I decided immediately that Adobe Lightroom would achieve the aesthetic I want from the images, and considering I have about 200 photographs to sort through, it makes for an incredibly fluid workflow. In the past with my photography or architecture I’ve developed a soft spot for playing around with the Luminance and Sharpening settings. In tandem, they can create some strange effects. My go-to preset for these is to push the sharpening to a medium-high amount, and change the Radius setting to 3 – the maximum – which forces dots and tiny lines in the image to create tiny fragments if you look very closely. It also helps assimilate some of the noise intrinsically present in the images.
Now adding Luminance to this sharpened image almost complete hides the noise, softens flat surfaces, and softens the sharpening effects just enough to make them less jagged. This final product is something that resembles an impressionist style painting as the image now almsot looks as if it is made up of many tiny strokes of colour and shapes. Overall the image becomes sharper and cleaner.
For lighting I try to push highlights and shadows as far as I can before they clip. I don’t worry too much about small areas of clipping, provided they aren’t obscuring areas of details, and overall I aim to create a higher contrast. This is especially important for the sandstone exterior of the building, as pushing the shadows accentuates all of the tiny grooves and pits in the exterior facade. This ends up creating a more three dimensional image.
Finally I play with the colours and white balance, but not as much as the other settings previously. As I noted an abundance of yellows and golds, I’ve focused on bringing those out in each image and altering the white balance accordingly also. Where other colours clash, like the green window panes, I’ve also pushed those colours up which ultimately contribute to the high contrast lighting and colour effect.