Melbourne, Photography, Reworks

ReWorking the Tower

So it isn’t technically a rework, though it is yet another version of the tower from the Manchester Unity Building.  It has been a long road with this particular image.  Well, long hours.  Here, take a look.

Shooting Out

There are so many layers that it must be a massive file.  I should take a look to see.

Last week when I went back in I took many images of the tower, from different places on the 12th floor and at different angles.  It was another crap day as far as the weather went, and I really didn’t think I was going to get any good images (you can see the original image below).  I felt that to do the tower justice, then I needed to capture the Shooting Out - Original arms as well.  The last image I did, was a little disappointing because you couldn’t really see them.  I tried to emphasise them in this image.  I stretched the bottom out a little.

I have spent about 20 hours, give or take one or two, on this image.  I have done many, many layers of blurring, masking, and peeling back.  I have never spent that long on one image before and it was an interesting experience.  I don’t know that I could do it for all images, but I was trying out something with the blurring, and I like how it turned out.  I will have to make notes so I know exactly what I did.

Is it wrong to be fixated by my own work?  There is something about this image that I find I can’t draw my eyes away from.  I like it so much, I think I might make it my header image for the blog.

Speaking of the blog, perhaps I should update what is happening.  I have both blogs, the original one hosted by WordPress and my self hosted blog.  I was just putting updates on the original with the full post on the new, but I noticed that no one, well only a few were coming to the new one.  It all seemed to be falling apart, so I have started doing the full post on both.  There are good reasons, though time wise, it doesn’t really make that much difference.  I do the post on one blog, then cut and paste it into the other, so easy.  I have far more followers on the original, and very few on the new one, and the reasons for starting the new haven’t really worked the way I hoped.  No big deal.

I am off to Eltham tomorrow morning to teach my first class for the year.  It has been popular, so it is full, with a waiting list, and many others turned away.  I hope it works out well.  The class is all about learning to use your DSLR, so should be fun.


  1. Great tower photo. We’re headed to Chi-town, the week after next. Hope to capture lots of great architeture. Thanks for your support.

    • julesdownunder says

      As someone from Chicago, I had to look twice at the photo as I first thought it was the Tribune Tower. Check it out in person while you’re there!

  2. Very nice work. Have you ever tried Silver Efex? I have used CS6 and Lightroom for my B&W but nothing has been quite as easy and impactful as SE. In any case, great work. I enjoy your blog.

  3. I think you should make it your header, especially since it calls to you so powerfully. It’s a gorgeous shot!

  4. Wow… I’m impressed! I will have to check out your site more often. I love seeing photos transform, especially when the contrast is so startling. And no, it’s not wrong to be fixated by your own work! I once spent 12 hours on a drawing, and although I never completed it, it has always been my favorite. Time and effort tends to have that effect:)

  5. Haunting. Wonderful work. Re: website issues, I had all sorts of security problems with my first, self-hosted site. It got hacked and I cleaned it up. Then, a year later, a friend said that McAfee had branded it as dangerous even though I knew it had been clean for over a year. At that point I just let the old site die. The last straw in a string of time-gobbling frustrations.

    BTW, McAfee has a cozy setup with Adobe, so that when you are asked to update your Flash player you must uncheck a box that will give you McAfee for free! Talk about a sneaky ploy…

    I really like “no worries” (for moi) WordPress.

  6. Love this photo of the tower- absolutely amazing transformation. Very, very cool.

  7. I admire your patience to work so diligently on a photo– the results speak for themselves. Moreso, I believe, than the actual architectural structure, the mood and interest of the image come from what you have done with the sky and background. It appears as though the tower rises from the darkest depths and into light. Congrats on making it work so well. ~peace, Jason

  8. mkriegh says

    This is such a wonderful image. Worth every hour of work you put into it. Its almost like a set from Batman. Really well done! I envy your photoshop development skills.

    Re the new blog site, there was something more difficult about signing up to follow it that prevented me from doing so. And then when we were navigating through the old site into the new one I was annoyed by the extra clicks, though I did it because I like following your blog. So I think there were impediments. If those got removed somehow, the transfer might work better.

  9. even i found the image very captivating, the angle, the sky, the color perfectly blend into each other..!

  10. wow… it seems so… mysterious… i love it… just seems like something amazing should be happening there…

  11. Very good photo editing! I’m an amateur, but I hope to be good someday. I love the way you emphasized this picture!

  12. It’s interesting what you said about your blogs. I recently began doing cross-posting, too (I have one blog for photos — just for fun — and the other one to help me find a publisher for my book), and I realized that I have more success with combining the two. (Well, my “success” has not resulted in finding a publisher, yet.)

    Anyway, it’s amazing what you did with the tower! I guess, I should start learning about Photoshop. The problem is that I don’t have the time. I still work full-time as a librarian😦.


    • Sometimes things don’t go the way you want, but hey, that is okay. Now I post on one, cut and paste it the other, and it only takes me an extra 5 minutes, if that, not big deal. More work, but not really. I wasn’t looking for a publisher, but I was looking for advertisers, now I realise I am on my own. The blog is about me showcasing my work for potential clients, and is a great way to show what I can do.
      Thanks, photoshop is hard and does take a while to learn, but I guess it is all about what you want. I was lucky and was given a chance to learn how to use it. Though I still have much to learn.

    • That is great to hear Colline, that was my brief, he wanted the tower to look like Batman lived there.

  13. The result is certainly dramatic – almost Gothic! The shadings work extremely well.
    Er …
    What’s a DSLR? *blush*

    • it a digital SLR camera, the ones you can change lenses and do lots of things with. I have a Nikon d300s DSLR. There are so many letters, easy to get confused.

  14. I especially like the mysterious feel you have given this image. The darkness is so rich. Wonderful work.

  15. I visited your new blog, but couldn’t figure out how to follow that one. Beautiful photos!

  16. I agree, this is a masterpiece. The fact that you fixate is what makes you so great! Good luck with your class. I’m jealous. I’d love to be there! :)

    • Thanks Marsha, the class went well, I think, I hope I didn’t confuse everyone.
      I love that image as well. I find out on Tuesday what the client thinks.

  17. I agree, this is a stunning and powerful photo and would make a good feature one for your blog. Of course, I like the one you have, too!

  18. You’ve taken a blah (no offense) image and turned it into something stunning, well done and very inspiring!

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  20. rezendervp says

    I love that image, can you make a tutorial or something else? The effect you got is awesome. very good work!

    • Thank you, I don’t have any plans to do any tutorials on this work for the time being. I need to consolidate and work on my technique first.

  21. Gorgeous shot! Love what you did with it. I’m sorry about the new blog! I’m sorry to say I am more attached to this one just because it’s easier for me. I started following your new one, but I don’t get emails of your new posts to that one for some reason. I hope it all works out:) Either way I’ll follow and read your blogs!

    • It has been disappointing, and I felt like I was in limbo land, so now I just do both, it doesn’t take that much longer to cut and paste, so it is fine.

  22. am just thinking….the ravens would come any time now to roost on the tower bridges. great work!

  23. Love the drama and tension conveyed in that re-worked tower! Totally captures the idea of the “Gothic.” Amazing work!

  24. This is amazing- nuanced yet dramatic & dynamic. I think it’s a wonderful thing to be fixated on your own work. It means you’re doing something very right.:)

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