A Rusty Screw

A Rusty Screw

Tech Info: Single exposure using Nikon D300s with 50 mm prime reverse mounted, ISO 200, f/5.6 for 1/125 sec. YN467 placed camera right and fired with 1/8 of its full power
Last week I was busy with office work and starting this weekend, I’m stuck with moving. Right now I”m going through the pain of packing and unpacking. Even with this hectic schedule, somehow I’m able to squeeze some time for my hobby, thus making this “move” to the new house a smooth sail.

I still had the reverse mount adapter on the lens and this morning I just read a nice post on “levels of learning” from Rick Sammon. With any new skill you try to add to your bag, you still shouldn’t forget to given enough time for practicing it. Without practice we slowly start to rust just the like this screw in the picture. So this was shot as a note to myself so that everytime I look at it, it’ll remind me not to get “rusty”.

Processing: You might find the points I list here might sound repetitive, but thats exactly the actions I would have taken. Over a period of time, you’ll get the hang of it.
So here are the things done for this picture:

  1. Import the raw image to Adobe Lightroom 2.
  2. Modify the white balance.
  3. Open the image as smart-object in Adobe Photoshop CS4.
  4. Duplicate the layer and do some clean up of bright dust particles (Was finding it too distracting).
  5. Added a curves adjustment layer with changes to white point and getting some contrast only to the screw with the help of layer mask and some brush paiting.
  6. Another curves layer for darkening the background, again with layer mask.
  7. Dodge & Burn layer for only the screw.
  8. A Hue/Saturation layer to reduce only the lightness of blue channel. For some reason, the screw head was looking extremely bluish.
  9. Another curves layer for giving a vignetting effect.
  10. Resize the image for web.
  11. A high-pass filter to add some sharpening to the image.

Don’t let the number of bulleted points intimidate you. The change done by each layer is very subtle, but they all add up to the final image. Just to give some perspective, here is the raw image straight out of the camera.

As you can see, raw images will look very flat and thats why you got to “process” them.

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