The Modern Day Steed

Motorcycles outside White Elephant Saloon, 106 E Exchange Ave, Stockyards Historic District, Fort Worth, Texas

Motorcycles outside White Elephant Saloon, Stockyards Historic District, Fort Worth

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The Modern Day Steed

The cowboy riding into town on his trusty steed maybe a thing of the past but, in my mind, there is a modern day equivalent.  The Harley Davidson with its bright chrome and fancy paintwork can easily be seen as a modern day steed, comparing it to the trusted companion of the old west.  Here we see old and new meet with these bikes awaiting their riders who, I assumed, were indulging in refreshment in one of the saloons in Fort Worth’s Historic Stockyard District.

This is a single exposure (drivers tend to get impatient when you try to set up your tripod in the middle of the street!) processed using a combination of Nik Color Efex 4  and OnOne Software’s Photoeffects.  Each effect was applied as a separate layer in Photoshop to provide greater control in the masking.

Firstly the Pro Contrast filter in Color Efex 4 was applied.  This filter has a natural ability to clean up chrome and bring out the extra shine – you could call it the electronic version of Turtle Wax!  This filter was then masked in Photoshop so that the effect only applied to the bikes.

I then turned to Photoeffects and in separate layers applied firstly the Dark Contrast Filter and then the Warm Polarizer.  Both of these effects were applied at about 50% in Photoeffects before returning the control to Photoshop for masking.  As I have said in previous posts, although Photoeffects has the ability to create masks and stack effects, I  prefer the control that Photoshop allows.  The Dark Contrast layer was masked so that the effect was applied to the building from the bottom of the balcony railing upward to bring out the detail in the weathered woodwork.  The Warm Polarizer layer’s mask allowed the effect to cover the same area but with a lesser density mask to the window areas and the cobbled stone road.

Finally, I applied a curve adjustment layer in Photoshop itself to darken the reflections of the two white vehicles which were parked on the opposite side of the street.


  1. Nicely processed Mark. Love the way the Pro Contrast filter has boosted the chrome on those bikes.

    Love the saloon behind as well. If it wasn’t for the bikes you could just see Clint walking out onto the street in his Poncho!
    Tim Pursall recently posted..The Bakery.My Profile

  2. I love these bike, man. Harleys are a ton of fun to ride.
    You’ve captured this scene very nicely and the processing is spot on, Mark. Great blend of old and new.
    Jimi Jones recently posted..Heading to PortMy Profile

  3. Really digging this shot. Just perfect framing, subject matter, processing… bravo.
    Adam Allegro recently posted..Notre Dame of StrasbourgMy Profile

  4. awesome shot and comp Mark, nice work!
    Jim Nix recently posted..Sin City sunriseMy Profile

  5. I never tire of looking at Harleys. Nice composition too with the Saloon. Almost like a modern day cowboy movie!
    Marc Collins recently posted..Mono BeachMy Profile

  6. Great title and awesome image Mark. You did a fantastic job on the processing.
    Edith Levy recently posted..Painted HousesMy Profile

  7. Oh wow, Mark, this is just awesome! Love the contrast you’ve captured here between old and new, I think this picture tells an entire story in a single viewing! Wonderful work, my friend.
    Toad Hollow Photography recently posted..Flowing LinesMy Profile

  8. Great shot Mark! Love your processing here! Makes me want to get my Harley out and head out west!
    Rich McPeek recently posted..Wake Up PittsburghMy Profile

  9. Thank you for delivering amazing blogs every time. I’ve been a big fan of you for a long time. I continue to check your blogs and support your wonderful journey.

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