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Lock & Key Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

7 June 2018

The old wardrobe's lock and key appealed to us in the overcast light diffused through the room yesterday afternoon. So we bent down to look it in the eye and framed our shot. It seemed to hide the tale of something that happened centuries ago.

Lock & Key. Captured with a Nikon D300 and Lensbaby Twist 60 at f2.5 and 1/30 second at ISO 400. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

Once we had the lock and key composed in the viewfinder, we had to consider the reflection from the mirror on the wardrobe's door. That meant changing the angle to get some color in the image. The bevel on the glass is sharp but none of the distant objects seen in the mirror are.

We like the Lensbaby Twist 60 a lot even though, using it on APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors, we don't get the benefit of its swirling background that show up in the corners of a 35mm frame.

What we like is the color.

So it occurred to us to try it on the Nikon D300 instead of the Olympus E-PL1 we usually mount it on.

We couldn't wait to edit it. And we weren't disappointed.

At 60mm the Twist gives the Olympus a crop equivalent to a 120mm lens, a nice reach compared to the 14-42mm kit lens which only gets us to 84mm. But on the D300, it gives us a 90mm crop equivalent.

We walked around the premises looking for subjects and found a few. But we really liked this one.

The rich wood, the old metal hardware, the sharp division between what's in focus and what isn't hinting at the closed up past. The mirror suggesting the ambiguity of the present.

We couldn't wait to edit it. And we weren't disappointed.

We opened the Raw image in Photoshop CC 2018, which launched Adobe Camera Raw. That was almost all we really needed.

We were able to straighten the image using the Upright tool down the edge of the wood and the edge of the mirror, which were not quite parallel enough to simply use the Level tool. Then we cropped the image so the mirror occupied about half of it.

We opened the Shadows up quite a bit but didn't boost the Exposure even though the darker parts of the lock and key were still without detail. We preferred to keep the dark color, suggesting strength, and drop the detail.

We did use the Healing brush to spot a few smudges on the mirror. But we also selected the mirror and increased the Saturation about 20 units. We also tried decreasing the saturation five units.

The mirrored part of the image is out of focus so we didn't want to draw attention to it. We wanted it to merely suggest something else in the room. To hint rather than portray. So we preferred the less saturated version.

It's hard to resist reaching out for the small metal handle to pull the door open, wiping away the reflection of the present in the mirror, and peering into the darkness at what of the past has been preserved.

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