how I use categories on chromasia

All the entries on chromasia are placed into one of seven primary categories: six to reflect the aspect ratio of the image, and the seventh to indicate that an image isn’t available as a print. Additionally, each photograph may be assigned to one of more additional categories or subcategories, e.g. my HDR category, self-portrait category, children category, and so on.

about the ‘urban’ category

Various urban scenes taken in and around Blackpool (where I live) and Bolton (where I work). Both in the north west of England.

10 November, 2013 // on the roadcomments & reactions

I came across this image in a long forgotten folder of images I took back in 2006, when I was still shooting with a Canon 20D, and while I have no memory of why I didn't post it at the time, I did think it was worth sharing now.

This is the second shot I mentioned yesterday, and while it doesn't do quite such a good job of describing the context - the fact that this is a rooftop washing line - it's definitely my favourite of the two.

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10.18am on 13/10/13
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The first of two related shots from the weekend. Of the two I definitely prefer the one I'll be posting tomorrow, but this one does a better job of explaining the context.

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10.07m on 13/10/13
Sony SLT-A99
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1x1

If you asked me to describe Bulgaria this image comes close to summarising an aspect of many Bulgarian towns: an old concrete building, that probably dates back to Soviet times; adverts that might have been cool in the 1970s; an old, partially dismantled vehicle; and (less obviously) a stork's nest atop a disused industrial chimney.

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3.45pm on 12/8/13
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27 March, 2013 // onncomments & reactions

I guess there isn't much I can tell you about this one.

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12.55pm on 26/3/13
Sony DSC-RX1
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21 November, 2012 // untitled #146comments & reactions

This was more of a happy accident than a serious shot. I was idly snapping through a bank window while waiting for a friend to finish his transaction when the guy in the bottom right of the shot paused, raised his arm, and glanced across the street.

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2.08pm on 31/10/12
Sony SLT-A99
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12 October, 2012 // skin deepcomments & reactions

Shot in Troyan, Bulgaria.

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1.32pm on 12/9/2012
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26 January, 2012 // untitled #131comments & reactions

This is another shot from Istanbul, taken from a roof bar which I think was quite close to the Galata Tower. What amused me about this scene was the restaurant across the way, which looks like a gazebo perched on the top of a five storey building. I'm sure it was safe enough, but it did look rather precarious.

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2.31pm on 8/11/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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25 January, 2012 // shoot the city #2comments & reactions

This was taken from the roof bar of the Four Points Sheraton hotel on Sheik Zayed Road in Dubai, the location from which I shot one of my favourite night shots in Dubai. Unlike that shot though, which was all about capturing as much detail as possible, this one was an attempt to create a slightly different impression: shallow depth of field, the reflections in the glass, and so on. I don't think it's anywhere near as successful as the previous image but, as an alternative way of capturing the location, I am pleased with how it turned out.

Let me know what you think.

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7.47pm on 15/11/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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1x1

This was taken from the roof of the Executive Tower B in the Business Bay area of Dubai when I was shooting with Catalin Marin back in November. It's not as striking as the other two shots I posted from this location (see here and here), but I am pleased with it, not least because it's a different take on a familiar location.

Let me know if you think it works.

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5.15pm on 14/11/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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4 January, 2012 // OMGcomments & reactions

I spotted these two labels on a shop window just round the corner from the Creative Live studio in Seattle when I was over there in October presenting my Dramatic Post-production workshop. I'm not quite sure what the message refers to, so please let me know if you've come across the OMG label elsewhere.

Update: this label is for sale here, but I'm none the wiser about exactly what it refers to ... if anything.

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2.15pm on 4/10/11
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5 December, 2011 // untitled #126comments & reactions

While this isn't as immediately striking as some of the shots I've been posting recently it's one that I really enjoyed working on, mostly because I knew that it had the potential to look a whole lot better than the original. Overall the post-production wasn't especially complicated – eight masked curves for contrast, another for tone, and a channel mixer adjustment to partially desaturate the image – but the key to this one was the curve I used to adjust the back of the chair: a very steep S-curve, that brightened all but the very darkest shadows. This balances the light between the seat and back of the chair, but also gives the impression that the chair was lit by a harder light source than the rest of the scene.

As always, let me know what you think.

If you're a subscriber to our tutorials you can download the image as I've added it as our latest Mini-PSD.

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11.21am on 11/11/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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20 November, 2011 // Burj Khalifa 2011comments & reactions


I'm now back from my travels, having had a great time in Istanbul and Dubai. I'll write more about both trips over the next few days, but in the meanwhile I thought I'd post this one. It was taken last week, before the start of the GPP FotoWeekend, and was taken from the roof of the Executive Tower B in the Business Bay area of Dubai while I was out shooting with my good friend Catalin Marin. I should also add that my inspiration to take this one came from Catalin's shot of the same scene that he posted back in September. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to shoot from the same location too.

Anyway, more on both trips soon ...

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5.57pm on 14/11/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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16 November, 2011 // shoot the city #1comments & reactions

Officially the Gulf Photo Plus FotoWeekend event begins today, but I started yesterday with the first occurrence of my new Shoot the City workshop. This is a one day shooting workshop covering three locations: the Ubora building at Business Bay (where this shot was taken), Palm Jumeirah at sunset, then the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Sheik Zayed road for some night shooting. This is the first time I've run a shooting only workshop - I normally end up teaching at least some post-production during my GPP workshops - so it was great to see that this one turned out to be popular enough to schedule an extra occurrence.

As for this image: it's a shot of my extremely capable and talented assistant, Khaled Termanini.

Let me know what you think.

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2.12pm on 15/11/11
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12 November, 2011 // Istanbul #1comments & reactions

As I mentioned when I posted my last entry, I'm currently in Istanbul. I've been running a Faces and Places workshop with Bobbi Lane that started on Tuesday and finished earlier this afternoon. It's been a great week, the students have been fantastic, and I've got some great shots that I'll be posting over the next week or so.

As for this one: it was taken during one of our photo walks and is probably one of my all time personal favourites. Let me know what you think.

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2.50m on 8/11/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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4 November, 2011 // urban cowboycomments & reactions

I've spent a long time wondering quite why someone would choose to paint this figure upside down, and haven't managed to come up with a single reason that makes any obvious sense. It does make an interesting photograph though so I'm not complaining :)

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3.03pm on 20/9/11
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5 September, 2011 // head case11 comments

I know, I've been crap at updating the blog lately, but there don't seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment to even cover the basics, let alone find time to go out shooting.

Fortunately, I'll be heading back to the UK soon – for some one-to-one training sessions and my The Art of Black and White Photography and Creating Dramatic Images workshops – so will definitely be out and about shooting some seascapes :)

As for this shot: it was taken in Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) and I may well use it as next week's Mini-PSD as the processing was quite interesting. Take a look at the original, and see if you can tell me why.

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10.08am on 1/6/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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16 May, 2011 // window lights9 comments

This is the second of three shots I'll be posting from our trip to the Buzludzha monument. It's also the image I've used for this week's Mini-PSD as I thought the transformation was sufficiently interesting to be worth sharing.

In other news ...

Check back tomorrow as a) I'll be posting my favourite shot from the trip (an HDR of the exterior of the monument), and b) will be letting you about some new web pages I've been developing for the photography and post-production training events we have planned for later this year :-)

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2.41pm on 15/5/11
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11 April, 2011 // Four Points Sheraton33 comments

This is a shot from the roof bar of the Four Points Sheraton hotel in Dubai, taken a couple of days after this year's Gulf Photo Plus training event. It's also the image I've posted as this week's Mini-PSD as the processing was quite interesting, i.e. I used 15 separate Curves adjustments. The first of these provided a (mostly) global adjustment to the contrast, the 15th toned the image, while the other 13 altered specific areas of the image, particularly the various buildings. The reason for this, as you can see if you take a look at the original, is that there was quite a lot of atmospheric haze (in the form of low clouds), so the buildings all look soft. By selectively amending the contrast, particularly for the buildings or the left, I was able to make the scene as a whole look a lot clearer. This sounds like a complicated process, but it was just a case of working with each building in turn, then generating a mask to block the effect from the rest of the image.

On a related note, quite a few of you have requested yesterday's image as a Mini-PSD, but I'm going to use if for a Creative Workflow tutorial instead. I'll be working on this over the next couple of days so hope to publish it by Thursday at the latest.

Anyway, tutorial stuff aside, I am pleased with this one but would like to hear from you too.

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6.52pm on14/3/11
Canon 5D Mark II
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30 March, 2011 // PING !!!17 comments

My previous image was probably the most lightly processed I've posted in quite a while so, by way of contrast, I thought I'd post this one next. It was taken at an abandoned village in Ras Al Khaimah (one of the less well known Emirates of the UAE), and, as you can see if you've taken a look at the original, it's quite flat and lacking in detail.

To bring out the detail I tone mapped it using Photomatix Pro. At this stage it was looking a bit better, but not much, so I used a rather unusual curve to add a large increase in contrast. 10 points to the first person who can tell me the shape of the curve :)

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2.14pm on 15/3/11
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COMPUTERS AND HARDWARE
17" MacBook Pro
15.4" MacBook Pro
Apple 24" LED Cinema Display
Wacom Intuos3 Graphics Tablet
4TB Infrant ReadyNAS NV+
500GB MirrorDrive RAID

CAMERAS
Canon 1Ds Mark II
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 5D
Panasonic Lumix GF-1
Ricoh GR Digital III

CAMERAS (previously owned/sold)
Canon 20D + BG-E2 battery grip
Canon PowerShot G9
Canon PowerShot G5
FujiFilm FinePix 40i

LENSES
EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM
EF 135mm f/2.8 soft focus
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Lensbaby Composer

FILTERS
Lee Filter system
105mm Circular Polarizer
P105 Wide-Angle Lens Hood
Graduated ND Soft Filter Set
Graduated ND Hard Filter Set

OTHER EQUIPMENT
Speedlite 580EX II
Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2
TC-80N3 timer remote control
Gitzo GT3540LS tripod
Really Right Stuff BH-55 PCL-1 panning clamp
055XPROB tripod with 484RC2 head
Manfrotto 681B monopod
Manfrotto 322RC2 grip head
WhiBal™ G6 Balance Card

BAGS/CASES
Thinktank Airport International v2.0
Pelican 1510 hard case
Lowepro Apex 60 AW
Lowepro Mini Trekker AW
Lowepro Mini Mag AW

SOFTWARE
OS X
BBEdit
Transmit
Capture One Pro
DxO Optics Pro + FilmPack
FDRTools
Lightroom
Photomatix Pro
Photoshop CS5
PTgui Pro
RAW Developer

PHOTOSHOP PLUGINS
Noise Ninja
LensFix & Panorama Tools

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David J. Nightingale


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