Here’s another of the images from our camp at Space Center Houston last weekend. This one shows the J-2 engine that powered the 3rd stage of the Saturn V rocket. You can see this one at high resolution here and I encourage you to take a look since the detail is pretty interesting (if you are an engineer, space geek or plumber).
This picture also marks something of a breakthrough for me. I’ve been trying to figure out some of the black and white techniques that David Nightingale uses (as frequently seen on his wonderful Chromasia photoblog) and I think I’ve finally figured out one of the tricks for the high(ish) key look that I’ve used here (and, to my mind, more effectively, in this shot on Flickr). The secret is in the Fill Light setting in Lightroom which appears to pull up the midtones while leaving the shadows and highlights where they were and allows me to create a high contrast, high key result that I really enjoy and which helps this series of images a great deal. In the past, I had never considered using high Fill Light settings since they tended to wash out the image but, as long as I am careful with the black and white point settings, it seems that I can push this slider a lot further than usual and end up with good results. I will definitely be experimenting and refining this further.