One Four Challenge – Sept Wk 1

On Sunday (yesterday) I was lucky enough to attend a Steampunk Outing at a Vintage Railway and Museum in Ashburton, 1 1/2 hrs drive south of Christchurch.  Never even knew it existed so took a fellow photog along (he hadn’t come across Steampunk either) and we all braved the bitterly cold southerly wind.

So this seemed an ideal image to use for the Sept One Four Challenge – details here if you are not familiar with it

Actually it was a really good day, spent a couple of hours at the Museum, took loads of photos of the steam engine, where it obligingly sat puffing decorative clouds of steam for quite some time.  When they crank it up ready to move, steam came out from underneath it too, making it look wreathed in clouds.  Was a delight to photograph!

The image above is what it looked like after being processed in Lightroom, very shiny and colourful with copper and brass bits lovingly tended.

Of course what it demanded was a BW treatment so off to Nik Silver Efex I went.

This is the Full Spectrum preset, with some dodging and burning a few areas, a smidge of film grain, a very slight warming of the colour tone and the vignette was already present from LR.

Like it?  Don’t Like it?  Tell me about it!

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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30 Responses to One Four Challenge – Sept Wk 1

  1. loisajay says:

    Love it! It wears B&W very well, Stacey.

  2. coolquilting says:

    Love the black and white version…such contrast! and the steam looks great!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Oh good, I spent AGES dithering over which one of the presets to use but I liked this one the most, because you could see the nice white steam well and it gave good colour to the black smoke too 🙂 It was a real treat to photograph !

  3. svtakeiteasy says:

    Great image for the challenge, with lots of potential! I have to ask – what is steampunk?? It’s the second time I see this term in a couple of days, and I have to confess my ignorance!

  4. Robyn G says:

    Can’t wait to see what you do with this beauty Stacey!
    Gotta love a train..and this steam train is well… gorgeous 😀
    The high contrast BW really suits the image and I think it brings it forward a bit from the bg.
    Anything Steam Punk in the next weeks? Fingers crossed… lol 😉

  5. green_knight says:

    I love the train, but overall the image does no work for me because there’s no variation in the depth of field – I find the the ultrasharp detail of the trees distracting and would have blurred that.
    I’m also not keen on black-and-white (then again, I rarely like b/w photos) and feel that a sepia tone would work much better. If this was my image, I’d really go to town: blur anything that is not-train, give the background a sepia tone, and keep the colours in the train itself, so bring out the sheer glistening shininess of it. (So much brass. So much steampunk goodness. I adore the way the steam envelopes the train, it’s almost gliding on a cloud.)

    • lensaddiction says:

      So this is Wk 1 of a monthly challenge so check back next week for another variation, sepia is likely to feature strongly in some other variations, its an image that demands it really 🙂

      Yeah the DOF is a challenge, given that I was wanting to get all of the engine in sharp focus, and the trees are quite close behind it, and Im not the mathematical type of photographer I opted for the longer DOF rather than miss out getting all the engine in focus.

      I was thinking afterwards that I could attempt to select the train from the background and blur the background a bit and then paste it back it – probably need a radial style blur (can I do that in PS?). Actually I thought about doing a BW/Sepia background and leaving the train in color while I was driving to work this morning….. so many choices!

      • green_knight says:

        I love the idea of a weekly challenge, because by week 3 you will have moved beyond the obvious and you have to *think* about what you want to – and can – do.

        And I totally get that something you need to capture the shot and worry about niceties later. If I’m not certain about DoF, I frequently use bracketed pictures – I usually keep my camera at f8, but I might go down to 5.6 or up to 16 and see whether I like it better, adjusting ISO if necessary so I won’t mess up a shot. (And, grr, my tele lens is somewhat broken: the smaller the aperture the greater the chance that the image will be overexposed, so I’m best friends with the underexpose button, and I frequently need to check results while shooting.)

        I’ve just started Module 2 of the Fine Art Photoshop course (thank you SO MUCH for recommending it!), so I’m feeling much more confident in this 🙂 – the way to blur is to duplicate the layer, blur the copy, and then add a mask to the train layer with a soft brush so the blur will shine through. I *like* masks. I like them even more since discovering that I can paint them with any brush whatsoever to get soft edges and blurs. And I don’t know how Photoshop handles this, but I’ve discovered that in MangaStudio I can simply drag a mask onto the mask slot of another layer and have it instantly duplicated, which of course makes it much more useful.

      • lensaddiction says:

        Im pleased you are enjoying the FA PS course, it changed my life literally 🙂 I am a bit behind as I have to finish the last part of Mod 3 and then do Mod 4 but I wanted to get into Awake so much that I have not balanced my workload – I am up to Sess 6 on Awake, and rather scarily on 1st Oct we get Sess 10-18 in one go – thats 6 months worth of classes in one go, but that brings us late starters in sync with the originals.

        Yes masks are cool, I love using them. I had a play with changing the focus on another train image and couldnt quite do what I wanted to but I had an idea about that on the way to work this morning. Some days I really wish PS had the same radial tool that is in LR!

  6. Black and white works nicely with the train. It does get lost in the trees a bit but not too much. I think playing around with some selective sharpening on the train and and maybe the brightening the background will add a bit more depth to the image.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks Ben – Im thinking of trying to select the train and then play with the background separately and then put the train back on top – its an ambitious step for me, that level of selection, but I need to be brave and try these things!

  7. I’ve only encountered the term “steampunk” as genre of writing, but it’s perfect for a steam train event! Personally, I prefer the colour version of this marvellous photo. It seems to me that the train itself loses some impact in b/w. Looking forward to the next edits.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Steampunk comes in all flavours, books, music, clothing styles, jewellery, shoes, hats, tattoos and so on.

      Check out Abney Park, Clockwork Dolls and Unwoman for music options – fairly sure they are all on You tube.

      I like the colour photo too, its so shiny!

  8. I’ve seen a lot of steam punk but this is the first time I connected it with steam engines. Steampunk is a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes..

  9. afairymind says:

    A great image – steam trains are always appealing – and it works really well in black and white. The shine on the metal is really clear. 🙂 I love steampumk! There’s a big steampunk festival in Lincoln every summer that I like to visit. Unfortunately I had to work over that weekend this year and missed the whole thing…

    • lensaddiction says:

      It was very shiny and I am glad that came through in the images and the processing 🙂

      I went to our big Steampunk weekend a few years ago, I think it has got a lot bigger since then as more people have heard of it and NZ has been recognised as a good place for it, we have lots of architecture from the period, and of course, trains!

  10. Joanne says:

    Really nice image, and well-suited to the black and white treatment. I wonder if, in NIK Silver, you could selectively bring the train out a little more from the background, lightening or fading the trees just a bit. I’m also looking forward to more color treatments. I’m captivated by that bright red.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Im going to experiment with altering the background, but selection could be a challenge with all the steam etc. Next week has a bit better contrast with the background 🙂

  11. I always love the mono version- great image!

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