Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Another go with split-toning

click photo to enlarge
Every now and then I like to apply a split toning effect to a photograph. My most recent attempts are with a photograph of an old cinema in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, and the House of Correction at Folkingham (also in Lincolnshire). My best effort to date is a shot of the re-vamped sea-front at Cleveleys, Lancashire. This was taken when I lived in north-west England and I like it sufficiently well to have a framed print of the subject on the wall above my desk in my study.

I imagine some people might wonder what it is about split-toning that attracts me. As I've explained elsewhere in this blog it was one of the photographic treatments that I always wanted to do when I processed my own prints in the darkroom. However, I never got round to buying the coloured toners necessary for the task. The advent of digital, especially the plug-ins to image processing programs that allow this effect to be emulated very well, have allowed me to indulge my fascination. I have to say though, that it's only the sepia/blue mix, where the highlights are sepia and the shadows blue, that I like. It is (and was) common to apply split-toning in other combinations such as magenta/yellow, red/green or magenta/orange, but none of these work as well for me as my chosen pairing. I especially enjoy the 1930s poster-like, graphic quality that results from applying sepia/blue to a black and white photograph.

Today's photograph is probably a candidate to put alongside the image in a post that I gave the title, "The 'Guess the building' game", because looking at this one you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a chemical plant, a high-tech warehouse, perhaps a severely modern hotel or maybe the interior of a maximum security prison. You'd be unlikely to think that it was the atrium/stair-well of a city council's offices. Of course, "council offices" is no longer good enough to describe such places, too socialist sounding I think, so this one is styled a "customer service centre". Looking at the detail and vaguely Art Deco curves of the image I immediately marked it as one to try with split-toning. I'm not disappointed by the outcome.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On