The arced horizon (& extras!)

EXTRAS!
What, you ask? What are these extras you speak of?

Well, yes, I’m doing multiple photos today. I’ve been overproducing stuff lately – coming up with a couple or more versions of some of the photos I’m doing, so I’ve decided to share those considerations. After today’s photo you’ll get versions of several others I’ve done recently with some writing on why I did what I did. Win.

TODAY’S PHOTO: THE ARCED HOIRZON
If you’ve been here before (this blog, Neverphoto), you know my love-hate relationship with Fullerton Beach. I’ve decided to love it, because it is spectacular, but I know it’s one of the most photographed places in Chicago. Any photographer falling in love with the obvious is, well, obvious… and not to be trusted! So, trust me less, but know that I do have a concern in the matter in an effort not to be obvious. Trust me more?

The lens I used to shoot this with has a barreling affect, which means it distorts toward the edges of the photo, especially the corners. Think of it as looking down a barrel – those rounded walls as you look down into it – that’s kind of what happens to the photo. Long story short, this creates warped or curved horizons like the one you see in this photo. Normally I fix those things and straighten them out, but here I was enamored with the left edge looking straight and curving the city slightly downward to the right. I like slightly surreal-looking photos. Just slightly. You know, less obvious stuff. In this case it presented a curvature-of-the-earth type look to my eye, so there you go.
The arced horizon
Purchase a print of this photo

HERE ARE THE EXTRAS!
Looking away from the crowd

This three-photo grouping is not my favorite I’ve ever done, but I liked the mood I ended up with. After creating the HDR image the red became too intense, so I took the color out and nearly went with the black & white. After some deliberation I felt it needed to go cold, and arrived at a messy, painted look in colorized B&W. I like all three, but the blue version of the B&W felt right for posting. I think maybe I was so dissatisfied by the red HDR version of the original that I attempted to cool it off. Interesting, now that I think about it. The original red photo I started from – the core of the HDR bracket – is the red I’m displaying first:
Looking away from the crowed - red
Looking away from the crowd - B&W
Looking away from the crowd - Blue

Caught between stations
This was originally all about the strange combination of imagery – a city street/massive skyscraper/old city hall/Public art/Jesus/the cross/moving traffic – all at once. Then the man ran down the middle of the street! In the traffic! It was all too odd, and I loved it. He became the focal point, and I made color decisions based on this. At first I used a heavy vignette and flattened the background color to draw the eye to the middle, but then I decided color was distracting the eye in too many directions. I blued the shadows to force energy to the middle even more. The building stood out for me too much, and therefor the color had to go. I had this idea of “man on fire” in my head, so I went with this brownish hue – more toward red. I then cropped in a touch tighter to take away some of the dead elements left on the edges. Voila!
Caught between stations - color
Caught between stations - blue cast
Caught between stations - gold
Caught between stations - final crop

The crisis clock
This is the clock that seals my fate as far as making my late train. It’s a gorgeous white face on a gray body against teal framework and yellow-lit black windows. This all adds up to quite the spectacle, but I found it just as interesting with a few tweaks after turning black & white. The color version made the blog in the end, but I like where the black & white took me after rendering the version published here a handful of days ago.
The crisis clock
The crisis clock - B&W

Human beings (are not disposable)
This, like the crisis clock, deserved two renderings. I’m not sure what I like so much about the color one, but I had to post it here. I think the disparate elements maybe show off well in the color – from the cars’ motion to the man to the signs. I really don’t know. I just had to post the color here. The black and white, though more austere, still conveys something emotional – leaving that closing-in feeling of the city on top of you while perhaps focusing more attention on the motion.
Human beings (are not disposable) - color
Human beings (are not disposable) - B&W

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