Hiorne’s Tower

Hiorne's Tower (2695)

Hiorne’s Tower. (Click on the photo for added detail.)

Last week, my good friend Andy nominated me for the five-day black & white challenge that’s making the rounds on social media. I accepted, but knowing I had a trip to Belgium scheduled for last week I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it then. So I decided to postpone it for this week instead. Today is B&W Challenge Day 1. If you haven’t met this challenge before, the idea is to post a black & white image every day for five days, nominating someone new each time. Daisuke, I look forward to some B&W photos from you…

The subject is Hiorne’s Tower, a folly built by Francis Hiorne in the grounds of Arundel Castle. I visited this place on a walk in Arundel Park this summer on a glorious sunny day.

To make this photo I set up on a tripod, using my Lee Big Stopper to allow me to take a long exposure in the sunshine, together with a ND grad filter to help balance the exposure of the sky and the foreground. I think I had a polarising filter on as well, as I find this helps cut glare in foliage, though it can be tricky to use with wide angle lenses.

In post this image gave me some grief. My original intent was to develop this as a colour image, with a strong contrast between the green and gold of the ground and the blue in the sky. However, I couldn’t get to a result I liked so I let this image be for a while. Partly because of this B&W challenge I decided to give it a go as a B&W development. I’m rather glad I did, because this result I really like. I think it’s simply because in monochrome I could get the tower to stand out more. Now this is a B&W image I couldn’t really do on film: I used a blue filter on the ground to darken and intensify contrast in the foliage, and a red filter for the sky to increase contrast with the clouds. Fine tuning of contrast was done as usual with selective curves layers.

Click on the photo for a larger version; comments welcome, and of course feel free to share the link.

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