Same Scene Different Composition – Part 2

Just over a week ago I did an image of the tower from the Manchester Unity Building and called it Part 1, I knew when I did it that I would want to try doing it again.  Stretching Up - 2nd VersionI like this version a lot better than the other one.  I did a lot more to draw out the details in the image using the blur feature and masking.  I also redid the sky.  I didn’t go all the way back to the start, but rather chose an earlier state.

I am not totally happy with this composition.  I like it in the portrait mode, though I really want to go back now and take more photos.  I think I know what I want to get now.  I feel as though I understand the building so much more now.  I know I was invited to come and take photos, but there is a point where I don’t want to wear out my welcome.  I hope they will let me come back to do the tower again.

Since I was pretty happy with how I processed the image this time, I thought it might be good to see what would happen if I used Silver Efex on it.

Stretching Up - Silver EfexTaking the colour out of it, well I thought it would ruin the image, but I don’t think it has at all.  I like how you just focus on the details and the textures in the fascade of the building.  The detail is so intricate, when I am working on it, I enlarge it a lot so I can work closer, and I get lost in the intricacies of the craftmanship.  It really is a stunning building.

Stretching Up - Color EfexThis time I used Color Efex.  It took me a while to find something that I thought would work.  I quite like the washed out look of this.  I like what it has done to the fascade.

I have left the flag pole at the top, I know some thought it was something else, but I tried it without and I didn’t like it.  I like the illusion that the tower continues up.  It seemed flat without it.

I should send some links to the Kia, the man who invited me to photograph the building and let him see some of the images I have done of it.  It has been a wonderful experience.


  1. grandma paint pot says

    I really like the silver one. It has a haunting, supernatural quality which draws you in.

    • Couldn’t have said it better, myself! But I LOVE reading the comments and seeing all the different opinions (and reasons behind them). You spark great conversation!

  2. gailkav says

    That is an amazing building – love your photo of it.

  3. All three are great but I think each has a different purpose. The top saturated version seems to me it would work well in a Batman type of movie! The B&W is verging on an abstract image and the third looks the most realistic in a dark, gothic sort of way.

  4. I love them all, Leanne. To me, they almost have a CGI type quality; a hyper-realist vision of another world. Nicely done. I think my fav is the first one.

  5. Jack Brewis says

    Hi Leanne. These are just so mind-blowing and I cant get my head around them. They are incredibly stunning.

  6. John.Ai says

    Awesome! the bottom one’s my favorite, looks like something out of batman!

  7. Such a cool building…And I see I’m not the only one who thought ‘Batman!’
    I love your comment that you “know” the building better now…it’s so true, when you work with something over and over like this. I hope you get back for more, so we can see what you’re thinking :)

  8. This is dark .. powerful and bold – a bit like Gotham. My pick it the top version!

  9. These are all nice … did you say that you had taken a series of images of Manchester Unity? If so … perhaps we could see some others to get a more complete feeling for the structure. It’s interesting that each of your various renditions give a very different feel to the building. I’m sure this takes lots of time … when do you know you’re done! Nice work – as usual. D

  10. amazing…each has its own appeal…great work…I would definitly send the link to the fellow who invited you to photograph the building…I’m sure he would be very pleased with what you have done!

  11. That is fantastic! Very thought provoking, and like a scene from a great movie.

  12. These are fabulous-I think the top one is my favorite-though the B/W is very striking too. Your work is very inspiring-thank you for sharing it-

  13. Little Brown Tomato (LBT) says

    I like the angle – very nice. :) And the bottom photo is my favorite too.

  14. Nice stuff…. The colour ones particularly remind me of the latter day Batman movie Gotham City….

  15. The MU Building must be an impressive one. All of your treatments have been beautiful ones.

  16. I’ve come to find that people who are great at doing things, especially unique things, are their worst critic. These photos are absolutely grand. You did a wonderful job capturing the dark details. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Hi LC, great post and amazing building. Contrast between architectural features and the “MU” logo does strikes me.. My fav is the first one…maybe because I do perceive it as the closest to (my) reality?! Even if none of them is straighten…Good stuff, loved the post!

  18. That is really a super amazing building Leanne. I’m always impressed with your post processing abilities in creating something extraordinary out of the ordinary. A true artist you are!

    • hutchphotography2020 says

      Your use of Silver Efex gave the photograph a dramatic simplicity. The shapes, lines and detail become easier to appreciate. For me, the color gets in the way as a drama enhancer. The black and white carries enough on its own. Great work.

  19. The Night Hawk Photographer says

    Amazing composition, the colours make it look almost like it were a watercolour in the latter colour version. Impressive!

  20. petit4chocolatier says

    Love them all. Each one emits a different feeling!

  21. Each of these fantastic images has their own appeal, Leanne, and I’d love to see them printed LARGE, hanging on a cream-colored wall, with the B/W in between the two color images.

    That wonderful building is soooo interesting and imposing, I’d find it very difficult to keep from going back to shoot it on a regular basis…but I understand your hesitance to not ‘wear out your welcome’. Send him these three…it can’t hurt!

    • Thanks 1000, I did send them to him and quite a few others. They won’t all get enlarged but one will. I am looking forward to seeing it enlarged as well. They always look so different when that happens.

      I have loved photographing it and I know there are some places that I could go, so that might be good. I have really enjoyed this experience. I would love other building owners to pay me to come and photograph their buildings. Imagine a whole gallery full of images, that would be the ultimate.

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