Telegraph Hill Revisited / by Graham Dew

Telegraph Hill 1, 2003 © Graham Dew

Telegraph Hill 1, 2003

In the recent post about the joiner I made of Telegraph Hill  I mentioned that I often visit that location to take pictures. I guess the attraction is the uncluttered geography, the big open skies and the quality of light.

One earlier visit was in 2003 when I made the picture above. At the time I was shooting black and white film and then scanning it. By then the darkroom was long gone so I used XP2 as it was easy to get processed. It was also easier to scan using the automatic dust removal facility of my Nikon scanner. This picture started life as a conventional 28mm wideangle shot. When it came to editing in Photoshop I chose to work it up into a high contrast image as I often do when there is hard lighting. I wanted to get a greater feeling of space and give a greater emphasis to the cloud. To do this I extended the canvas of the picture, changing the aspect of the image from the standard 3:2 of the 35mm negative to 1:1. I then gave the sky & forground a ‘porc’ – the inverse of a crop – and used the transform tool to stretch the sky up into the extended image space. The trees were protected from the transformation so that they remained in scale.

Telegraph Hill 1, 2003 © Graham Dew

Telegraph Hill 2, 2003
Around this time I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with straight monochrome images. I wanted images with a greater richness and emotional content than monochrome, and its conventional toning palette could offer. So the final image was hand-coloured using the colour gradient tool for different areas in the print. Since then virtually all my images have been shot in colour, only very occasionally switching back to monochrome or hand coloured monochrome when the picture warrants it.