The Bar

IMG_7807The Bar is at the heart of a hotel. It’s where people gather for a drink and a chat. A bar that is inviting visually will win more custom than a bar that is uninspiring.

This is the bar of a hotel we stayed in earlier this year. It certainly appealed to me visually: there was a hint of Art Deco to its sweeping curves and the way it lit up in the evening.IMG_7822_SolCropAnd it worked surprisingly well in B&W when I solarized one of the images I took late one in the evening.

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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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11 Responses to The Bar

  1. John Linn says:

    The color image is nice but the B&W is really fantastic. You say you “solarized”… this does not look like the solarizations I used to do in the darkroom. I do see the brightest areas are processed to black or near black. What was your process?

    • LensScaper says:

      I was like you John – playing with Solarization in the old fashioned days of wet chemistry processing and (in my case) throwing most of the results in the bin. Solarization now for me is just a single click on the Solarize button in Photoshop (Filter/Stylize/Solarize) and then adjust the levels. It produces reliable results although the results do not always look right. I was actually rather surprised by how well this image translated when solarizing the B&W conversion. It’s such a simple tool to use that I often ‘try’ it and of course it is so simple to undo.

  2. Chillbrook says:

    Your black and white Andy is superb!

  3. shoreacres says:

    Gosh. I was impressed by the first image. It looks like the best of what you’d see in a slick magazine promoting luxe lifestyles. But that second image is fabulous. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many textures and levels of light and shadow in one photo. Maybe that’s a result of the solarization? (I’m not familiar with that, and from what you show here, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the technique used before. The closest I’ve seen was some infrared work.)

    • LensScaper says:

      Solarization is a technique that is only likely to be understood by those of us who laboured for years in smelly darkrooms. Man Ray is very often credited with experimenting with, and popularising, Solarization in the 1930s. The technique involved exposing a developing negative or print to a brief flash of light. The results were very often very unpredictable but as a gross generalisation it caused reversal of some tones and a pronounced contrasting line where light and dark tones would have met in the original image (the Mackie line). Infrared images do share some similarities in that they both have accentuated light and dark tones. Certainly this image is not the sort of image that I expected to tolerate Solarization well – but it has. In much of the image there is very little evidence of the technique, but in areas (particularly the bar stools) there is the evidence of that demarcation line. We never stop learning and experimenting and Photoshop allows us to experiment and just undo what doesn’t work so easily. I’ve always been an inquisitive person who will wonder: ‘I wonder what will happen if I try this…’!

  4. Both photos bring out the elegant atmosphere of the bar. For me the B&W is enhancing this feeling. The solarization really brings out the highlights and the feeling of elegance (and yes it doesn’t look like old time solarization made in the darkroom, does it).

    • LensScaper says:

      You are absolutely right, Otto, and thanks for your comment. Solarization in the digital era is a lot more subtle than the results we may have obtained in the darkroom, and for me that is one of the attractions of the technique using Photoshop. I find it can be just one extra step in a process to bring out the best in a B&W image.

  5. Len says:

    Not only is this an inviting place to meet people but their use of light (and your capture of it) is superb.

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