<<< o >>>cool passion 18 comments + add yours

Update: I've just had a quick discussion with Neil Bayliss regarding the sharpening of this image. The version that's up now is less sharp than the one I posted earlier but, I hope, looks a bit more natural. The original version can be seen here.

I took this a couple of weeks ago and initially didn't think about using it here; mostly because I've been posting landscape format shots for the last four months, but also because I couldn't produce a version of it I liked. But, after looking at this shot over at Mike Golding's site, and reading about how it was done here, I decided to try it with this shot. Basically the 'trick' is to extract the red channel using the channel mixer, akin to shooting with a red filter, and I think it's quite effective as used here.

The only other issue I had with this shot was trying to decide what size to use. I could have set the height to be the same as my regular shots (i.e. 525px) but I think that portrait shots of that size are rather too small. So, I went to the opposite extreme and kept the width the same as my other stuff. I know this means that unless you have a 1280x1024 monitor (or above) you'll need to scroll the image, but I think this shot works quite well as two halves (so to speak). I remember looking at this shot at daily dose of imagery and thinking that there were definitely some shots that actually benefit from being scrolled rather than seen all at once. I'm not sure that this one is one of those, but I don't think it causes too many problems to view it this way.

This is another shot of Blackpool's North Pier, and the structure on top of the pier also appeared in this recent shot.

Oh, more mundanely: I finally got around to recoding the archive pages and writing the relevant bits of CSS. The main archive page actually looks quite attractive again now ;-) And if you do have a look round the various archives please let me know if you find anything that doesn't work, or doesn't work as expected. I've done a fair amount of testing, but there's normally some browser incompatibility issue somewhere along the line. One thing I am quite pleased with is the drop-down navigator in the right side-bar. It gives you a list of all the entries, an ordered list of the top 50 commented entries, and also lets you select the monthly and category archives. If you only visit every few days this would be a good page to bookmark.

capture date
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
focal length
image quality
white balance
Canon G5
1.42pm on 14/5/04
program AE
4x3 + piers [North pier] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by Tom B at 04:10 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004


Most of your shots continue to amaze me. Again, I was not disapointed. This shot is once again fantastic.


comment by lynn at 04:15 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

oh, this is breathtaking! the technique does indeed do justice to the subject matter, as does the "royal" format... i have a weakness for the british coast anyhow (the dutch one is lovely, but architecturally a bit boring ) so this started my day with a sigh of delight.

comment by 'daisies at 04:26 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

flawlessly beautiful ... what you've done with this is fabulous from the compostion to the use of technique. the contrasts are simply to use lynn's word "breathtaking"!

comment by Kathleen Connally at 04:26 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

I love this shot -- just gorgeous ! The texture of the barnacles is fascinating. Funny about the ad saying "cool passion." Photography is just that, isn't it?

comment by Sean at 06:08 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

I really like the texture on those pillars in the foreground.

comment by montewski at 08:34 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

excellent! as usual! :)

comment by Andrew at 09:09 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

By coincidence, I was just investigating B&W conversion in Photoshop tonight. So far, I've had nice results from this action, which is essentially a slightly more complex and tweakable version of this page's second and third technique merged.

I'm a composition guy first, so that's what I like most about this photo, but it's also great to see such a large depth of field.

comment by Aegir at 11:49 AM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

I like this one. While it's nice viewing it onscreen, having a print of it would be even better... You ever offer prints at all?

Besides, who'd have thought it, Blackpool, looking nice - shocking. I dare you to nip up the coast and do the same trick with Morecambe, and no shots of the Midland Grand allowed... ;]

comment by PCG at 12:00 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

There is also one more method that I know of: create an adjustment layer with Gradient Map; choose the gradient of your choise (black to white in this case); double click the gradient - you'll go to the gradient editor; click the black color stop and move the midpoint cursor to your choise. There you go.
As for your photo, Dave: liked it very much but I was attracted mostly to the shapes of the pillars. have you thought of cropping the scenery in order to get a composition based only on them?

comment by Kate at 12:26 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

This is just brilliant. I have to agree with Aegir, who'd have thought Blackpool could look so good ;-). Hope you have an excellent one up your sleeve for tomorrow :-)

comment by rannie at 02:14 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

A slight difference, but I definitely like this version better than the previous version. As usual, stunning job.

comment by john at 03:31 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

Nice one... What really makes this one for me is all the contrast of textures at the bottom.

You're right about the first one being oversharpened. It's tough to get good DoF at f4.

comment by Liisa at 08:28 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

wow! congrats - that's a real master piece! Enjoy my regular visits here very much

comment by Kris at 09:46 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

A technique I'll have to try.

Another technique to try is creating a tritone by converting first to grayscale, and then to duotone (and selecting an additional tone in there). You can adjust the individual curves for each tone, which I've found creates a richer tonal pallete then you get with simple grayscale or desaturation.

Just a thought . . . :)

comment by Zero at 10:20 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

This shot is a nice change of pace... I like it, a lot.

comment by Emily at 10:36 PM (GMT) on 3 June, 2004

i like the less-sharpened one. and it's an amazing shot. the sepia dramatizes it, really beautiful.

comment by djn1 at 12:29 AM (GMT) on 4 June, 2004

Thanks everyone.

And Andrew, PCG and Kris: thanks for the b/w conversion ideas - I'll give them a try.

comment by IanSMcN at 06:03 PM (GMT) on 14 June, 2004

Seeing your handling of Blackpool I can (almost) understand your moving. Tremendous photo with imposing presence!