Friday, August 14, 2009
through the haze (before and after)
Another photo for the before and after series. Here's the original, mostly unprocessed version:
This shot of the Chicago Skyline was taken from the Indiana Dunes. I was climbing the Dune Succession trail, near West Beach, and used a Nikon D90 with a 55-200mm Nikon lens set as long as it could go. The hill you see in the foreground is actually some ways in the distance from where I was standing. The magic of long focal lengths is that it compacts distances and makes everything appear closer.
This is a shot that was a whole year in the making. Well, sort of. I visited the Dunes last summer and had wanted to capture the skyline, but at the time didn't have a long enough zoom with me to take the photo I wanted. So I made sure to bring the 55-200 with me this time. Maybe next year I'll visit with a 300mm!
I knew when I took this shot that I would make it black & white. A hazy summer day is just a hazy summer day, but in black & white it becomes something much more interesting. The decision to crop it square happened when I pulled it up on my computer. It just seemed to work best with the composition. I also straightened the horizon line, added a sepia tone (to the shadow areas), and finally overlaid a touch of film grain to give the photo more texture.