Awhile back, John-Paul Palescandolo, one of this site’s contributors went on a tour of some abandoned subway sections of New York City. Becoming a member of New York Transit Museum is a great opportunity for those who have further interest in this area of history.
John-Paul ended up with a wonderful original capture of the main archway of the Old City Hall station stop, with all of the vibrantly-colored tilework, except for one problem – there was a wooden ramp in view, something that he had no control over. Well, he did what any good photographer would do, which is try to get the best possible shot anyway.
Difficult lighting situation here – Canon EOS 5D using the Canon 24/1.4L @ ISO 400. Image was captured hand-held at about 1/15 sec.
After the RAW processing, we come away with an image that is technically quite good. Here you are:
So, like usual, John Paul came to me and asked if I could make a print for him. We discussed the difficulty of the original image capture and I congratulated him on his RAW processing rendition. He kept telling me how annoyed he was about the wooden ramp being in the way. Based on the location of the ramp in the image (intersects with many intricate background elements, and there are shadows a-plenty in this scene!), it would not be an easy task. Most people think it is fairly easy to get rid of objects – sure it can be – but what do you put in place of what you are editing out? When you ‘clone stamp over it’ or ‘heal it away’ it doesn’t magically reveal what was beyond it. This is serious and time-consuming stuff.
I told John Paul that I would attempt to remove the wooden ramp from the scene before I printed the image. I just felt so bad about making an expensive print (he wanted it on the highest-end fiber based Hahnemuhle paper) that would not end up looking as fantastic as it absolutely could. So, after a number of painstaking hours, I produced a version of which I am quite proud and that John Paul liked and certainly appreciated.
The print was made 11×14 and is framed, hanging somewhere in his home. Also, we recently found out that this image will be purchased from us for publishing in an upcoming print of an international magazine that is running a feature story on ‘The World’s Forgotten Places’. So, I guess all of the time that both of us put into this piece will soon pay off. When we are allowed to disclose further information, we will post it here.