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The new moon occurred over the weekend, so I thought this would be the perfect time to show this image of a sculpture I found along Canyon Road, the famous art gallery area of Santa Fe. The wonderful craftsmanship, and especially the look of the face in the moon, really attracted my attention. I do not normally make images of other peoples art but I thought this piece was worth an exception.
As I have said before in the post of the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues in Dallas, a sculpture does not look much when photographed, it is obvious that the photograph is just a facsimile of some other artist’s work. The trick is to turn the work of the sculpture into a new piece of art.
This image was captured during the harsh light of midday. Some images of the architecture of Santa Fe work really well taken at this time because the dark shadows provide an extra contrast to the earth tones of the adobe buildings. However, this was not the case with this shot. I decided to play with a new preset filter (for me) in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro – Reflector Efex. This gave a nice warm glow to the sculpture but did very little to the rest of the scene. I had already been experimenting with turning some of my Santa Fe architecture shots into B&W (for a later post) and decided to try to combine this with the now nicely toned sculpture.
I duplicated the original background layer in Photoshop and then applied one of my own presets from Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro. The resultant monochrome image did not quite work but after slightly reducing the opacity of this B&W layer to 83% I was able to bring back just enough color in the background to make this effect work.
The final step was to mask out the B&W effect from the sculpture to make it standout from the background. The key here, though, was to not bring back the full color of the sculpture but to restrict its color and brightness to blend in with the background. This was achieved by lowering the opacity of the mask to about 30%.
| January 14, 2013
Great image and very nice write-up, Mark.. I like how you worked the layer opacity.
| January 15, 2013
Such a cool sculpture, Mark. I like the way you photographed this. The dwelling in the background with it’s soft and muted color adds to this very nicely. Great framing as well.
| January 21, 2013
cool shot Mark, I love Canyon Rd and Santa Fe, so rich in photo opps!