Sunday, August 2, 2009

Is Ybor City a Ghost Town?

I know, this is way too colorful to resemble a ghost town and you're right it is but the final image looks a lot like a ghost town and as you can see I didn't have to "remove" any humans to achieve that deserted feeling. It's what is not there that makes this photo so interesting. Ybor City is usually a pretty hopping place, you can go there any day of the week and find people milling about the area. It's very unusual that you could go there during the day and find absolutely no one. This was taken in November of 2008 on a Saturday around 10 to 11 am. Not exactly the time of day you would expect to find no one there. There are a few things that I feel would have added to the ambience of this photo, tumble weed (probably not going to find any of that in Florida) and rain (which I could have added digitally to this but decided against it...or did I hmmmm more on that later).

So while I was taking the photos I needed (5 of them, it's an HDR Image) to make this image, I decided that perhaps Black and White would yield the results I was looking for, the photo above is the result of the conversion to Black and White. It would stay like this for a little over 6 months, it was fairly popular photo and people tended to enjoy the dimensional pull they felt from the photo and it did have that Twilight Zone feel to it but it was still not exactly what I was hoping for, it always felt like it was missing something.

So I went to the place I always go when I need some advice on a photo. NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals My friends there were really glad to help me figure out what I should and shouldn't do with this image. I tried several things including, desaturization, keeping the outsides in color and the insides portions in Black and White and several other things to try to pull that ghost town feel out of this image. The final version is below.

As you can see from the above image, there were a lot of little changes in the photo. I decided to go with a Sepia quad tone treatment that I made myself and then used one of the suggestions I received about straightening the buildings a bit. The original photos were taken with a 12-24mm lens and as with most wide angle lenses it has some distortion in the corners. As you can see, there's a lot more detail available in this image now than there was before. The bricks on both the street and the buildings are a lot easier to distinguish.

Oh yeah, before I forget, the image with the added rain is below. I'm still on fence with it but it was fun to do.

As always, thank you so much for reading my blog. If you would like to see any more of my work, it can all be found at .

Until next week.............

My Hometown

My Hometown
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About Me

My photo

My name is Michael White and I'm a Fine Art Photographer based out of the Tampa Bay area.   I enjoy photographing various landscapes and wild life that can be found in the US.  I am also the creator of a new process called High Key HDR. 
You can find my website at and I can also be followed on Twitter at @rorymadstudios .