Zig Zag

Here’s another photo from my Del Mar outing where I was collecting images for my “Minimalism in Photography” article. This scene caught my eye initially because of the horizontal lines broken up by the vertical lines of the stairs. I was standing normal to the wall, and the stairs were coming off at about a 45 degree angle to the left. So I framed the shot to create a symmetric pattern along the diagonal, trying to leave the same amount of stairs and wall while centering one of the vertical lines. I took about 7 or 8 shots of this so I could be a little more certain of my straightness and symmetry.

Zig Zag Process

  1. JPEG
  2. Processed RAW
    Added contrast and brightness, in addition to a slight straightening.
  3. Black and White Conversion
    The majority of the photo was lacking color, so I went official with it. I used the Green Filter preset with the Photoshop CS3 Black and White Adjustment Layer which consists of 50% red, 120% yellow, 90% green, 50% cyan, 0% blue, and 0% magenta.
  4. Overall Levels Adjustment
    I brought the white point down to 204 to help widen out the histogram.
  5. Wall Levels Adjustment
    I wanted to separate my adjustments between the wall and the stairs, so I created a mask to cover just the stairs. The nice straight lines made for a quick selection. I applied the mask to the adjustment and brought the white point down to 207 and the black point up to 94.
  6. Wall Curves Adjustment
    I wanted good separation of tone between the wall and the stairs, so I used the mask again with an “S” curve that was heavy on the dark side.
  7. Stairs Curves Adjustment
    With the wall where I wanted it, I inverted the previous mask and applied it to another “S” curve to increase contrast and add character to the lifeless steps.
  8. Sharpening
    I applied the Unsharp Mask to the entire image 150%, 3 pixels, and a threshold of 0. It was a little heavy on the sharpening, but I like the gritty texture that it created.

Zig Zag

** You can also see this photo on Flickr **

Photo by Brian Auer
09/22/07 Del Mar, CA
Zig Zag
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-200
160mm equiv * f/5.6 * 1/90s * ISO100

This entry was posted in PhotoBlog on by .

About Brian Auer

a photography enthusiast from North Idaho. He's also the guy behind the Epic Edits Weblog. As a hobbyist photographer since 2003, his passion has been to constantly improve his photography skill set, to share his own knowledge with others, and to become an integral part of the photographic community.

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