How I Work

Infrared image processing:

Photos are shot with a custom white balance in camera RAW in a three frame exposure bracket (-1, 0, +1) for each shot at ISO 200 in aperture priority mode.

In Adobe Camera Raw I adjust Recovery, Fill Light and Clarity levels before opening in Photoshop. After the image is in Photoshop, I do a Red/Blue Channel swap and then a levels adjustment – for most images, this is all they need – for others, I do a lot more using adjustment layers and masking.

After I am finished with adjustment and sizing, I flatten the image and save as a JPEG. Each JPEG is then sharpened using USM at about 95%.

Remember, no amount of equipment or post processing will compensate for a bad shot – therefore, think before you shoot.

Let me know how you work (I’m always interested in how others shoot)

Abandoned shots:

Shooting in abandoned buildings is dangerous and is not for the faint-hearted. I always let someone know where I will be and what time to expect me back to check in. I wear heavy boots and clothes (even in the heat of summer). In addition, I use a half-mask P100 respirator, full-finger climbing  gloves and a military-surplus Kevlar vest. I always operate with the mind-set: “If in doubt, don’t”.

Equipment

Digital (DSLR):

Nikon D800 (FX)

Nikon D80 (DX)

Nikon D100 – Life Pixel modified Infrared body (Standard IR filter)

16 – 35mm f4 Nikkor (VR)

24 – 85mm f3.5/4.5 Nikkor (VR)

60mm f2.8 Macro AF Nikkor

85mm f1.4 AiS Nikkor

180mm f2.8 AiS Nikkor

12 – 24mm    f4 G DX Nikkor

18 – 55mm    f3.5/5.6 DX Nikkor

55 – 200mm f 4-5.6 DX Nikkor (VR)

Digital (Point and Shoot):

Nikon Coolpix P2

Film:

Graflex Speed Graphic

Hasselblad 501c

Nikon N8008

Nikon FM

Post Processing Software:

Adobe Photoshop® v6

All images posted have  a Digimarc® copyright watermark embedded in them

To obtain a copy of my book – In a Different Light – click here:

http://inadifferentlightbook.wordpress.com/

9 responses to “How I Work

  1. Pingback: Boston Common – Surreal Spring | Writings and Such

    • Thanks for the kind words. Just got back from going inside Seaside Asylum – will be processing/posting pix soon. Part of the feedback i’ve received on wordpress prompted me to “go the extra bit” to capture something I want to share with my fellow photogs.

  2. Wow. You have the most interesting about page ever. “working in abandoned buildings is dangerous….” I guess I lived in the ghetto too long, I just never gave it much thought and took a gander around! I suppose I got lucky. I also have a very hunky husband who is has a degree in radiological/nuclear safety, as well as hasmat/firesafety. He’s not a bad body guard either. I suppose I just always took that for granted. I really like your work. Looking forward to seeing more.

    • Thanks so much – I head to people’s about page myself after a first view of their work. The pages are all as different as the folks who write them. I felt compelled to write my version of a disclaimer on my About page so that others who wish to do similar work will have foreknowledge about beginning. Congratulations on you China adventure – I hope you have a wonderful time there. I have some in-laws who are/have been teaching in China for a while – nice to see your take on the country (and butterflies). Regards to you both.

      • Thanks Robert. We live in China…I’ve lived here three years and my husband lived here 7 years before we got married. It is a great adventure. And a great big photo op around every corner. But I do kinda miss the abandoned buildings! Looking forward to seeing what you find.

  3. You know, as I thought about it more, I think your warning is really a great idea. Wade is always concerned, especially here in China, but anywhere truthfully…about asbestos or that funky blue liquid from transformers, electrical lines, chemical odors, etc. I guess I’m just so used to him keeping me from the worst of that. It’s good that you are warning people to approach stuff cautiously. I should think about that more, but because he does, I don’t, if you know what I mean.

  4. So I finally read your process!! I see you have a Nikon Coolpix also. Mine is adabpted to infrared with which I am experimenting!! I love your element of danger because those abandoned building shots are so full of loneliness and mystery. The coolpix doesn’t have a raw option but I take it into Adobe lightroom anyway before PsCs6. I have a lot to learn!!

    • Yes, I have a lot (emphasis on LOT) of gear – but I have been shooting and processing film since I was six years old, so I have a head start on you 🙂
      I find a strange sense of calm in the abandoned spots – dying structures giving me the chance to visit them as they fade away.

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