I was on a business trip to Switzerland and Belgium at the beginning of March, so naturally I took my camera with me. This photo was taken on the streets of Neuchatel, Switzerland. It was early evening, and the sun was quickly setting, so I went out for a little hike to see what I could find. There was a lot of graffiti in the area that I was walking through, and this piece caught my eye as I glanced behind me while I was walking down a steep little street (this photo shows behind and to my left of the direction I was walking). I had to shoot handheld since I didn't bring a tripod, and 1/45 seconds was pushing my comfort level. I included a lot of the dark stairs in the photo in order to create kind of a diagonal cut line through the composition, while placing the main subject near the center diagonal.
The first thing I did in this photo was a hard mix layer blend at 40% opacity and 60% fill using Adobe Photoshop CS3. This brought the photo from rather drab looking to something with a lot more color and contrast. But this wasn't enough for me, so I added a levels adjustment layer and brought the white point down to 240. Then I did a curves adjustment layer with a moderate “S” curve that brought the highlights up quite a bit and the shadows down a little bit. THIS had the color I was looking for! Then I just duplicated the merged layers into a new layer and sharpened. That's it, no layer masks at any point.
Photo by Brian Auer
03/05/07 Neuchatel, Switzerland
Orange Wall Graffiti
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-200
30mm equiv * f/4.5 * 1/45s * ISO100