Contender: Chuck Hayes

Copyright © Chuck Hayes

{loadposition inpage} Photographer:
Chuck Hayes

Where are you based?
Woodstock, Georgia

Behind the shot:
I flew into Spokane, Washington, and drove 90 miles south to Colfax to attend a workshop in the Palouse Region by Jack Graham and Bill Fortney. My wife and I stayed over for a few days after the workshop to site-see on our own. A local photographer friend here in Georgia, Scott McInnis, had told me about this grain elevator in the town of Winona. The obvious attraction is the geometric shapes and angles, along with the industrial rural decay aspect.

As for the town itself, we saw a few cars outside of a bar, but for the most part, homes appeared abandoned and store-fronts boarded up. The grain elevator did not appear to be active. It was six in the evening when I walked down the track and took a few shots in the soft and diffused light of the mostly-cloudy sky. I walked back to the car and was contemplating other perspectives when the sun broke through. I ran back down the track, dropped to one knee, and got four shots off before the sun disappeared.

Post processing was done in Photoshop Elements. I also used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to convert to black and white. I duplicated the layer, darkened the image with a blend mode and used a mask to selectively paint/reveal light from the base image below, along with a little dodging in areas. I got the look I wanted, which I feel is considerably more dramatic than the original.

Equipment: Canon 5D Mark II, Rokinon 24mm lens, panorama bracket.