The choice is yours, which would you choose ? The Blue or the Red Pill

Beneath Sydney is a myriad of tunnels and passageways and sometimes it seems that there is as much below ground as above. The prospect of exploring them with my camera is an exciting one and I’m always thinking of new ways to push my craft. This HDR image here is located at the entrance to St. James station, which is quite a ways underground, and these passage ways lead to the train platforms. I stupidly decided to take this shot during peak hour and you can see the time on the clock is 5:45 PM. I cumbersomely propped my tripod and camera up against the stairwell guard rail on top of this poor girls stack of newspapers. She was handing out those free MX papers for people to read on the train and she was very accommodating to me considering the amount of space I was taking up, haha. There was a set of traffic lights right behind me which would control the flood of people behind me and every couple of minutes the thralls would attack me from in front from the trains. There was a gap of around 30-40 seconds in between each stream and I was able to get my shots off and leave the poor girl to her work. Often shooting at this time of the night is the best in terms of image quality for night photography but it can be a nightmare in a city like Sydney with a population merging on 5 million.

I don’t want to put ideas into peoples heads but I think the outcome is a bit like a cross between an american bar/diner, an insane asylum and the rocky horror picture show 🙂 .. and whilst in the strictest sense this isn’t an urbex image, it has the feel of one to me. For those of you who don’t know urbex is a style of photography where people create images from decaying and abandoned architecture, its a huge field. It’s participants are often excited by breaking into and exploring new locations and there is a fair amount of risk involved in being an urbex photographer.

Software Used:

Photomatix PRO – Is a MAC and PC HDR software for creating stunning HDR images. They have a free trial, but if you end up buying a copy of Photomatix you can get a 15% Discount with the coupon code LukeZemePhotography

– On1 Perfect Effects  An amazing Filter program to stylise the image. a standalone Filter program which can also be launched from Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture

Post Processing:

This image was an exploration for me into urban HDR photography and an avenue I’ve wanted to delve into for a while now but not really had the locations around me, Brisbane is so sparse that there really isn’t any need to go underground. I only used 4 software programs for this but the one which took the brunt of the load was On1 Perfect EffectsI used it to get nearly all the effects in this image and used many tricks to lead the eye into and around the work.

I started with my bracketed HDR images and tonemapped them in HDR Software: Photomatix – you can get 15% off HDRsoft software using the discount code LukeZemePhotography if you don’t already own it. Photomatix can turn 1,3,5, 7 or however many images you like into a HDR image.

I also used Adobe Photoshop CS6 & Adobe Lightroom 5 for small adjustments to the image here and there like whites, blacks, shadows and highlights levels.  

Image Location:

View “Blue or Red Pill” by Luke Zeme in a larger map


Cheers Luke

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Please use this contact form for any enquiries and we will get back to you asap. Thanks :-) Thanks, Luke