A couple of weeks ago I visited the Titanic Quarter in Belfast to view the historic sights in and around the museum. You can view the pictures of that trip here. Just across the road from the Titanic project sits the “new” Harland & Wolff shipyard. Of course new is a relative term as it has been in operation since the 1930s. The yard today is only a shadow of its former self with the last ship being built in 2003. The yard now specialises in the repair of ships and off-shore construction but employs only a few hundred men compared to the thousands at the time of the Titanic. The yard today has a derelict eerie feel to it, which isn’t helped by the Belfast weather. From this location in Belfast it is very easy to predict the weather. You simply look across Belfast Lough to the hills that surround the city. If you can see the hills it’s going to rain. If you can’t see the hills it’s already raining! I wanted to convey the feelings of decline and dereliction in this image of the Byford Dolphin drilling rig, which is one of two rigs currently in the yard for repair. I was attracted to the large puddle in the foreground as I knew it would provide some foreground interest and I couldn’t get any closer to the rig itself due to security fencing that surrounds the site.
This original image was taken on a Fuji X-Pro1 with 18mm F2 R lens. The exposure was 1/80 at f11 and ISO 400. The RAW image was initially processed in Lightroom 5 and the effect was added using Macphun’s Tonality Pro plugin. As a starting point I used a preset called “Bleached Drama”. I find that presets are a great starting point for getting the look you’re after but the nice thing about Tonality Pro is that you can then adjust the effect, or even use layers to build up multiple effects, in order to put your own stamp on it. Finally, the image was brought back into Lightroom and finished off with adjustments to sharpening, contrast and a dark vignette added.