As usual at the beginning of each month, I take part in a photo processing project called One Photo Focus, hosted by Stacy Fischer at Visual Venturing. This is a great exercise which involves participants from all over the world working on the same image and applying their digital dark room skills.
This month we are working on a photograph submitted by Nancy Merril. It depicts the stairways and insignia of the Historic Adams Memorial Theatre at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. This building is one of the most accurate replicas of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the world.
At first I was not too sure how to tackle this image. But as I read about the theatre and especially about William Shakespeare, I was struck by the quantity of material this English poet and playwright wrote. Shakespeare was widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. So I decided that what mattered most to me in the image was not so much the building, but the golden insignia as reference to the comedies, tragedies and histories this dramatist wrote. I also wanted to show a stronger reference to some of the plays that have been performed all over the world and published and translated in so many languages.
My process was to reflect this thinking in my editing, using Photoshop, and to take the following steps:
- Create an adjustment layer to bring the saturation right down to -100 and the lightness up to +60, and thus end up with a pale black and white image
- Add a mask to this layer and using the adjustment brush, reveal the golden sign in the original image beneath, so that it stands out as the main point of interest.
- Add 12 of the 37 plays written by Shakespeare on the right, as an overlay to the tree foliage, selecting a classical script and a golden colour for the text to echo the insignia.
- Finish with a light fading vignette..
Here is how the image now looks:
Thank you Nancy for letting us play with your image, and Stacy for doing a wonderful job of hosting this project.
As always, this challenge attracts varied and creative approaches, so do visit the March One Photo Focus post to see what other participants have done.