There were a few more subtle changes made to the photographs based on suggestions my tutor made regarding the discernibility of the tourists, in the night time shot (Photograph 4 – Assignment 3) as figures. ‘Perhaps a stronger element of crowd in the foreground they really are more like shadows from the people above.’ I agreed with my tutor here but luckily I had a couple more exposures where the people were more distinct and so I blended them in using layers and their respective masks until there was more activity visible in the lower half of the frame and in my opinion they appeared like figures passing by rather than ‘shadows from the people above’.
Then there was the issue my tutor picked up on: ‘The rickshaw image is the first one that has a little of the superimposed feel about it. This is the one that I would pick out as the most obvious user of a layering technique.’ for Photograph 7 – Assignment 3. I looked at this image for a while because I agreed with my tutor that the tourists around the rickshaw riders looked ‘superimposed’ through the use of layering, which was indeed the case! I came to the conclusion the reason it looked superimposed in part was because of the people’s legs, which I’d superimposed right at the bottom centre of the frame below the rickshaw riders. I still had the layers and layer masks for Photograph 7 – Assignment 3 saved in Photoshop so I painted back out those legs in the bottom centre of the frame which I felt made the photograph more realistic overall.
The most drastic change I decided to make to Assignment 3 – Landscape however, was the incorporation of split-toning into my workflow for the processing of the photographs. My tutor commented in my tutor report that while ‘the print quality is good they have a slightly split tone feel to them’ and while this was quite subtle in appearance for the viewer of the prints, it didn’t match the screen images I’d uploaded to my blog. My tutor also subsequently pointed this out in the tutor report: ‘I think the prints are so much better than the screen images. Its subjective but the onscreen ones are a lot cooler and more calculating. The prints have a much more human – analogue -non digital feel.’ Firstly I wanted the screen images to be as similar as possible to the prints, it was my opinion that consistency was quite an important factor for different mediums of presentation. I discovered my printer had only one black ink and actually used colour cartridges for the black and white printing. The source for this discovery was: ‘Because the Epson Stylus Photo 1500W doesn’t feature dedicated monochrome inks, it has to blend its colour inks to great shades of grey.’ – Hawkins, M. (2012) found at: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/peripherals/printers-and-scanners/printers/epson-stylus-photo-1500w-1079586/review/2 accessed on 16/8/2016. I would assume this is where the ‘slightly split tone feel to them’ came from. Also I decided I wanted to embrace this ‘split tone feel’ in both the screen images and the prints. By purposefully going for a split tone look I would be able to keep the prints more consistent with the screen images as well making the screen images appear slightly less digital to match the ‘much more human – analogue -non digital feel’ of the prints. In order to produce the split tone feel I used Adobe Lightroom’s ‘Split Toning’ feature in the Develop module. I experimented with different values for the hue of the highlights and shadows, the saturation of hue for the highlights and shadows and the balance of highlights and shadows split toning. I eventually arrived at the following values (consistent with each photograph for Assignment 3 – Landscape) through my own taste of the onscreen images and also printing a few times the different combinations of split toning until I was satisfied. The values I arrived at were: Hue and saturation of the highlights: 45 and 42 respectively. Hue and saturation of the shadows: 232 and 29 respectively. The balance between the highlights and shadows was +23 to the highlights. For me this produced a more ‘human’, less ‘digital’ feel to both the onscreen images and the prints.
Finally my tutor noted there was a lack of information on my blog regarding my inspiration for the ‘ghosts of the city’ as tourists for Assignment 3 – Landscape and the reason for this was I had inadvertently produced a few photographs where it appeared there were ‘Ghosts of the city’ evident in the frame. My most obvious example of this was in Example Photograph 1 where in the middle of the frame ghosts appeared to be residing in the city, caused by the long exposure of 5 seconds which was incidentally the exposure time necessary to expose at f/11, ISO 100 during the blue hour. The reason I chose to expose with these settings was because it allowed for minimal noise in the image and so resulting for my tastes in better image quality compared to if a higher ISO had been used. So really my inspiration for ‘Ghosts of the city’ was accidental! I had subsequently decided to incorporate this discovery of long exposures rendering people as ‘ghosts’ into my workflow in producing the photographs for Assignment 3 – Landscape.
Hawkins, M. (2012). Epson Stylus Photo 1500W review. [online] TechRadar. Available at: http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/peripherals/printers-and-scanners/printers/epson-stylus-photo-1500w-1079586/review/2 [Accessed 30 Aug. 2016].