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"Kingdom Forlorn"


Bryce has been photographed a Gazillion times. It's an amazing place to behold. I wanted to come away with something of my own. An original that no-one else has. I arrived late in the day. Everyone was packing up with the disappearance of the days light. *Note to you people packing up, that's the best light you knuckleheads, I kid I kid... I was alone on the rim which, is quite rare. The winds were-a-howlin' and pushing me and the tripod towards the edge, what a rush! I'm in awe of the beauty. To behold such a place, at a time when the landscape is in decay, creating such unbelievable shapes and forms is truly ephiphanic, at least, to me!


Thanks for viewing.


Digital - Processing Notes for the technically inclined:

For the conversion on this one I used channel calculations. (Before photoshop 3.0 there was no such thing as layers, just elaborate schemes in channel mixing)
Basically you look at the channels (R, G, B) and see what tones you like and don\'t like.
I liked the strong contrasts in three quarter tones and shadows in the Red channel.
I liked the isolation of the hoodoo (tent rock) in the B channel.
I liked the overall mid-tone contrast in the G channel.

So I multiplied Red against itself (at 50%) which makes the darks even darker, and even more so as the pixels approach black (0). Call this channel R^2.

Next, I applied a 50% soft light calculation on to the R^2 channel using the G channel, lightening up portions above mid-tone, and creating even more contrast in zones 0-4. I blurred this channel slightly and faded the effect.

Next, I took the resulting channel, and using the B channel (which had the hoodoo isolated quite nice as well as the lighter stacks behind given the strong yellow light/exposure) I again used calculations on lighten. I don't remember the percentage of blend, but it was in favor of the B channel, to create more isolation.

This process may (or may not) seem quite complicated, but really it's not. It's a matter of looking at each of the image channels (after you have nailed the WB for maximum channel separation, and adjusted the exposure and black point for maximum contrast - all in the RAW processor) and assessing what you like and don\'t like about each channel. Then understanding how you can blend the lights - darks together for your resulting creative vision.

I don't do this for every image, it's just as easy to grab the L channel after a lab conversion, or using the B/W conversion in PSD, or Nik's Silver efex, I use all of these. But, I find the best results and IQ are obtained by slowing down and digging into the channel data, and assessing what lurks within. Sorry if this is long winded ....
There is selective dodging (visually apparent, in the quarter tones) and burning for a traditional looking vignette/framing to the image. Although, most of the "dodging" (lightening effect) was achieved by using the Blue channel in conversion.

-m
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19 comments
 
Superb shot, Matt. The light and the b&w conversion are perfect !
 
Thank you Mr. Matt, thx to explain some of your work to achieve a stunning image like this. For a nooobish like me this is invaluable... :)
 
I didn't understand one word after "Thanks for viewing" - but the image totally rocks. (pun intended)
 
Such a unique vision. And thanks for explaining in detail how this conversion was created. I have to look into that. 
 
I love the way you treated this, Matt. Definitely looks different for Bryce...
 
I noticed this hanging near the bottom of my photos page as I navigated to my albums to post an image tonight. I picked it as yours right away - pushing the boundaries of black and white conversion. While I may never go there, thanks for the commentary on your process.
 
wonderful, nicely executed too. Loved the work flow description
 
Woohoo, congrats on getting the photo extract with this image. Well deserved. This is definitely one of the best images I've seen of Bryce!
 
it is a great place only, it is only about two drive from where i live
 
+Matt Anderson - I remember when this image was posted on FredMiranda a while back and I was very taken with this conversion (it looks pretty damn good in color too!). Thanks so much for taking the time to go into detail about your processing with the various color channels. I don't do as much with color channels as I probably should, but now you have me thinking!

Superb image and it is very striking in black and white.
 
I really love what you did with this photo Matt. Thnx for explaining your technique!
 
I'm with +Leonardo Paolini on this one, thank you so much for giving a little insight as to how your work of art came to fruition! I came onto Google+ to check something and glad I strayed away off the beaten path for a moment to find this gem. I can literally sit and stare all while loosing myself within the contrast and details of this photo. Thank you again as it's been many years since I've visited Bryce Canyon and I get to again tonight.
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