At the end of the Passageway

The image today is a type of image that has been shot so many times before, that it has become hackneyed; and your immediate reaction may be: ‘Oh No, not another…’

IMG_5551But faced with a classic passageway and a figure silhouetted at the far end where the light was brightest, you might too have been persuaded to shoot an image or two.

I was in London last week to see the annual ‘Take a View’ Landscape Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the National Theatre on the Southbank, London.  If you live anywhere new London, you have until 9 February to catch this inspiring show. If that’s impossible click Here to see the winners of this year’s competition, and be inspired

If you walk across Hungerford Bridge to Southbank from Charing Cross, you will know this passageway well. The final result however is nothing like the original. In real life the walls are pale cream, but late at night it can still feel a rather isolating and threatening place if you are on your own.

I think it is reasonable to say that the mood has darkened – pun intended. I wanted something that created a more sinister feel. What you see here is another classic example of Solarization, a technique that I employ not infrequently these days. It’s a little bit of alchemy – because the results are always a surprise, and hard to predict. It’s a chemical experiment that in the digital era has nothing to do with smelly chemicals. And if the experiment goes wrong, it can be reversed with a single press on Undo.

IMG_5551_origIn this instance the initial Solarization (on a duplicate layer) was inverted and the figure then painted back in from the background layer to create the opaque silhouette. If you want to have a play, then I am happy for you to copy the original, at left  (already converted to B&W) to your desktop and experiment. Some of you may prefer the original, which with a bit more processing could look High Key. Click on either image to see the full size view

Meanwhile, don’t forget to take a look at iSighting, my other Blog where the writing is more important than the  images.

On this Blog, In the Rt sidebar, you will find excerpts from the current posts. Click on any of them for a longer read.


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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23 Responses to At the end of the Passageway

  1. No…never tired of seeing images such as this when it’s executed so well.

  2. Very interesting technique. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I very much prefer the darker image – it’s got more character, more emotion than the other one.

  4. Len says:

    Oh no, not another! Only kidding Andy. Love these type of shots where the mood comes through and you wonder what is going on in the image.

  5. A definite improvement on the original, Andy. The eeriness of some of these alleyways at night really shows through in this image.

  6. oneowner says:

    I really like your processing on this image, Andy. I took your advise and downloaded the unedited file and proceeded to do my own edit. It’s an excellent image to start with and open to a lot of different interpretations. I did not want to duplicate your effort but tried a bit different approach. I don’t know how to show this to you but it brings to mind a proposal I was going to make that involved 3 photographers and 3 images each that are shared in the RAW state and each photographer interprets the files anyway they want and are finally shared on one site. It’s not an original idea but I don’t see it happening on any blogs I follow. In the meantime, I will try to email this one to you.

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks Ken. I’m delighted you had a go and downloaded the image to experiment with it. I recall some time ago that there were a group of Photobloggers who all worked on the same set of HDR brackets to produce their own interpretation, and these were then shared. It’s an interesting idea, it’s all a matter of finding the right folk and the right images to work on.

  7. poppytump says:

    I like the ambiguity in darkened image Andy … is this figure walking away or advancing …

    • LensScaper says:

      She is actually walking away, Poppy. I don’t think I could have taken this with her walking towards me down this passageway. But in the image it is impossible to judge.

  8. Jim Nix says:

    I would totally take this shot, nice work Andy!

  9. Chillbrook says:

    I know the passageway well. I like both versions Andy, very much, but the darker one definitely adds more drama.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. I haven’t yet spent any time processing the original as a High Key version but I think it would produce a totally different final image. It’s all down to Mood as you so rightly say. It was the vulnerability, that one can feel in closed-in spaces, that I felt was enhanced by the reversal of tones in the Solarized conversion.

  10. seekraz says:

    I’d have shot the image, as well, Andy…hackneyed or not. I like what you did with it, too…prefer it very much over the original.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Scott – glad you like the version here. It’s fin to challenge oneself to make an image that is just that little bit removed from the ‘average’ shot.

  11. theaterwiz says:

    Very cool! thanks for the info

  12. LOVE this shot, Andy, the way you’ve used contrast here to express drama and artistic tension is just wonderful! Amazing difference between the finished piece and the untouched frame. Great work, my friend!

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