Melodramatic Monochromes

Welcome back!  Today I wanted to share another collection of street photos from Torino Italy.  The last collection I posted did pretty well, and I appreciate all the visits, comments, and shares!  Also, thanks to the Toad over at Toad Hollow Photography for including my work in his weekly “not to miss” photo picks over at  Seeing my name up there always puts a smile on my face :)  I have included a few links throughout to help you compare and explore some of my other work.

Today’s images should look a bit dramatic to you compared with some of the past street photos I have posted.  I was in one of those moody, artsy trances last night while I was editing these photos and I think the resulting images show it.  I would love to know what you think and which ones are your favorites!  I plan on releasing a street photography book later this summer, so all of your feedback really does help!!

Once again, all of these images were processed with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.  You can save 15% off the cover price or try it out for free by accessing Nik’s website HERE!

To kick things off, this photo was taken in the Palazzo Madama museum in central Torino (the same place this abstract glass elevator shot was taken, which people seemed to like a great deal).  I focused on making this photo more dreamy than realistic, softening the tones and pumping up the contrast (darkening darks and brightening whites).  I bracket most of the time (including these) so I have more options once it comes time to post-process.  If your camera has the ability to bracket (vary exposure or aperture while you keep the other constant) you should consider using it.  I can explain this further if you would like, just drop me a line.

Just before it started hailing cats and dogs the evening I arrived, I was able to capture this scene of the Gran Madre di Dio (Great Mother of God) church with some menacing clouds surrounding it.  Above the columns sit the Latin words: ORDO POPVLVSQVE TAVRINVS OB ADVENTVM REGIS – which translates to “The Nobility and People of Turin [dedicate this] on Account of the Return of the King“.  I tossed in a relatively strong vignette in the corners of the photo to intensify the mood even more.

Shot in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, I thought the overall lighting and horizontal cross in the foreground of this scene provided for a compelling, dramatic photo.  Just to the left was the Shroud of Turin, but I wasn’t allowed to get any photos of it (I guess they want to sell more postcards and books).

I can’t remember exactly where I took this shot, but I tried to capture it in such a way that it might make you feel as if you were actually there.  I don’t think I succeeded… :)  Either way, I really like the end result, sharp and full of heavy contrast.  I shot with an aperture of around f/16, ensuring I could keep most of the scene in focus.

The shot below is an interesting one.  As much as I tried to capture the heads in the center of the angling apartment lines, creating a truly symmetrical image, the “head on” aspect just wouldn’t work out.  But, upon looking further, and analyzing, and tinkering, I decided I liked this “uneven” view more.  It gives the photo more of a unique aspect, imperfect and creepy.  I really liked this piece of art as well (which is odd because I usually loathe modern art).  I expect some mixed opinions on this photo…

Another photo from inside the Palazzo Madama museum, this is literally the first room of the museum after you enter.  Housing some fantastic carved wood, I could not take my eyes off the beautiful ceiling, lighting, and floor.  When looking back on the entrance, this is what your eyes are treated to.  You can even see the ticket lady’s leg on the bottom left of the far doorway – bet you would have never noticed that had I not pointed it out :)  I had difficulty getting the lighting just right, trying to parallel it to what I remembered when I was standing there.  I was finally satisfied with the photo after about an hour of tweaking.

Another church shot, I was able to capture this one during Easter Mass by putting my camera on silent mode and timing my shots with the singing, standing, and sitting.  This church was spectacular, and that tiled walkway down the center is what sold me on this particular shot.  Once again, I raised the contrast and sharpness, allowing for a dramatic, yet peaceful looking scene.  I didn’t even get that many dirty looks this time when I was shooting!!!

Almost to the end – if you are still reading, I commend you :)  An impressive fountain that sits just west of Piazza San Carlo in the Piazza Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale, this woman represents the River Dora.  A male fountain to the left represents the other major river in Turin, the Po (here is a beautiful sunset shot with some intimidating clouds over the Po I caught the night before).  I went a different direction with this shot, adding a healthy amount of sharpness while keeping the image light and warm.  If you look closely, you can see that I was able to preserve all of the original details.  I really enjoy looking at this one, a different approach than the gritty, contrasting images I usually like to produce.

Finally, I captured this artsy, blown out shot outside the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.  As I walked in the shadow of the tower, I looked up and thought the composition would make for an interesting photo.  Upon reviewing the RAW file, I realized it actually had some artsy potential.  Shot with my 14-24mm wide-angle lens, the tower appears to be leaning heavily – just an effect of the lens… one I rather enjoy this time.  I usually never like to blow out (over-expose) the sky, as it contains such important details and helps to balance an image.  Here I pumped up that brightness, going against my nature and trying something new.  Another photo that will probably get mixed reviews from the masses, I wanted to display it because it helps complete a varied range of drama for this little collection.

Thanks for staying with me and I hope you enjoyed this little tour through the heart of Torino, Italy!  If you enjoyed this, I invite you to subscribe to the blog on the upper right column.  Thanks!!

  1. Mark says:

    All great shots Adam, think my fav is number 3, or 6 or 7 they are all fantastic shots.

  2. Awesome set Adam – love number 5 such a cool piece

  3. Rich McPeek says:

    Great set Adam! They’re all really nicely done. I’d say my favorite is the one of Gran Madre di Dio. I love the intensity of this shot and adding the vignette to it really did beef up the mood of it. Wonderful work my friend!

  4. ken bello says:

    I don’t think you can go wrong by including any of these shots in your book, Adam, but certainly the shot of Gran Madre di Dio must make the cut. It’s definitely my favorite.

  5. Eden says:

    These are great, Adam. Well done.

  6. Mark Neal says:

    All are great but the fifth is so cool. I kept going back to it. Nice processing on all of them. Great b&w drama!

  7. Another great series of B&W shots, Adam! I really like the two church interiors. There is a wonderful feeling of being with you when these two shots were made.

  8. All these shots are nice, my fav is the street shot. Reminds me so much of Napoli…

  9. Wow. Great set. I especially like the one inside St. John the Baptist. Beautiful scene well rendered.

  10. Edith Levy says:

    Adam absolutely awesome set of images. While it was a hard choice the first is my favorite. I love the shadows and light. Beautifully done.

  11. Ginnie says:

    Fabulous images and effect, Adam. Don’t ask me why but I’m particularly fond of the 3rd from the bottom inside the church!

  12. Victoria says:

    Very nice photos!

  13. Len Saltiel says:

    Awesome set of images Adam. Love the two heads image.

  14. An absolutely stunning set here, Adam! With my love of architecture, I have to say the 2nd photo here is my favorite but only by the slightest of notches. Great series, my friend, I love it!

  15. LensScaper says:

    A fine selection of B&W work, Adam. Some great contrasts.

  16. James Howe says:

    You’ve got some outstanding shots in there, wonderful black and white images!

  17. Rick Louie says:

    Really dig the shot down the isle during Easter Mass!

Leave a Reply

Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes Melodramatic Monochromes