Simplicity: Horseshoe Luck

I took a trip to Butte, Montana in hopes of taking pictures of abandoned warehouses and/or apartments. On the way there, I took my time and investigated this house that looked like it was about 50 years old and had been abandoned for at least 10-15 years. I soon found out that the place was a dump and whoever lived there last basically used it as such. Not wanting to leave without a picture, I took this shot. It’s simple, but I think that’s okay sometimes. I think sometimes we get caught up in the complex and tend to overdue things. That being said, let this picture simplify your day!

Post-Processing techniques used for this image and most other images after the cut:

Horseshoe LuckHorseshoe Luck

The other day, someone asked me if I could post what I use when processing my images. I’ll give a generic breakdown of my post processing techniques right now, but someday, I’ll post a more in-depth tutorial on my overall process.

  1. I start in Lightroom. I make minor adjustments here: Usually just change the WB and make sure images are aligned. If the images are not align, I might open them in Photoshop and manually align them. Otherwise, for minor alignment issues, I will let Photomatix align the images for me.
  2. Next, I export them to Photomatix.
  3. After Photomatix, I’ll open the image in Photoshop. Here is where most of the work gets done and where things vary the most.
  4. Lens Correction
  5. Nik Color Efex’s Pro Contrast
  6. Nik Color Efex’s Tonal Contrast (Usually, I try to apply only a slight adjustment here)
  7. Nik Color Efex’s Brilliance/Warmth
  8. Nik Sharpener Pro
  9. If there are skies and/or water, I’ll usually run Topaz DeNoise to remove some of the noise from the skies and water.
  10. If I want to control where I think the user’s eyes should go, I’ll sometimes darken the image with Nik Color Efex’s Midnight plugin.
  11. I haven’t used Focal Point, but I intend to in the future.

That is the typical run-through.  Lately, I’ve started changing things up a little. I’ll to everything I just stated, but then I’ll take the original file generated by Photomatix and run it through Topaz Adjust or onOne’s ProPhoto Tools and mask in some of the image.

Let me know if you have suggestions or thoughts! As usual, I appreciate the comments and the fact that you took the time to look at my work! Have a great day!


show hide 9 comments

January 25, 2011 - 9:23 am

Jesse Pafundi Simple yet effective. Nice job capturing the textures and rust of that horseshoe

January 25, 2011 - 10:54 am

Chris @Jesse Pafundi – Thanks, Jesse. Sometimes, you just need simple in your life. Today was one of those days.

January 25, 2011 - 12:29 pm

Chris Wray Love the textures and color you’ve achieved in processing. One suggestion: centered subjects are less interesting than off-center, and typically dead center is, well…dead.

This subject might be more interesting if shot at an extreme oblique angle. This will also introduce some interesting DOF when using say a 50mm f/1.4 or 1.8 lens. Just my 2 cents.
Chris Wray recently posted..Glass photography- a brief tutorial

January 25, 2011 - 2:02 pm

Chris @Chris Wray – Good call, Chris. I get into such a rush when taking pictures, because I want to take so much in, that I can get tunnel vision. I’ll work on getting a little more interesting. Thanks for the comment and your honesty. I appreciate it!

January 25, 2011 - 2:14 pm

Chris Wray My pleasure, Chris. I love photography because it’s always a learning endeavor. The Twitter community we belong to is a great place to pick up tips & techniques and share constructive ideas. I enjoy your blog posts and tweets!

January 25, 2011 - 2:28 pm

Chris @Chris Wray – Yeah, it is a great place to learn. I’m loving it! 😀

January 26, 2011 - 9:02 am

James Brandon Very simple, very effective Chris. How do you like that 100mm macro? I hear great things about it

January 26, 2011 - 11:49 am

Chris @James Brandon – Thanks, James. I love the 100mm Macro. I have only used it a few times for the macro-side of things, but it’s pretty sweet. I’m glad I went with the IS version. It’s also great for portraits and regular shots such as this. It’s very crisp.

December 29, 2012 - 9:04 am

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