<<< o >>>park regis pool #1 20 comments + add yours

I'm now back in the UK after a fabulous couple of weeks in Dubai and Oman. I was at the GPP 2011 training event (March 12th-17th) then down in Oman with my great friend Bobbi Lane running a three day Faces and Places workshop. I'll write more about both events over the next week or so but in the meanwhile I'm posing this shot.

It was taken between GPP and the Oman trip, while shooting with Gerald Donovan (who produced the 45 gigapixel image of Dubai). I'd spent the day providing some one-to-one postproduction training for Gerald, after which we went out shooting. We spent the late afternoon at the rooftop bar at the Park Regis hotel, from where this one was taken, after which we switched to the Four Points Sheraton to shoot the sunset and Sheik Zayed Road after dark.

I did shoot quite a few shots of the skyline from this location, but also wanted to produce something a bit different, so switched to shooting through the glass wall at the side of the pool. I knew that the buildings would be a bit soft, but also knew that it would be relatively straightforward job to emphasise these during postproduction (using masks, curves and Topaz Detail). If you're interested in the specifics I've used this one for our latest Mini-PSD.

As always, let me know what you think.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
image editor
plugins (etc)
2.30pm on 14/3/11
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
aperture priority
Camera Raw
Photoshop CS5
Topaz Detail
3x2 + travel [Dubai, UAE] + show the original
comment by Antony Pratap at 02:30 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

Whoaw! The original actually doesn't show the picture or the details. I'm so shocked how you bring in so much details.

Awesome work as usual!

comment by CSJ @ID7 at 02:34 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

Glad your back safe mate, I love the pencil like nature to the image, a nice idea to use a less obvious framing. Chat soon . CJ

comment by Fabio at 02:38 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

I do like this one a lot!

comment by Carlos Garcia at 02:50 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

Glad you're home safe. Just love your work here David. The transformation from the original is so cool.

comment by Al at 03:45 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

A very dramatic transition. I'm a big fan of the final result. I would have also been curious to see if you used the original colors from the image and then extract the details from it what would have been the result (along with combining it with a suttle yellow tone to it).

Thanks for posting a mini-psd of this! That was going to be my next question.

comment by Justin Blanton at 07:25 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

David, David, David, this is just beautiful. Wow.

comment by djib at 09:31 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

As always your processing is just mind-blowing. You're bringing out so many details that you probably found interesting in the first place but weren't captured that well by your camera. I love your work and your eye.

comment by Dan Kaufman at 09:40 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

Black an' White is the best! Brilliant work.

I'll bet Libby an' the kids are jealous you get to hangout at a pool bars.

comment by Dan Kaufman at 10:05 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2011

...just went through the mini-PSD for this image. It's not the "obvious" adjustments that amaze me, but the oh-so-subtle masked curves on seemingly insignificant parts of the image that take it OVER THE TOP. Brilliant processing !!

comment by Chris at 06:01 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2011

Fantastic work as usual. I enjoy where you decide to place your camera to capture the scene. Very Interesting and cannot wait for upcoming postings from the two workshops.

comment by djn1 at 10:20 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2011

Thanks everyone.

Al: I did try a colour version, but the black and white / toned version seemed a lot stronger.

Dan: I edited this one several times, over several days, and ended up tweaking different areas of the image each time. I think the key point with an image like this is to think about how the different areas of the image contribute to the image as a whole. As such it's often just a question of bringing out particular elements of the scene to create a slightly different feel. In this case this involved the relationship between the buildings, the glass screen and the water in the foreground.

comment by mark / one way photo at 02:27 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2011

I like it - very original take

comment by Chris Yakimov at 03:04 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2011

wow - such a creative image! :)

comment by Michael Behlen at 04:28 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2011

This is ridiculously great. Calm and complex.

comment by Jon Yager at 08:25 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2011

David I love this one. You said it perfectly as well - there are many different areas of this image that all contribute that image as the whole (from the soft buildings, to the more distinct ones, the water, the texture on the glass, the reflection, the tile work, etc.). Interestingly enough I think over time that is what I've learned the most from your tutorials and workshops. I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes so it took me a while to get that figured out, but with the tools at our hands we can really make exciting overall images with fairly simply tweaks to separate areas of the image. Thank you! One question - the lighting in the original seems slightly more "even" from left to right then the final image. It seems you have enhanced that left to right difference. Was that at least partly due to the detail available on the right (I haven't seen the PSD yet so haven't seen the histogram) or more of a choice on your part for overall effect? I love the effect, just wondering if that was conscious on your part.

comment by djn1 at 11:35 AM (GMT) on 23 March, 2011

Thanks Jon. As for your question: I didn't change the balance between the left and right sides, but it is more pronounced in the final version - but just because I increased the overall contrast.

comment by Steve Thurow at 04:00 PM (GMT) on 24 March, 2011

I really enjoyed your Creating Dramatic Images workshop in Austin and learned tons of useful stuff. I love the detail in the final photo. Is there any chance this can be made a mini PSD?

comment by Christiane Nicely at 11:17 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2011


comment by Jason at 01:12 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2011

This is amazing! Such a clever composition. Very imaginative and wonderfully executed:)

comment by James Howe at 12:37 PM (GMT) on 6 April, 2011

Amazing how certain processing can really bring out elements in an image that you wouldn't have guessed were there. I love the look of the finished image. Nice!