<<< o >>>feel the difference 31 comments + add yours

First of all, thanks for all the comments on my last post. I know that HDR images aren't everyone's cup of tea so it was good to see that it was well received.

On the subject of HDR images, Craig posted an HDR portrait of me a couple of days ago. In terms of technique, I think it was pretty well done, but the content leaves a bit to be desired. Mind you, I really hate seeing photographs of myself – there's just something really odd about the whole experience :-)

On a different matter, and related to this image, I just posted our latest tutorial – Working with textures: part one. I'm particularly pleased with this one, not least because I used some of Mike Regnier's work to illustrate the tutorial in addition to a couple of my own. If you're not familiar with Mike's work then you really should pay his site a visit – he's a genius when it comes to working with textures.

Anyway, having said all that ...

This one combines one original image and two textures: a shot of the North Pier, another of a ripped canvas blind, and another of a water stain on a wall. It's not quite up to Mike's standard, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

As always, let me know what you think, even if it's only to tell me that you don't like it :)

3x2 + piers [North pier] + fylde coast [scenic] + digital art
comment by Kristian at 08:16 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

Looks like you had a bit of bad weather there. Looking forward to reading your latest tutorial. With this result I bet it's top notch. The thing you've done with the stairs look amazing. Cool!

comment by Jason Wall at 08:26 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

you should depart from your usual style more often. I like this one. The upper half more than the lower. The texture makes the scene look like we're looking at a photo of a painting of a pier. Layers.... mmmm.....

The sea is always appealing to me, and the texture of the wash and waves below is something i can look at for long periods.

I will say that the torn canvas at the bottom is distracting. At first it was intriguing, i wasn't sure what was being done, then it was confusing, because i couldn't determine if the frayed edges were icicles or not. Eventually it looks like you're looking as something beneath a canvas, which is probably what you were attempting, but I'm not sure what it says about the image as a whole, which feels a little disjointed.

I don't want to sound critical. ;) its a nice piece of work. I love the nostalgic feel the weathered pattern of the canvas gives the upper half, coupled with the older style of the architecture on the pier it makes me wistful for times i never experienced, but that's at odds with the gritty decaying look of the material at the bottom.

Interesting post!

comment by Nicki at 08:58 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

Hi Dave, i think/i know that you're a god of postprocessing for me. I wonder every times what's possible. Wonderfull postprocessing - nothing left to say. It's always funny to see a photographs profile/face. I think that i'm looking to process a selfportrait. Good inspiration :D

comment by Craig at 08:59 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

Cor blimey what, I like this. The water stain has given a whole "Victorian Postcard" effect and I don't find the ripped canvas to be distracting, it's intriguing, if you hadn't told us I don't think I would have figured it out.

Fantastic stormy sea too, really whipped up! Can we have another "untitled, need suggestions" soon? I'm resisting typing "Rip Tide" darn said it, lol ;O)

Look forward to reading the tutorial, I've only tried texture a few times without much success I have to say!

comment by Jessica Kehrli at 09:02 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

The torn canvas texture is reaaallly neat. I haven't seen anything like that used before. I really like it. I am immediately drawn to the torn canvas at the bottom, especially in the middle where the water is. This could be a good thing or a bad thing.... I love it because it grabs my attention BUT It takes the focus off of the pier.

comment by Steve at 09:03 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

I really like this one. I'm not a great fan of textures normally (it's a love or hate thing for me) but this one I found intriguing. The power of the sea is evident which can be quite scary if you live near it (I do) and the pier looks pretty creepy too. The bit I like best is the torn canvas at the bottom though - it gives depth in an M C Escher kind of way.

It's one of those pictures that draws you back for another look.

comment by csj @ id7.co.uk at 09:04 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

There are a quite a few reasons why I like this image. Please don't get me wrong, I have just read the tutorial and I am definately going to give this a go. It definately encapsulates the mood of the scene, and the power of the sea. I feel that I could have happily been intrigued by a simple 16x9 of just the top half of the image, with the texture, but the additional subject element of the stairs, the torn fabric? and pipework? makes for an interesting juxtaposition. It is a leap from your comfort zone, and to be honest probably a good thing. I'm off now to play with some images....... csj

comment by Chris Wray at 09:19 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

Its an unusual one this. You are definitely drawn to the tears at the bottom, its as if yer brain can't figure it out, and you keep having to go back to this spot for another attempt. I think I'll have to go and have a look at this tutorial. Can you post another one of these please, I'm still on the fence on this one.

comment by Gary Eddleston at 10:12 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

Wow, what a great image, The sea looks so powerful

comment by Claus at 10:52 PM (GMT) on 21 January, 2009

Amazing color work, and the texture overlay give it a very gritty feeling, and thats something I really like in a image! Great shot!

comment by Abhijit Dharmadhikari at 02:56 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

Lovely toning! It reminds me of those darkroom, silver-halide prints :-)

comment by 613photo at 02:56 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

Well, I hate to make two similar comments in a row but you did ask what I think! I think it doesn't need the texture, but it's a strong photograph.

As a tutorial on how to use textures it's expert, of course.

comment by Sunshine at 03:21 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

Wow!! This one is amazing!!

comment by David Chabashvili at 05:06 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

I like this one a lot! The textures look amazing as well as the shot!

comment by Brad at 06:33 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

Those steps need some work

comment by Carlos Garcia at 07:42 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009


Brilliant composition. Of course anything with the shore is fascinating and I thought the texture on the bottom half was the creation of some kind of weird ice formation... the bottom portion seems a bit unfinished leaving a question mark as compared to the rest of the image. It has a dream like quality and the power of the sea is menacing. Carlos

comment by Justin Photis at 09:04 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

It's nice to see a departure from your normal work and a step into this new realm. I think a lot of the shots with added texture add a more dark and moody feel to the majority of photo's and it's no different with your shot. It works very well with the churning sea and the older feel of the pier and looks very good. Though I feel the torn blind at the bottom of the picture makes the base of the steps a little cluttered with the steps, waves and the edge of the torn blind too.

comment by Joanna at 11:34 AM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

I think it worked out pretty well. Working with textures is still "black magic" for me, maybe one day I'll give it a try :)

comment by Mario Jean [madoc photo] at 12:09 PM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

Great work here. The textures beautifully bring a nice "old archives photo" feel, that suggests that something very dramatic happened on that day. And the composition is mind-blowing. Fantastic!

comment by LightningPaul at 12:45 PM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

The wild water and the pier are fantastic. The old paper look, which is very visible in the sky really fits. It looks like an old image (so: great work).
The bottom (ripped canvas) is very strange and does not fit at all. You expect stairs or something that would make sense over there. I really had to read your explanation to see what is going on; and I still don't like it.

comment by Garry at 02:17 PM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

It's got a fantastic surreal quality to it along the bottom edge, like two realities bleeding into one another :)

comment by Roy at 04:21 PM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

Something really unsettling and apocalyptic about this - I like it a lot.
Not a technique I've ever explored - must check out the tutorial...

comment by Dan Kaufman at 07:57 PM (GMT) on 22 January, 2009

When I first opened this image I was taken by the forbidding doom of the storm waters and sky, but as well done as the torn edge of the concrete and the sea are--there's this tension with what looks like paper-thin concrete and sea vs what my mind knows to be solid objects/volumes. I've stared at it a long time now and just can't get comfortable. However, I do believe that as an HDR processing this could be a very frightening storm.

comment by jelb at 12:05 AM (GMT) on 23 January, 2009

Well done processing..Good idea!..Bravo!

comment by Parker at 09:34 AM (GMT) on 23 January, 2009

My favorite picture of yours in a while! Really fantastic job. I will echo the sentiment that the torn canvas is both intriguing and distracting. The rest of the image is completely terrific in every way. :-)

comment by Westy | P H O T O N O M Y at 11:25 AM (GMT) on 23 January, 2009

this is like something that could have come from about 60 years ago... its really clever as it looks like a print on proper old paper... amazing

comment by djn1 at 03:04 PM (GMT) on 23 January, 2009

Thanks everyone :)

comment by cy at 03:58 AM (GMT) on 24 January, 2009

OMG! love this one. there is such an emotion feel to it.

comment by chiara at 04:21 PM (GMT) on 25 January, 2009

I love this one!!!!! Really great post processing work

comment by Briony at 02:10 AM (GMT) on 26 January, 2009

this is awesome! i just found your blog and i am loving your work!

comment by gavin hart at 12:42 PM (GMT) on 30 January, 2009

Whoah! Wicked weather! A dramatic scene. Your texture here is great. Excellent work. Aesthetically, I too find the foreground stairs sort of untidy and distracting but that's probably just be due to my obsessive neatness nature - Lol. Anyway, I guess it's a very good illustration of using textures. BTW, I nearly swiped that insect crawling on my screen. ;=)