King of Darkness

The Story
June, 13th of 2008, regional holiday in Lisboa. I've returned from New York a month before with my long waited Sigma 10-20 lens. I didn't had the chance to try it on architecture photos back home yet and in this afternoon I had a scheduled hair cut in Almada (about 10km from home). I was home alone because my wife was working and I got up kinda late (I usually wake up around 1 p.m. in the holidays and weekends to recover from the workdays) so I was a bit lazy. I didn't feel like having to get out to do the hair cut but it was due for a few weeks so I dressed up and thought: well, I will just go there and get back home after. The thought of taking the camera crossed my mind but I didn't feel like it. Where would I go? At the last moment I remembered: well, I'll take it anyway, maybe when I finish the hair cut, I'll feel like going somewhere. I had the hair cut and when I got back to the car I remembered that the "Cristo Rei" monument was very near, so I headed right there.
When I arrived at the monument, the sky was amazing! I picked up the gear and started to walk around the monument to get the best angle. I took less than 10 photos and get back home.

Equipment / Technical Info
Nikon D80
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC

1/250 second
10 mm

Original Photo

Post Processing
When I got home, I went to the computer to check the results. Almost all the photos were very distorted from the wide angle lens so only a couple were OK. I picked this one up and opened it in Lightroom.
I have a friend who is also a amateur photographer that, all the times I showed him one of my photos his reaction was: well this one would look much better in black and white. He is a B&W freak :) At the time I only tried B&W photos one or twice, but as I had found a lot of Lightroom presets I decided to play around with them. One of the presets instantly had an strange effect on me: the photo looked great. It was my first time trying the Mike Lao's "300 V1" preset (you can find it here: This preset (kinda) gives the 300 Movie look to the photos. But the photo was still in colors, so I converted it to Grayscale. It blew my mind! It was great! I played around with the Gray Levels to darken the blue of the sky and give some other minor adjustments.
And that was it for Lightroom. I then exported it as a PSD file and opened it in CS3. In CS3, I've just reduced the noise.
This gave me the full size (10Mp) final image.
This photo actually changed all my photography style. After this one, I started to look to B&W, and to photography in general, with new eyes. Now, most of the times, my first step is to convert the photo to B&W to see how it looks.
I usually publish my photos with 1024px in the largest size and use a great Photoshop action by Manyk to do the re-size.
You can find it here:

Final Photo

Link to image

1 comentários:

AnimalPhoto - AlfonsoPaz - said...

The thousands of pictures, the hundreds approaches seen, are no match for this one. Great photo. Fantastic work.


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