I am continuing my exploration of “digital dark room” techniques through my participation in the monthly “One Photo Focus” challenge, hosted by Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing. As the name suggests, all participants work on a single image and put their own interpretation.
Just in time for Independence Day in the States, we are all working on the iconic image submitted by Robin Kent of PhotographybyKent of the US Capitol Building. Here is the original:
It took me a while to decide how I would work with this image, but when I read about this grand edifice, it became evident how I would like to treat it. The Capitol is among the most symbolically important and architecturally impressive buildings in the United States. It has housed the meeting chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate for two centuries. It stands today as a monument to the American people and their government.
Summary of my editing process
So with history in mind, I first of all wanted to bring out a little more contrast and details in both the building and the sky to give the image more drama. To do so I used the Nik Color Efex software and select the detail extractor tool. Here is the first step.
I then wanted to reflect the age of the building, and highlight the passage of time. To do this, I again called on the Nik software, but this time using Silver Efex and applying an Antique Plate pre-set. I did some minor tweaking of the settings, selected a sepia tone and added an image border reminiscent of burnt and faded edges. Back in Lightroom, I resized and saved the image. Here is the result:
I am quite happy with the effect. The image has a vintage look thanks to the sepia tones, the faded vignette and burnt frame, and the details in the sky have added interest. This was a good exercise in visualising what I wanted to achieve, then working on translating what was in my mind’s eye. So thank you Robin for letting us play with your photograph.
Do take the opportunity to head over to Visual Venturing for this July One Photo Focus challenge and check out other participants’ creative efforts. There are sure to be some very different interpretations.