Last Tuesday morning I enjoyed walking with my friends Doug Kaye and Steve Disenhof south of Market Street in San Francisco. After strolling along The Embarcadero from the Ferry Building, we headed over a couple of blocks to Spear Street and did what we usually do – walked towards the good light!
There are a couple of nice courtyards along Spear Street adjacent to office buildings – including one at 201 Spear Street. This statue of a photographer by sculpture Seward Johnson (named “Smile”) is one of my favorites. I made this image using my iPhone 11 Pro Max in Portrait mode and proceeded it into black and white.
Maybe it’s the visit to the Ansel Adams show with Chris on Saturday that has sent me over the edge, but I’m continually intrigued by how one can take a color photo and turn it into a much more powerful black and white image.
Frankly, I didn’t spend much time on this photo – the point was to provide it (a traditional HDR post-processed shot) as a point of comparison with the new in-camera HDR feature built-in to the S95.
As I was looking at it, I wondered how a conversion to black and white might look – now that I’ve become acquainted and familiar with Lightroom 3’s excellent Black and White Mix controls.
So, I gave it a shot – here’s the result – after about 10 minutes of tweaking in Lightroom:
Obviously, it’s the same subject as the original photo – Rodin’s Gates of Hell – but it’s been transformed into a more powerful photograph through the conversion to black and white.
I also experimented for the first time using the new Lens Correction features in Lightroom 3 – to remove the distortion in terms of angle, etc. that I had in the original image. It now looks very close to a direct, head-on shot at the scuplture.
Finally, I tweaked it in Flickr – using Picnik to add a museum frame around it – dressing it up a bit.