HDR Collaboration: St. Nick Breaker

Thanks for stopping by the blog today for another HDR Collaboration including Mark Garbowski, Rob Hanson, Jim Denham, Theaterwiz, Jacques Gudé & Me! I figured the group would enjoy working on this set from my visit to the St. Nick Breaker and they didn’t disappoint. It’s always so cool to see how we all process an image differently and I’m honored to be a part of this talented bunch, enjoy!

Mark Garbowski
Lately I’ve noticed something of a trend towards simplicity in my work. More realism, or at least I’m limiting myself to film and darkroom tricks such as black and white, saturation, etc. But these collaborations seem to bring out the mad Photoshop scientist in me. I think it is not just because these aren’t fully my work and I therefore have license to play. It is also that the images take me to places where I wouldn’t take myself, and therefore I’m more prone to think of them as fictional settings that need as much atmosphere as I can manufacture.
That said, I’ll cut short the details on what I did. You can easily see where I played with the colors, light and detail. One thing I loved in the image were the small holes in the left equipment wall leaking light. For a moment I thought there were actually lights on, which certainly seemed odd, before I realized what they were. They were what gave me the idea to imagine an odd-colored light source coming from that direction.

Rob Hanson
Sometimes, you run across a set of brackets that is so much fun to play with that you spend hours trying new and different things. I found myself doing this with Scott’s brackets, and eventually had to set a time limit for processing!

There’s a lot to like in this set, but I was drawn by the machinery details, the light at the end of the corridor, and the play of cool tones against the warmer tones of that light. My efforts were aimed at drawing these three elements out to best effect.

Using various effects, I was able to draw a warm line down the corridor leading to the chair at the end. In order to draw the eye there, I needed to knock down some of the other warm tones, particularly on the upper ceiling, while still leaving a nice balance. As with other dark, creepy subjects, I always like a beacon to lead me out of the place.

Details on the left and right were punched up, and I tried to darken and subdue those areas without losing all the delicious details. Perhaps I could have gone a bit darker, but there’s a lot of good stuff to look at in there.

A detail area that I really enjoyed was the light coming through holes on the left side, including little flares around the opening. I enhanced those a bit for subtle interest.

Fantastic subject! So much fun to work with. Thanks for the opportunity, Scott.

Jim Denham
Scott knows how to frame them, that’s for sure! Love the lines that lead through this image, allowing you to take in all the gritty goodness! Great set Scott! Not many of my shots include a chair. Maybe a bench or two, but never a chair, so this was something I wanted to focus on. I wanted what looked to be natural light to look natural and highlight the chair, and only wanted enough of the other details in the scene to be visible enough to show they were there. I left quite a bit of the ceiling lit as well, mainly because it looked like it was supposed to be lit. Thanks to Scott for providing the fun!

Theaterwiz (Mike Criswell)
A very nice set of brackets Scott, I really liked all the detail in the scene, especially the chair and all the nice mechanical things on both walls. I only used 7 of the 9 brackets, I did not use the lower 2 EV brackets. When I ran them through Photomatix the image just appeared a bit too dark for my liking so I just went with 7 of the original brackets.

After Photomatix I ran them through some Topaz to get some more details and colors out of the image. I also added a bit of lens distortion and some tricks with OnOne to get the image to where I liked it. Thanks again for the great set of brackets Scott, they were a blast! it is always a pleasure to work with this talented group of artists and I look forward to the next round.