Cable Car Wheels

Wandering downtown San Francisco with two photographic companions we decided to visit the San Francisco Cable Car Museum. This turned out to be a great location for monochromatic HDR photography. The deck inside the museum overlooks the huge engines and always-turning wheels that run through underground tunnels to power San Francicsco’s cable cars. Who could resist this kind of subject matter?

Cable Car Wheels by Harold Davis

Cable Car Wheels © Harold Davis

To create this image, I shot four exposures, all at 62mm, f/32, and ISO 100, using my tripod. Shutter speeds of the four exposures were 4 seconds, 8 seconds, 15 seconds, and 30 seconds.

I combined the exposures using Nik HDR Efex Pro and hand-HDR in Photoshop. Within HDR Efex Pro, I used several custom presets that I have created.

I worked on the blended image in Photoshop, primarily using filters from Nik and from the Topaz Adjust filter set.

Once I was satisfied with the image in color, I converted to monochromatic using a layered combination of Photoshop B&W adjustment layers and conversions created using Nik Silver Efex 2 presets. As a final touch, I layered in a monochromatic HDR conversion from HDR Efex Pro at a low opacity.

How is digital workflow like a sausage? We want to enjoy the results, but perhaps we are not so enthusiastic about seeing inside the factory and how the sausage (or composite digital image) was actually made.


This entry was posted in HDR, Monochrome, Photography.

One Comment

  1. JTasoff March 12, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I see a strong resemblance to the photographs of the modernist Charles Sheeler.

    Yours, a very striking portrait of machinery and technology.

One Trackback

  1. By Cable Car Power on March 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    […] think the cable car wheels look good in black and white; however, in many ways this Victorian steam punk industrial environment is also a great subject […]

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