Friday, October 29, 2010

Falls Last Gasp In Connecticut

It just keeps going on and on.  Yesterday was another spectacular autumn day in Connecticut.  Same spots are just maintaining their leaves and giving a show that ranks right up there with some of the best leave peeping seasons in recent memory.  Today’s image was shot yesterday, just after the sun had gone down past the hill to the west.  It’s strictly lit by the afterglow of the gathering twilight.  It was shot as a part of a nine shot sequence with the idea of playing with Adobe Photoshop CS5’s HDR Pro.  Nine shots were done at .3 stop intervals, so it gave me everything from -1.3 to +1.3 off the camera’s metered exposure.  Kind of minimal brackets for attempting any HDR.  But, it does give me another option by doing it this way.  If one exposure is just too good to pass up, I end up with a great start point to develop a straight image.  That’s what we have today.  I could have expanded the range a bit by changing the bracket from .3 stops per click to .5 stops per click.  This option is available in the menus of a Nikon D300.  So, it is possible to shoot a nine shot sequence that goes two up and two down.  Today’s image has to be one of the straightest shots ever to appear on the gallery.  To find out just how straight, hot the “read more”.
Today’s image started out as a pretty typical RAW image. It looked flat. No sparkle, no intensity, just sort of blah. All RAW images begin life being rather uninteresting. The results of the shoot were imported into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.3. One of the best reasons to use LR to import images is the ability to store each image in two locations. That gives you an automatic backup. The importance of that little trick was brought home in a big way just the other day. After a late afternoon shoot on Saturday the day’s swag was downloaded to the computer on two external hard drives. Monday I was going through the images and did a select all to code the image green. (My shots are coded green and Doris’ coded pink.) I saw one test shot, made while setting up to shot the moon, was a totally black frame. I’ve had enough of those, so I really didn’t need another. I thought I had clicked on it and right clicked to bring up the dialog box. I checked Delete Image and, from the submenu, Delete from Disk. The bad news was that I still had every image selected. Hit the okay button and everything was gone. That’ll take the wind out of your sails for a moment. The rescue was just re-importing the image from the second location. So much for a blood pressure spiking moment.

The adjustments to today’s image consisted of changing the White Balance to Shade and bumping up the Saturation using the HSL Panel in Lightroom. Using the targeted adjustment function button allows you to put the cursor on a specific color and increase all of its components at once. That was done to the red leaves and the green leaves. Bumped up the overall Vibrance and that was it. Only thing left to do was to put a subtle Vignette on it.

We’re going to a book publishing reception on Saturday for a book that a friend did some of the photography for. It’s a little north of Bethel. I expect, going ten miles to the north will result in what’s called “past peak” color. That means lots of bare branches and brown leaves. The color season in Connecticut is just about over. Time to do some indoor set up photography.