Architecture, Melbourne, Photography, Reworks

ReWorking the Etched Glass in Reception

Back in January, on my birthday I believe, I posted two images, one of them was from the reception area of the 11th floor of the Manchester Unity Building.  I thought I was finished with the images from the building, but I am starting to think I never will be.

Etched GlassAs I was putting all the images together to give to the Manchester Unity, I saw this one and a cringe crept up my back.  I knew that it had to be one of the ones that I should rework.  I know we discussed how dark my work can be yesterday, but I suspect this is a little too dark.  So I redid it today.

Etched Glass - ReworkedSo what have I done differently?  The blur isn’t as strong.  I’ve been toning down how strong I apply the blur.  This image is so much lighter, and you can see the chair more.  I think in the original the chair just looked in the way and not part of the image.  I think it works better in this one.  I found in the original there was too much blue behind the etched glass so I have changed it to be greener, I think the green tones add more warmth to the image.  Overall I think this image is far more warmer and welcoming.  What do you think?

I thought I would do another gallery for you so you can see all the images put together, there are a lot of them, so I hope you don’t mind.  It is nice to see them altogether.  I am not going to put titles on them all, but you know what they all are.

I may do one more of those images again, but basically they will stay as they are.  It is interesting to see how the work and what I do evolves as my skill levels increase.


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  1. Oh boy! Brilliant pictures Leanne!!! So what filters you’ve been using here. I see that a few of them are HDR, so was a photoblend or a RAW split? There are a couple of pics where I can see glass even wood and wall. Awesome work there!!!! Let me know :)

  2. solarbeez says

    I shot a lot of black and white. This is way before digital photography. The tinkering I did was in the darkroom on the enlarger. Digital photography has opened the door for so much more. You do a dynamite job on your program.
    I’m curious…on some of those dark ‘table and chair’ scenes, how did you get the lighting so well? Is it all in the software or did you bring extra lights and strategically place them?

    • All the images were shot with the lighting that was available and then I played with it in photoshop.
      I agree with the first part of your statement you can do so much more and it is so much easier, and not so dark and cold as it was in a darkroom.

      • solarbeez says

        I got so tired of the hours and hours in the darkroom, so working on the computer is much easier, but you’ve still got to know what you’re doing. It looks like you’ve made the jump to hyperdrive. I admire your work. It is good!

      • I agree with both statements, though it has taken me a while to get to this stage, I am still learning, but I try to make the images as real as possible, I think studying art for several years helps when it comes to what makes an image, so I hope I cam getting there. Thanks

  3. Hey Leanne. The “Past Its Use” card came in the mail today. It will be a nice decoration on my desk. (Also, on a different note, I love the way it smells.)

  4. Anne Sandler says

    Great work on the building Leanne. You are a true artist.

  5. The first one is kind of scary! I like it but the mood is off for it, I think. More like for a scary movie. The second one is in keeping with the rest of the photos, showcasing the beauty of the place rather than going for a mood or some unique impact. Plus the wood on the chair is really pretty.

    • I like the way you have analysed them, especially the bit about the wood :) for me it was the fabric on the chair, who doesn’t want to see that.

  6. To be perfectly honest i much prefer the new version. I really don’t like dark heavy blurred images (personal taste) as they hide so much of the image and the details especially when you have a HDR where the details come from contrast in light.

    With the new image I can see a lot more of the scene. I would only mention a green highlight area on the chair which, i think is the reflection of a light somewhere that I would tone down (once gain personal preference).

    Great collection of images.

    • I think the same, except I think dark images can be good in the right place. This wasn’t one of them. I am really happy with the rework. Thanks Ben.

  7. Honestly Speaking Leanne
    Excellent work….
    Presentation is absofreakenlutely awesome…
    I truly admire your compositions….!!!!!

    p.s. Love this dark touch..!!!

  8. whyteaugust says

    Agreet that lightening the chair so that it becomes part of the scene works :) I like that table, too…

    • Thank you Marie, I think it looks much better now. The table yes, I think that is one of my favourites as well.

    • So many people want to visit, but it isn’t available to the public, a business is run in it, so unless you are a client you can’t see it, and then there are parts that even if you were a client you wouldn’t be able to see. I think that adds to the mysteriousness of the building. Thank you.

  9. This is a fantastic collection, Leanne. And i like your re-work of the featured photo. Many times I have to tone the blue down in photos because it’s not real, more of a color picked up from the sky rather than what is true to the object. Opening up the shadows makes the composition lighter and more accessible.

    • It is terrible when one colour dominates over another. I think the blue was picked up from a building across the road. Thank you.

  10. These are really eye popping! I love the mystic skies. Keep on keeping me inspired and blessings to you.

  11. Like the reworked image and how you brought out the chair details. Love these architectural shots. Great job.

  12. I was wondering… When you rework the images, do you go back to the originals, or do you use the first one? So, did you use the first image in this post for the second, or did you go back to the beginning and start over?

  13. Again, wonderful work. I don’t mind the darkness at all. Sometimes you can see things in darkness that you can’t see in the light.

  14. This is one “hell” of a gallery .. you are giving us here. Stunning, still the exit sign in your fantastic shots are an irritation for me. Even the photo of the aquarium the sign ups up .. can’t you remove it. It’s doesn’t go with the fantastic old powerful interior. My favorite of this fantastic bunch .. must be the room with the wall black leather sofas. Magnificent photo. How the light falls on that beautiful carpet … Fantastic job, Leanne .. you should be an architecture photographer. Have a fantastic weekend.

    • I did try removing them Viveka, but because they glow the area all around them is affected and it looked worse after my attempts. I did remove it from the fish tank one, but it was done after I did the low res version. I think you just have to accept that that is how these places are now, OH&S has wrecked heaps of things. I am glad you like them, it would be wonderful to be a architecture photographer, but I just don’t seem to be able to get a break. Thank you.

  15. this is such a stunning building…you have done it justice with your photos! in the photo you reworked I do like the etched glass panel, it is brighter, but I like the darker chair…for me dark is richer looking, but that is a personal thing…regardless, the series is brilliant!

    • Thank you Heather, I don’t know the chair wasn’t dark, I think that was my problem with it. I like being able to see it now, but as you said, it is a personal thing.

      • oh I agree, I like being able to see the chair as well, but, as mentioned I like dark wood so the chair doesn’t have the same appeal to me…again only a personal preference the photo is amazing… have a great weekend!

  16. I love the rework that you did as well. Having the chair ‘pop’ really emphasizes your style that we’ve been seeing more of lately. :-)

    • Is it too more, I’ve just discovered how to do galleries, and I’ve been having fun with them. :)
      Thanks Emily, I think it works better.

  17. Excellent re-work, Leanne! The image has become very exciting to view, with all the colors and textures, and what you’ve added to make it so! Kudos, dear friend…it is truly beautiful!

  18. Tony says

    Superb photos of a great building. I had no idea those little gems existed!

  19. It’s a great series, Leanne, and the re-working of the headline image is a big improvement.

  20. Viewed as a whole, the images are even more impressive, Leanne. I am very much aware of the influence of Edward Hopper in these works. The images are extraordinary.

  21. Amazing images, as always! I just noticed you sell on Etsy…just bought something there recently, my first time to buy from an Etsy vendor, although I’ve done a lot of online shopping. I’ll check out your store! ~ Sheila

    • Thank you, I have just started trying to sell on Etsy, I don’t know if it is going to be any good, time will tell. Thanks Sheila.

  22. Great photos, and I LOVED the one of the light fixture! Lol, I’m into beautiful light fixtures. I’m so glad you took a photo of it! All of these pictures really show off the grandness of the building.

    • I took one of another one too, I seem to remember but I didn’t process it. The light fittings in this building are so amazing. Thank you.

  23. Anyone who knows me is aware of my absolute LOVE for Art Deco. This place was beautiful — and your photos highlighted the best aspects of the design! I would really love to visit this place one day! Also — I like how you reworked your image. I have the same problem, where I process my images, put them up…and then a week later I realize something is too dark or that I overexposed a my subject, and I redo them haha. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that it other photographers do it to improve their skill! Thanks for sharing, Leanne — I definitely enjoy following your blog!


    • Art Deco is very popular, and that place is art deco totally. I think reworking images is a fantastic thing to do and having each Friday dedicated to reworking means I do it and have to find images to rework, it is a great idea.

      Thanks Rosie.

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