Today I participated in Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk. I enjoyed myself and got a few shots I’m happy with but I sure wish he set this up for the end of May instead of the end of July. It was hot, humid, and there was little to no breeze in and around Market Square in Knoxville. I only stayed for about an hour before I decided that the heat was becoming so much of an issue that it wasn’t fun to be shooting anymore.
The image below is my first “pick” although it is actually at the second location I shot at. (I’ll probably discuss the shots that didn’t make the final cut in another post.) At one edge of Market Square, there was a building that was surrounded by scaffolding and had really been stripped down to a skeleton. As far as I know, the guy that was welding was the only person working. I was on a tripod and actually made an HDR sequence for this shot. However, when I got home, I came up with a different way to process it. I took the dark exposure of the HDR sequence and used Lightroom’s adjustment brush to selectively brighten the scene using the light from the welder as a source. I added a little post-crop vignetting as well to both amplify the effect and also to darken the large white building across the street that you can see on the left side of the frame.
This next shot is and HDR shot of one of the little Farmers Market shops . The title is Modest Mannequin. There are a couple of different things I like about this shot. I like the contrast between the white mannequin that is covering herself (itself?) on top but is wearing sparkling “LOOK AT ME” pants. I also like the contrast from left to right between the white mannequin and the brightly colored clothes hanging on the rack. I also think it’s kind of ridiculous to have a mannequin designed with arms folded over to cover her “breasts.” Why cover them? They aren’t real!
This next shot is of a street musician that was just getting settled in and starting to play. I can’t tell you why, but this shot went from being a “skip it” as a color image to a “pick” as a black and white. I did some subtle split toning and added a little film grain as well. (Not sure the film grain comes through at web resolutions, but I promise it’s there.)
Next up is an HDR shot of the Tennessee Theater on Gay Street. I was in here a month or so ago to see Avenue Q and was blown away about how beautiful it is in there. Anyway, this HDR was processed in Photomatix and is somewhere between ‘grunge’ and ‘photorealistic.’ I was trying to show on the outside how beautiful it is on the inside. I’m not super happy with the amount of reflections in the windows and doors, but my polarizer filter cut as much as it could. I probably could have eliminated most, if not all, of them by shooting at an angle, but I wanted a straight on view. Still, I’m happy with the shot over all so it’s definitely a pick.
The last shot of the day was total luck. I was actually walking around the block to get a candid shot of someone I had seen at the end of an alley when I passed by a doorway that was half underground. It was old and dirty and gritty and just looked really cool. I shot an HDR sequence and was blown away with how good it came out of Photomatix. I started by using the Grunge preset and then tweaked it just a little here and there both in Photomatix and back in Lightroom. I love how the texture of the scene just seems to pop out of the photo. I realize it looks a little crunchy when shrunk down to website size, but it looks awesome full screen.
Now I just need to figure out which shot I should submit for the photowalk contest. Decisions, decisions!