50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta

If you are ever at Hampton Court Palace don’t forget to look up. The Astronomical Clock, an imposing, functional work of art, was installed in 1540. Other than the time it also indicates high tide at London Bridge.  That’s important if you are traveling by barge, as many members of the court at the time would have been doing. We used the car park; just one way in which times have changed since the clock’s installation.

ISO 1000 50mm 1/640 f/16

While touring the palace I was using my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens.  The challenges that day were the rain and the fact that I was taking photos indoors and out. One thing that my camera does well is allow for a high ISO and a resulting photo that is not too grainy; in this case I set my ISO high so that I could change my shutter speed and aperture frequently. I brought home a lot of images, but I really found the clock facinating. You can see in my final image I have combined black and white and color.  Here is where I started:

ISO 1000 50mm 1/640 f/16

One of the first things I did was to crop the image using the straighten feature in Photoshop.  From the angle which the photo was taken, I think it is natural for it not to be 100% straight, but I wanted it straighter than the way it had been shot.  I also sharpened the image.  I mention these two steps because they are often my last two steps, but this time were my first.  I then created a second layer, making it black and white.  The black and white copy on top, the color underneath. I allowed Photoshop to make the black and white by clicking Image-Adjustments-Black&White. This will make default adjustments but also pops up a dialogue box that will allow, via sliders, the user to adjust the various values of the image. I like to start with the default, but it rarely matches exactly what I want to see.  In this case, it was the sky, there was no detail in the default, but the sliders helped me fix that.  Then I added a layer mask on the black and white copy.  In the layers panel there is an icon with a  rectangle with a circle in it, that will created the mask.  I then used the paintbrush tool and painted over the face of the clock which revealed the color layer beneath.

I really like the result, but what do you think? The black and white brick really makes the color of the clock face stand out in a way that I like. Do you mix black and white and color in your editing process? Do you like the results you get?  I find that it is a bit of a mixed bag, sometimes it works really well other times it is a complete miss. I also have found that I have to go ahead and try it, I can’t always tell just by looking at the original image if it is going to work.  Do you have an editing technique that is like that for you? sometimes it works and other times it is a mess?  Feel free to leave a comment below.





45 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Delta

  1. Pingback: Delta Green Energy | What's (in) the picture?

  2. Really like your final result. Crisp, yet the structure doesn’t look rough or jarring. I always like to sharpen at the beginning as opposed to at the end, but I suppose that’s just down to personal preference. I find that applying filters doesn’t always work for me, and I only usually find that after I apply and adjust them.


  3. cynthiahm says:

    Photo editing is not something I have much experience with. It is really interesting to see the differences in the photos. I like both black and white and the colour. Each has its own appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was curious to try the combination in part because the red of the bricks was so close in color to the reds that are in the clock. You are right, the full color version is a much better representation of what you would see in real life.


  4. There was a time when a spot of color in the photo was all the rage. Then it got out of control and everyone was doing it for a while. Now, I think it’s being used appropriately to highlight specific areas, such as you have done here. I really like the B&W with the clock in color. A perfect use of the technique


    • Thank you Tina, and I think a lot of editing techniques go through an awkward phase where people over use it or apply it to everything. I think the positive that comes out of it is worth the awkwardness, but certainly I know I can look back through my files and come up with a few cringe-worthy edits.


  5. I like them both for different reasons – the red-brick of the original tends to swamp the colors in the clock face, but of course is the “original” – the black-and-white with color clock face is an intriguing effect, really makes the clock face stand out as a work of art. Your thoughts made me wonder what might happen if the image was all black-and-white. Thanks, Amy!


  6. Interesting development experiments 🙂 I don’t often do selective color – preferring pure B&W or the full color version. Now and again, one of Cee’s challenges has me considering it 😉 I was also interested in your point about the sky. I have also often found it necessary to work in that area to bring in the detail when using my Canon cameras. I’m playing around with a Fuji X-Pro2 at the moment and that seems to meter to keep the sky detail which sometimes means having to lighten the shadows to get the details back. Clearly two different design philosophies at work!


    • Generally speaking I work in color or black and white, which is one of the reason I love photo challenges, it gives you the idea of maybe trying something a bit out of the ordinary work flow. That’s interesting about the the differences in your camera. When I look at other cameras I often think of the more superficial things, like how the button layout is different.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Emilio Pasquale says:

    I am not a fan of selective color and might have used it once when first starting with Lightroom. But i prefer your b & w and color version of this clock just for the reasons you state. The clock face is more pronounced and you become more aware of the detail. But those colored bricks are beautiful. I would have had a hard decision to make!


  8. I really like how you explain your process, Amy. It really does bring out the details and color in the clock. Beautiful! I saw it years ago, but I’d love to go back.


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