Monday, November 15, 2010

Along A Foggy Stream

Early morning photography isn’t quite as convenient as it was a couple weeks ago.  Daylight Saving Time is gone and we’re back to “Standard Time”.  Seeing as the saying is “Spring Ahead, Fall Back” dawn now comes an hour earlier around here.  That means, instead of getting up at 5:00 AM to get in place for sunrise at about 7:30 we have a couple of choices to make.  It’s either get up at 4:30 or pick someplace a lot closer.  With the mornings being crisp and cool, any time we get around water we’ll have some fog.  Fog is great for making a stream moody and sometimes a little spooky.  Before dawn the time still belongs to the animals, so every once in a while you meet something rather than someone on the trails.  That was the case on the trail to today’s image.  I’m not really sure what might have been my company, but it grunted and broke twigs as it moved.  I might have been up wind of my companion and he/she might have gotten a sniff of me and chose to avoid an encounter, but whatever the reason I’ll glad for the way it worked out.  I really didn’t want my last image to be of a large animal in pursuit of my backside.  There’s an old adage about how fast do you have to run to outrun a bear?  One step faster than the person next to you.  Only problem is not having someone with you.  Once you’ve thrown your tripod, camera bag and camera your pretty much toast.  So, my thanks to whatever was walking the trail the other morning.  Today’s image was all about getting some depth to the scene.  Fog and mist suck up light and cause a scene to get very soft very quick.  To find out how depth was introduced into today’s image, hit the “read more”.
It was tough pulling any color out of today’s image. I went through the usual individual Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers and got almost nothing back. The dominate color is definitely gray. A very little came up to the near foliage and rocks. Once the scene was beyond ten feet all there was was gray.

To create depth the trees along the left bank were darkened in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. Don’t be afraid to crank whatever adjustment brush you’re using to either very dark or very bright. It really doesn’t matter which way. It’s only there to show is being effected. Once you have the object (in this case the trees) fully “painted” with the Adjustment Brush you can go back and move the sliders and fine tune whatever slider(s) you need.

Without darkening the intermediate trees there would be no separation and a totally flat backdrop. The water and rocks in the foreground would be the primary area of interest and the eye would wander around the image.