If you get the basic right in-camera, editing your pattern images is the final step to success
As with most forms of photography, it can be very beneficial to take your environmental images into Lightroom or Photoshop and refine them. Contrast adjustments can often be particularly beneficial, but toning, cropping and black and white conversions are often worth considering, too. With this type of photo, these adjustments can all help to make the difference between a decent snapshot and a very strong image that could potentially win awards. It’s worth considering creating presets as you go in order to recreate certain looks with subsequent images, especially if you are working with a series of shots and want to achieve a consistency in the final look and feel.
OPEN IN ADOBE CAMERA RAW The histogram looks okay, the image is sharp and there’s definitely the makings of a strong pattern image. However, as is always the case with RAW files, a few tweaks won’t go amiss.
MAKE INITIAL TWEAKS Apply Lens Corrections and check the Auto tab. This latter step doesn’t make much difference other than increasing Clarity a little, but the image is already looking a little stronger.
ENHANCE THE PATTERN Select the Tone Curve in ACR and make adjustments to the Highlights, Lights and Darks to boost contrast more and emphasise the pattern. The reflections are now more prominent.
ALTER PATTERN The diagonal slope of the frames look odd, so the image is selected (Select>All), then Edit>Transform>Distort, and the top and bottom are pulled up/down.
CONVERT Always remember that many images like this work in black and white. Copy the original, open in Silver Efex Pro and select the High Structure Smooth preset.
FINAL EDITS Enlarge the image on-screen and remove any unwanted blemishes using the Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop. Colour and mono versions complete!
“Always remember that many images like this work well in black and white”
Left and above AFTER EDITING Whether you prefer the colour or B&W version is down to personal preference, as both work well. Levelling the horizontal bars of the window frames definitely improves the pattern effect