Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back to the Missions

I'm beginning work on the series of San Antonio Missions photos for our friends. I put a bunch of my selects on Flickr for them to look through, and they picked a couple of finalists from each mission. This is Mission Espada. Funny, I would have never picked this particular frame to work up. Not that it's bad, but this was one of my early images out of the gate -- taken with backlighting, no bracketing, and a wedding procession going on just below the bottom edge here. But as I studied it, I saw some potential here --nice ribbons of clouds in the upper right and with a little cropping there is a certain amount of majesty that seems to come through. It just goes to show you, as much as we edit our work and constantly refine our workflow, sometimes it takes an impartial eye to see what we often overlook. Lucis Art was used to bring up the contrast in the sky. A black and white Nik Silver Efex layer in luminosity blending mode was added to further enhance the sky. The final layer was a Nik Silver Efex sepia layer.


  1. I really like he framing of the mission. The sky helps set it off and although brighter than the mission itself, the lines of the clouds help bring the eye back to the mission. I also like the contrast between the softness of the sky and the highly textured walls of the mission. Sepia was definitely the route to go.

  2. I really like what you did with this one Steve. Even though it's backlit you maintained detail in the front of the mission. I like how the shadows show in the bell alcoves and the bells are not silhouetted. One of my favorites from your mission series.