Skip to main content

"Trailing the 'Indiana Harbor' "


Aboard a small cruise ship exiting the east end of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, we trailed the Indiana Harbor - at 1000 feet (305 meters) long and 105 feet (32 meters) wide this iron ore/coal carrier is one of the largest ships on the Great Lakes.


I loved the symmetry and color in this composition: the red and green buoys, the ship dead center, the balance between water and sky, the blue of the lake mixed with the color of silt stirred up by the ship's propeller.

The image posed an interesting color-management challenge. The color temperature in the BEFORE shot was unappealing. I didn't like the strong magenta tones in the sky and superstructure of the ship. I adjusted color balance with the eye-dropper tool in DxO PhotoLab, using the white band at the top of the ship's hull as the white reference. 

This worked for the top part of the photo, but I didn't like the resulting color of the water, so I did a separate white balance adjustment for the lower half of the frame, using the white froth of water in the ship's wake as the reference point. I then combined the two sections in Photoshop.

Using fine contrast adjustments, I reduced detail in all parts of the photo except for the ship, making the water and sky look slightly hazy. Conversely, I used fine contrast adjustments in the opposite direction to enhance detail in the ship's superstructure.

The BEFORE image was under-exposed throughout. I corrected this with an exposure adjustment to the RAW file and tone curve adjustments. I cropped the image slightly to remove uninteresting space at the bottom and sides of the frame.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Boat Tour"

On a boat tour of Western Brook Pond in western Newfoundland two women focused on the spectacular scenery while I focused on them. The pastel colors of their windbreakers contrasted with each other and with the natural tones of the land, water and sky. The image tells a strong, simple story: two people awestruck by 600 meter (2000 foot) cliffs towering over a remote, pristine lake. This image required less work than many of the others featured in this blog. It's a good example of how even relatively modest adjustments can transform a photograph from merely "interesting" to "worthy of displaying". I wanted to separate the women from the landscape - make each part of the image stand out in its own right. I was taken by the colors and textures of the jackets so I increased vibrancy a little to bring out the color and used  fine-contrast and tone curve adjustments to  highlight the fabric's folds and shadows. I added drama to the background through t

"Trepassey"

The isolated coastal village of Trepassey, Newfoundland sits in the southeast corner of Canada's eastern-most province. The vantage point of this photograph makes for a classic Newfoundland scene: a sliver of human settlement poised between sky and sea. Ethereal, other-worldly: I wanted to capture that feeling. Because I had pointed my camera slightly upward to get more sky in the frame, I had to correct the resulting perspective distortion - notice in the "before" image how the lines of reflected light closest to the sides of the image are twisted away from the center.  I fixed the color temperature to eliminate the strong bluish cast. I corrected the vignetting - notice how the "before" image is significantly darker at all four edges. I cropped from the bottom of the image to bring the bottom border closer to edge of the reflected lights. How do you convey "ethereal"? For me the key elements were delicacy,  l ightness, and a sense of &qu

"Tablelands"

The tablelands of western Newfoundland are a rare geological formation - a piece of the earth's mantle, normally buried seven or more kilometers beneath the earth's crust, but forced to the surface here several hundred million years ago. The area lacks the usual nutrients required to sustain most plant life, and so is nearly barren. The high iron content of the rock accounts for the rusty brownish color. In the BEFORE image the sky is correctly exposed but everything else is badly underexposed. This was fixed with an exposure correction in the RAW image.  The BEOFRE image has a slightly bluish color cast which was fixed with a color temperature correction. After making those global adjustments, I worked separately on four sections of the image: the sky, the land in the upper part of the frame, the creek, and the large rock that dominates the lower right-hand corner.  The overall plan was to bring out the textures and contrast in the rocks, maintain the darker ton