I ended up digging into the 2010 archive last night to see if I could work on images that fell through the cracks, as it were. I found this shot taken at an abandoned mill in northern MA with my very good friend,. This was actually our first time meeting so you could say that we must both be trusting souls to have a first encounter in such a cheery place. :)
While processing, I wanted to draw the eye through the frame with distinct intent. To that end, I incorporated a custom dodge/burn layer in Photoshop (you can do this by creating a new Overlay layer and select the 50% grey checkbox). I painted most of the floor in with black as my foreground color at about 12% strength to burn it in. To create a visual path, I just reversed my foreground color to white and dodged the wooden plank that had white paint already on it. This helps aid the eye naturally through the frame towards the background.
These are the sorts of things that I live for when processing. It’s why I feel we are the luckiest people in the world to be photographers living in this day and age with all the tools at our disposal. For my particular brand and style of photography, I can create an image to the exact specifications in my imagination. If I want something to look a certain way, I can achieve that. If I want your eye to go to a certain place, I can help coax it.
The fun part is deciding what story it is that you want to tell with your image.
In terms of processing
This was taken with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt Shift lens. I used a Promote Control to get the brackets I needed to tone-map (using Photomatix). Stylization was achieved by selectively stacking and blending custom effects layers in Perfect Layers 3 by .
After that, I did a custom selection of the background in Photoshop and send the image with selection to FocalPoint to only blur that area out, creating a shallow depth of field and giving the image a 3D effect.
Final touches with completed in the Lightroom 3 Develop module.