The Surface of Things
“Do not remain content
with the surface of things.”
At first glance, you notice the beauty of the stonework and the tall, narrow, perfectly-proportioned window, with its lovely arch.
On second glance, you might wonder at the rusty bars – are they there to keep things in or out?
On the surface, there is a simple architectural beauty to this image. Yet on the other side of this wall lies the West Cell Block of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio.
For the inmates, this window was their only view to the outside world and freedom.
For us, it is a reminder that things are always more than they appear.
Texture Tuesday Processing (Photoshop CC)
- Correct perspective distortion and crop following the Rule of Thirds
- Run my Midtone Contrast action to bring out the texture of the stonework and iron bars
- Add a Curves layer, masking with a luminosity mask for the bright areas of the image. Increase the darks/shadows to recover highlight detail without darkening the midtones and shadows
- Add the Thursday texture, blend mode = Multiply. Mask the window bar detail in order to limit the impact of the texture on this area. Reduce the density of the mask to 75% to bring back a bit of the texture
- Add an overall Layers Adjustment to increase the contrast, especially in the highlights
Note: You can find a detailed tutorial on luminosity masks here. The author also offers a free Photoshop Luminosity Mask Action Set that will create the masks for you – a real timesaver. I find luminosity masks to be a complex subject but well worth the time investment since they allow you to be very precise in your image adjustments.
Below is the original image and the Photoshop layers palette:
Linking with Texture Tuesday, hosted by Kim Klassen