This image from the Eastern States Penitentiary (ESP) took top honors at Schenectady Photographic Society (SPS) as Color print of the year 2010-2011. It is a wonderful feeling as you set there and they are going thru all the entered prints and yours is still in the running, when they get that moment when they announce “and the Print of the Year” and it is your print. I always shoot photos that I want to hang on my walls and when they win a competition or someone wants to purchase one, it is the frosting on the cake.
This image is from Eastern States Penitentiary of the cell, which severed as the barbershop for the inmates. This image has been shot be every photographer that has visited the penitentiary, do an image search of ESP and see for your self there will be hundreds of the this cell.
This image is High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos made up of nine bracketed images take one stop apart. The nine images are merged together and tone mapped using Photomatix software by HDR Soft. The tone-mapped image is then imported back into Adobe Lightroom where I did a curve adjustment to bring the contrast back. From Lightroom the image is exported out to Photoshop where I use filters from NIK software to put the final touches onto the image. The first NIK filter I apply to the image is Tonal Contrast to bring out the textures, then follow this filter with NIK Glamour Glow, which brings out the color and apply a soft glow to the image. And the final touch to the image is with NIK Darken/Lighten Center to darken up the outer area of the image to give the appearance of the barber’s chair being illuminated from the ceiling window light in the ceiling of the cell.
The final result is a HDR photograph that does not scream HDR; to me this is the problem of many photographers today doing HDR they take it to far and the image screams HDR. Digital photography today is amazing but as a photographer you have to know when to stop when Appling the Photoshop tools and filters.