Declutter. No this is not a post about the latest trend on decluttering your house of items that do not bring you joy. I would massively fail at that activity. Rather this is a post about composition and post processing. This may be a letdown for the non-photographers reading this.
While I have written about including only a few select elements in a landscape (outdoor, not orientation) photograph, the same approach applies to inherently cluttered compositions, such as this. While there are many eye bolts hanging in the image, the approach is then to attempt to group these similar objects into a cohesive unit. That means isolating this group from everything else in the image, such as the background and pretty much anything on the edge of the image. Since the bolts are catching light from above, I am able to darken the exposure of the entire image and still retain the highlights and thus the focus on the bolts. Everything else include the cabinet the bolts hang on are darkened and fall into the background. Increasing the structure/detail of select areas on the cabinet allows some wood texture to show through. Couple that with increased contrast to have those textures pop against a darker cabinet background. As with most images I process, there will be some artificial dark vignetting added. Vignetting allows me to darken the edges of the photograph and force the focus on what is in the center. Especially in an inherent cluttered composition, the helps keeps the viewers eyes from darting all over looking at every detail from edge to edge.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO800, 35mm (prime lens), f/3.2, 1/80 sec
Sutter Creek (CA), Eye Bolts, Cabinet, Monochrome. Knight Foundry, Sutter Creek, CA. March 04, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.