was probably not very effective when the cold winds racked the prison (I understand that this is especially true in cell block D (maximum security, solitary confinement)).  Alcatraz wasn’t inhumane yet its amenities to accommodate the basic needs of the prisoners were harsh, cold, and ineffective.

To prepare this exposure for presentation and printing I made a slight adjustment to the white balance (4850K, Tint -5) and exposure (+0.17 stops).  I got the main effect that I was after by kicking up the blacks (38/100) to really drop the photo into a dark mood then adding a lot of fill light (100/100) to bring back some of the detail that I lost in the shadows when turning up the blacks. I brought up the brightness and contrast a little to add some more edge and show the texture of the radiator and wall surface (I really love that texture). The next step was to add some sharpening to the mid-tones and remove all color from the image.  I needed to take all the color out of the image to prepare for the rough sepia look.  I used the split-toning controls to add the slight amount of color back into the image and create the sepia tone.  I followed this work up with a square crop which seems very appropriate for this subject and added a vignette to darken the edges a little more. 

In the print module I added our logo and a black stroke border and exported the photo as a high quality sRBG jpg file for optimal web viewing.  Enjoy.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the kind words everyone. I’ve always enjoyed this type of photography but needed an outlet to share that work. This seems to be working pretty well. That is a very good suggestion Travis. I’ll try to do something like that next time. I’ve also toyed with the idea of making a video so we’ll see what happens.

  2. I love the work Rob. Thanks for the description as well. It’s nice to know others techniques for post production editing. Just an idea, for next weeks photo (yes I actually look forward to receiving them) Maybe include the original photo, or a series of steps as you altered the photo, so we all know what “adding a lot of fill light (100/100)” actually means. Just a thought for us amateurs.Some day maybe when I’m done with my Masters I’ll have time to post photo tutorials too.

  3. Very cool, Rob. It makes me want to get out and see if I can be at all creative with inanimate objects….it would be a new attempt, butworth a shot.

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