Silos In A Storm

Silos In A Storm

One of the things that I like best about landscapes and especially landscapes in black and white is the ability to create “my” reality.

Color is fairly malleable. In Photoshop there is a lot that can be done but it still requires a certain amount of colour to manipulate. For example you can’t shoot in the middle of the day when the sun is high in the sky and expect much in the way of “atmosphere” in your photo. Atmosphere is one of the major components I believe in making a landscape photograph successfully.

Black and white is a whole different animal. I have written before about the school of thinking where NOTHING is manipulated. No burning. No dodging. Nothing. The whole idea seems rather silly to me. It’s like playing a game of cards with only five cards in the deck. You are very limited by what you can do.

The photo above of one of my favourite subjects the two grain silos was taken during the middle of the day. The sun was shining brightly, high in the sky. The wind was blowing from picture left to right. I could have taken this photo just about anytime of the day and made something of it. With colour, the way that I like to see it, the window of opportunity is very small. An hour around sunrise and an hour around sunset. At any other time when the sun rises, most colour is lost, it becomes daylight and to my eyes, boring.

It is in Photoshop that this image was really created. Sure, the sky, field and silos were there. They are the bones upon which the final image is created and given another day or another hour I might have made the final image completely differently.

Doing these long exposures with my “normal” camera, the one not modified for infrared gives the exact opposite feel of infrared. Infrared is all high key and bright where shooting with my normal camera in color I tend go go dark or low key.

Creativity doesn’t stop in the taking of the photo, it only begins there.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on July 4, 2016.

6 Responses to “Silos In A Storm”

  1. i am trying to take a good photo in-camera and then try taking risks in the editing process.When I look at your photo it is in the realm of photographic art-definitely not just a pcture.

  2. Jane, the great thing about digital photography is that you can overshoot a scene and then edit out the weaker images. It’s a very good way of improving your visualization.

    The important thing is to have something that works as a composition first and then to build on it in post processing. For me that is a very fun part of the creative process.


  3. I really like this shot, the deep blacks and the LE clouds, and your centering of the two silos. That works really well here. I hadn’t thought of lighting and the difference between B/W and color in the way that you discussed. I have always leaned toward magic hour light for both, but I can see how with your processing here, that you can manipulate the b/w in ways that you cannot with color. I’ll have to give that a try in full light situations.

    Except on images that I shoot with a preconceived idea of what I want in the end, I likewise experiment during the processing stage. It is both a way to expand one’s PS skills, and can lead to discovering a new look.

  4. Thank you Frank.

    The photo above was taken in the middle of the day which is unusual for me or was unusual for me. One of the things to look for is a mix of clouds and blue sky above your subject. Areas of blue sky can go black in processing which lends itself well to this kind of photography I think.

    We are never too old to learn something new or at least that is what I am finding. It’s another tool in my box of things/ways that I shoot and process.


  5. Great image, like to other ones you post. I know that you have once told us what ND filter you use but would you mind to repeat? I have just purchased two Neutral Variable Density filters (82 mm Hoya and 77 mm Tiffen). They are great buy limited to about 8 stops light transmission reduction at most and this is not enough to allow for long daytime exposures at f16.

  6. Hi Zbigniew,
    I have filters by three different manufacturers. I use Fotodiox Pros, WonderPana ND filters for my 14-24 lens. They are the only company that make ND filters big enough to cover that lens as far as I know. They block ND but DO NOT block infrared which is good for infrared long exposures on that lens.

    I have one 10 stop Tiffen filter which like the WonderPana blocks visible light but allows infrared to pass. It’s an okay filter.

    The rest of my ND filters are made by Formatt Hitech, they are the Firecrest ND filters. They block visible light and also block infrared. The Formatt Hitech filters I bought early on had a terrible quality control problem. I ended up sending three back to be replaced. They are the filters that I use the most and I have five of them ranging from two stops neutral density to 16 stops neutral density.

    The reason that I have so many of them is that it allows me to stack them to get the exact density that I want. 16 stops is the bare minimum I find for daylight long exposures. Depending upon cloud cover 16 stop at f8 will vary from two to four minutes. I usually prefer eight minute exposures to get the clouds very soft.

    I hope that this helps.

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