A Fresh Look at Familiar Places

By Mark

One of the challenges in travel photography is moving beyond just "I was there", to making interesting images from scenes everyone already knows.  There are a variety of tools and choices that you as an artist can make.  Some choices are in composition, moving around to get a different point of view.  Other choices require post processing but the pieces need to be taken before you sit down in front of a computer. In NYC, there are familiar scenes everywhere you turn.  Movies, TV shows and a century of photographs make it as familiar as our own neighborhoods. One of our merry band and I got up at dawn and hiked across the Brooklyn bridge. Built in 1883, the bridge represented a display of engineering and national confidence. Visually it soared above the river and the cities it joined.  It has been a symbol of the city itself.  Stone and steel provide good choices for black and white conversions. When I shot this image I had that already in mind. 

 After using Silver Efex pro's High Contrast preset as a starting point, I considered a few creative options.  

Brooklyn Black and White

Brooklyn Black and White

I thought should I use a layer mask and bring out the pink jersey of the jogger to highlight the blend of modern and history?  

B&W and Pink

B&W and Pink

The next day we went to visit a famous lady in the harbor. 

Great tourist shot

Great tourist shot

I hadn't been out there since I was a kid and found the museum fascinating.  It is hard to imagine that the whole copper skin was hammered out by hand by men using wooden forms. Such craftsmanship and artistry are rarely seen today. 

Here I wanted to take advantage of the just how recognizable she is.  How much of her do you really need to see in order to be able to put the rest of the pieces together in your head?  

I sort of liked this one of the tablet.  

Of course you can make them even more artsy just by applying a few of the filters available in Photoshop.   Here are a “High Pass Filter”, a “remove all of the green saturation adjustment” from the statue treatment, the “pointillist filter” and the “find edges filter” applied to the base image.  

After we left Liberty Island we went over to Ellis Island.   They now have a memorial wall where you can have the names of your immigrant ancestors carved.  My dad purchased one in memory of his parents who arrived here in December 1941.  Pretty cool. 

Marek Segal and Family

Marek Segal and Family