Today’s image resulted from me being ‘let off the lead’ for half an hour in Milton Keynes centre while my wife shopped, without me fidgeting around in the background. A bonus for both parties – she got to shop hassle-free and I went looking for pictures.

Exoskeleton - click to enlarge

I was really rather pleased with how this image eventually turned out – click the image to get the benefit of the enlargement.

.It’s the back-side of one of the early Central MK buildings called ‘The Point’. Very modern in its day, but now sadly beginning to show it’s age and in need of a bit of TLC. What you see is the result of one of my voyages into the unknown: taking what was a rather lack-lustre image taken under dull light (but with some promising lines) and ending up with a crisp image with a bit of drama. The original un-edited RAW file is at the foot of this post so you can see the starting point.

Essentially it’s a solarised image, but there was also quite a bit of experimentation – additional ideas tried, some abandoned – along the way to get to this final image. What were the steps? The sad thing is that I really don’t remember exactly what I did and in what order. I’ve tried to reproduce this image so I could describe the process to you but I haven’t succeeded in repeating the clarity and the ‘snap’ of the image above.  Does that sound a familiar story?

Late in the evening, sitting beside the fire, quite often I will simply play around with an image in Photoshop and see what I can derive from it.  Repeatedly I’ve told myself – ‘record the workflow, write it down’. And sometimes I remember, but unfortunately it’s a rare event. More often than not, the creativity flows and I’m caught up in the process and forget. And then I end up frustrated, as I am right now, with a process and an outcome that I would love to re-use and, damn it, I’ve lost the script! Hands up – who else has done that?

Is there software out there that will record a series of quantifiable changes so they can be viewed as a crib sheet and then re-used? That would be gold dust; but in it’s absence I will just have to try harder and not make the same stupid mistake again.

the original unedited file


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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3 Responses to Exoskeleton

  1. Len Saltiel says:

    That’s quite a transformation Andy. Love the lines and tones in it. I know what you mean about recording the steps. There are times where I get a great effect but don’t always remember how I got there. It does pay to experiment though.


  2. You’ve done a great job with the processing here Andy. And I’m certainly in the same boat in terms of forgetting to document how I processed an image. However I did save my first custom preset in Photo Tools the other day for a series I’m working on. Makes a huge difference when you want consistency.


  3. seekraz says:

    Incredible transformation…your gold-dust changed the raw and fading into something crisp and new. Very nice, Andy.


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