Ok so once in awhile I like to go crazy with the processing! I took a few bracketed photos, merged them in Nik HDR and used a very subtle setting. I then opened it in photoshop and added some sharpening and added some secret sauce.
So now that you’ve seen some interior shots of Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, I thought I’d show you the outside. Yes, this is over the top but for some reason I couldn’t help myself! (The image was tone-mapped using Nik HDR.)
One of the things I learned about this cathedral’s architecture is the purposeful marriage of ancient (concrete and wood) and new (glass and steel). This concept is not only used in the construction but in the symbolism as well, which I hope to share more of in the near future.
The Old: I was amazed to learn that the first recognition of concrete was 12,000,000 BC in Israel where reactions between limestone and oil shale during spontaneous combustion occurred to form a natural deposit of cement compounds. In 300 BC, Egyptians furthered the discovery of lime and gypsum mortar as a binding agent for building the Pyramids.
The New: The outside is shaped like a pope’s hat and is made of newer materials, glass and steel.
This “pope’s hat” is a beautiful piece of architecture in my opinion and changes depending on the light hitting the glass. At night, it is beautifully illuminated! I will have to go back and some night shots.
It’s One Photo Focus time! I rather enjoy this challenge of taking someone’s photo and editing it into our own creation. This week the original photo was provided by Shane Francescut, so thank you Shane! Please check out Shane’s blog when you have time.
The first thing I always do is adjust the shadows, clarity and other basics one finds in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw because I know I’m going to process the heck out of it lol. Once I have that done I try to come up with a vision for the image, and in this case I had a burning desire to make it a nighttime image (with my own twist of course). 🙂
1. After the basic adjustments mentioned above, I tone-mapped it in Nik HDR to give it a “pop”. (I think I’m addicted to tone-mapping in Nik HDR.)
2. Next, I replaced the sky with the stars using my favorite “blend if” feature in the layer styles. I cropped the photo to cut off the right hand part of the photo to eliminate the issue I was having masking in the sky in between all the branches. It was just too much to deal with trying to blend in the sky.
3. After that I applied the Nik Color Efex Sunlight filter to the image to simulate the moon’s glow.
4. Now I needed that nighttime look, so I applied one of the Nik Analog Efex filters to parts of the image by using the Brush feature in the filter. I really love the brush feature in Nik because it allows me to control where I want the filter applied and at what opacity.
5. Lastly, I added a vignette by applying neutral density gradients along the edges of the photo on a blank layer so I could control the darkened areas rather than just using one of the filter vignettes.
I will throw in a caveat here in that there were some steps along the way that are kind of boring so I won’t list all those but basically they include burning here and there, and isolating parts of the image to control hue and saturation and contrast.