How I shot and processed the photo "In a Distance"

In a distance; (cc) by non-commercial squics.com

In a distance; (cc) by non-commercial squics.com

During a photo walk in Berlin I finally got this shot that has been in my mind for some time. It should illustrate the (temporal and spatial) distance that many of us have to holocaust contrasted to how present the topic still is.

To take the photo, I mounted the iPhone 6 Plus to a tripod using a GripTight mount and with Pure Shot I took three bracketed shot. As always when using a tripod, I used Muku Shuttr as a wireless remote shutter to avoid camera movement that can is annoying when creating HDRs on an iPhone.

Then I used Pro HDR X to merge all three bracketed shots to an HDR. But be careful here, especially with gradient skies like in this shot. If you apply too much HDR by moving the top slider too far to the right, the blue area of the sky at the top of the image become black or dark grey if you convert the HDR to black and white.

The final HDR after merging three bracketed shots in Pro HDR X

The final HDR after merging three bracketed shots in Pro HDR X

After saving the HDR to the camera roll, I used iOS8 to convert the image to black and white using the iOS8 editing functions. For black and white conversions, I usually start with a preset; the tonal preset in this case. Then I adjusted the 6 light settings until I achieve the desired effect.

Using the tonal preset for black and white conversion

Using the tonal preset for black and white conversion

In-a-distance-tutorial-3.jpg

I wanted the person at the end to stand out against the piles and the leading lines created by the piles and the ground should guide the eye towards the person. That's why I moved all the light sliders slightly to the right to increase the overall brightness of the photo, including shadows. Here's the final photo:

And finally thanks to Mobiography Magazine. They included this shot in a showcase about iPhone photos that use symmetrical compositions.