I found some time to go out shooting again this afternoon and came up with a couple of fun shots for the assignment. I’m fairly certain either one of these shots would knock out the no parking signs shot from a couple of days ago.
I came up on a rather large poster hanging inside the window of one of the businesses on Gay Street. It popped up in my head that if I could get a slow enough shutter speed, I could get a rotational blur effect. The window was still in full sun so I had to drop my ISO down to its lowest level and also ended up having to put my circular polarizer on to lower the shutter speed even further. After taking several shots, I knew I liked the concept but I realized I had a slight problem. If I got a really nice, creamy rotational blur, you couldn’t really see enough detail to really understand what it was you were looking at. If I reduced the amount of rotation to make the poster understandable, I lost the “cool factor.” I decided I’d use a shot that had a lot of rotational blur and then take a sharp shot of the poster and composite it into the picture with Photoshop. Once I got home, I decided to only composite in the girl and I reduced the opacity of the layer she was on to help her blend into the background just a touch. Other than that, it was pretty standard post processing. I upped the black levels as much as possible to deepen the red and also reduced the luminosity on the red channel just a bit. No additional sharpening at all except for the standard Lightroom 3 export sharpening.
This was the second photo op I came across. I loved the sign as I approached but I’m most happy I didn’t even start shooting until I walked to the other side and checked framing opportunities back in the direction I had come from. The wall of the building I had already passed had these black and white drawings painted onto the side and the one in the middle, as you can see, was the aperture of a camera! How perfect is that? Quite a bit of clarity was added to this as well as sharpening in an attempt to bring out the texture of the rust and other details on the sign. I also had to go into Photoshop to remove a power cable that ran from the upper right of the frame, directly through the center of the frame between the sign and the background. I also chose to remove a small clump of leaves in the upper left because they were still catching some of the setting sun and were much brighter than anything else in the background. Back in Lightroom, I added a vignette and altered the shape so that it was as close to the shape of the sign as I could get it.
So far, both Lisa and Katy have preferred the poster shot over the parking lot sign. I’m inclined to agree although I’m not sure if a composite image is going to be considered acceptable for this assignment. I’m going to send both (we are only supposed to send one image) and tell him my pick is the poster, but if he doesn’t want to allow composites, then he should use the parking lot shot instead.