April 2011. I was alone on holidays that week and I decided to spend some time shooting. When I scheduled that holidays I expected (hoped) that the weather would be rainy so I could go out and take some overcast skies' photos. Unfortunately it was sunny all week so I had to improvise.
I decided to go to the "Parque das Nações" vicinity to check some new spots. "Parque das Nações" is a new zone in Lisbon that was recovered for the 1998 World Exposition and since then it had become a great spot for architectural photos as lots of new (and modern) buildings were built there.
I've took a walk around the vicinity and took some outside photos of the buildings but they all suffered from the same problem: too much blue in the sky.
In my way back to the car, I decided to stop by one of the icons of this area: "Gare do Oriente". This train/metro/bus station was designed by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava. I've had seen too many photos of that station that I thought it was too much of a cliche to go there. Anyway I decided to give it a try. The security personnel was not too fond of people photographing inside the station so I made it fast. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes and only took about 10 photos.
Equipment / Technical Info
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC
This photo was my first choice from that day. I imported it into Lightroom, slightly aligned it and increased the Exposure a lot. I had a problem that I noticed right in sight: the light was too uneven. The left side was properly illuminated whilst the right side was almost pitch black. This was due to the natural lightning of the place and the position of the sun on the left of the image. To compensate this issue, I applied a Graduated Filter until the image become as even as possible. Then I, increased the Fill Light, reduced a bit the Exposure, increased the Contrast and changed the Point Curve to Strong Contrast. Added a lot of Vignetting, converted to Black and White and added some Brush Strokes to the skylights in the upper left side to make them as darker as the ones in the right. Finally, I removed the paper on the ground as it was too distracting and applied my custom Split Tone.
I was very pleased with the result, specially because the woman on the left added so much value to the photo.
Link to image