‘Transformation’ – Base Images for degeneration

In preparation for the Generation Loss, I wanted to take great care in producing a solid foundation from which to work.  Having steered away from Landscape photography in the digital medium, the opportunity to utilise tone blending in one of my base images seemed appropriate given the title of the project.  Given the degeneration ideas in this project, I wanted to keep the subject of the images organic and natural, as I felt this would lend itself well to the morphing during the degeneration process.

Base Image 1 – Richmond Hill
The key idea in degenerating an image, was to take a well recognised scene which was beautiful in its own right and follow the degeneration process.  William Turner painted some classic and well known images over looking the Richmond Hill and the bridge.  Moving away from split level filters, I wanted to experiment with using neutral density filters and long exposure in this particular shot.  I would then make use of tone mapping and blending to combine three different exposure times, given the exposure gap between the land and sky can be at least 1.5 stops, usually more.

The below three images were taken at ISO 100, f11, 2 Neutral Density Filters (10 stop and 6 stop), and polariser with a 35mm lens.  The exposure times were 7.5, 8 and 8.5 minutes respectively:

7.5 Minutes:

HDR Exp1

8.0 Minutes:

HDR Exp2

8.5 Minutes:

HDR Exp3

Having moved away from analogue photography just prior to the start of the course, this process really worried me.  Any tonal processing I have seen in landscape photography has left me feeling post production has been so overdone.  I bit the bullet, used Photomatix and started tone blending the images.

Base Image 1 – Richmond Hill Tone BlendedRichmond Hill HDR

I still feel there is a cosmetic feel to the image, however, I am pleased with the results as this process is new to me.  As I would be exploring degeneration in B&W, started using silver fox pro to create the second image:

Richmond Hill BW5

The B&W image for me is more striking than in colour and prefer the tonal contrast.

Base Image 2 – Wheat in the Wind
The third image was really inspired by my desire to have an image in which the colour palette was less divers than Richmond Hill.  The grasses in our local park turn a beautiful shade which I was interested to see how this might transform through degeneration.


I ended up shooting over thirty shots so I could use something which had not been touched at all by any manipulation methods.

Conclusions – Base Image 1, 2 & 3
Overall, I am pleased with the effort I have put into the three base images for the project.  They have an organic feel, while the tone blending of the image taken from Richmond Hill has pushed me to explore this production method much more.

Criteria 1, 2, 3 & 4

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