October 10, 2012

The Ranch at Grass Valley: Stable


Moving on to the stable at the Ranch at Grass Valley.

Of all of the buildings on the property, this one had the most interesting interior, with the possible exception of the Bunk House. It was also the largest building, so naturally, I spent a good amount of time in here. Above, looking west out the window facing Grass Valley Road. The bottom image, the door (in case you couldn’t guess).

In opening this series on Monday, I mentioned that I would talk a little bit about the processing.

I shot everything at this ranch as a series of 5-9 bracketed exposures (probably 9 in this stable). I knew I wanted to capture enough data to produce final images that convey what I saw and how I saw it. The “how” is as important as the “what.” So each image started with a trip through Phomatix Pro, yielding a base image  whose histogram leaned to the dark side (for these two, anyway), but was otherwise well balanced. But that’s not how I saw this scene.

The interior of this stable was dark and outside was overcast and bright. While I captured enough of a range of light to render everything in detail, I wanted to keep more of a natural balance between the interior and exterior of the stable. I also wanted to bring out the textures of the wood and stone. I used onOne Software’s Perfect Photo Suite and applied a couple of filters.  I first applied a basic contrast adjustment (tweaking the tonal curve to my liking), then used Bleach Bypass to give it some stark, desaturated contrast. With the slider, I adjusted the effect to taste. I also applied some sharpening in onOne. Additional adjustments were done in Photoshop. I believe I used a layer mask on the top image to further lighten the exterior. Final cropping and vignetting were done in Lightroom (where everything started).

 

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