Masked Walls


Nikon D3x, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8, 32mm, f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/125 sec

While exploring old-town Mazatlan one afternoon, we came upon a ‘little’ shop entrance along one side of the street we were on. I say ‘little’ because it looked very small from the outside and I thought there was no way to spend more then 90 seconds in there. We went in and the shop keep going and going around corners and back further into the block. Near the end it opened up into a beautiful courtyard with hundreds of masks hanging on the walls along with statuary on shelves and standing throughout the courtyard.

As I turned to head back out I noticed the sun shining through the trees and highlighting the wall here. My primary focus for this image is the mask at the top with the spikes around the face.  But instead of isolating the mask in my frame, I wanted to focus on it while showing its environment.  I shot this at f2.8 to get the shallowest depth-of-field as I could, focusing on the mask.  Even at that, there was too much in focus, so during processing I used Focal Point 2 from OnOne to narrow the focus even more and then soften and darken the edges.  I also used OnOne’s PhotoTools 2.6 to paint in some extra dynamic range, contrast and sharpness to some of the masks, statue and the vase below the mask.

It’s amazing what you can find with a little exploring.

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