Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Foggy Morning

Was it foggy or not? It was hard to tell by looking out the window. I decided that it was foggy, but was it enough of a fog to get me out with the camera early on a chilly morning when there was still frost on the car?

With some reluctance, I decided to do it, and it was a good thing.

I went to the park, and the fog across the river was very very nice.

Here is the proof.

I think the second photo, above, is my fave, and I am almost sure to print it.

When it was time to go, the fog was lifting, at least away form the river, but the morning light was hitting this maple tree quite nicely.

It was a fine morning. I am so glad that I made myself get out there.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Red Maple Leaves . . . Mostly

My goodness! Three days without posting after coming at you day after day, sometimes twice a day.

Actually, I got a little tired of it, photography, I mean. I've had more than one opportunity to a photograph a local event, but I abstained. And Jonathan's hockey has begun again, but I have chosen to sit through two games already. In the stands. No photography.

But I have updated my two local print displays recently, and Simon, the owner of one of my display venues asked for a specific photo: a print of a red maple leaf to send to his ailing Dad back in England. This would have some sentimental value for his father who took a red maple leaf back to England after one visit.

BTW, just in passing, I will also note that I sold, from Simon's place, a photo of our town hall.  It was then presented to the South Korean ambassador on his visit to Carleton Place last week, I'm sure that it will go directly into storage, or worse, but it still pleases me.

It was this one.

Back to Simon's red leaf request. I ambled around the park on Sunday morning and took a few shots. I liked both of these, especially the first one.

However, the image that he had in mind was of a single maple leaf.

What I decided to do was to extract the main leaf of the first photo, above, and put it on a plain background. I also flipped it so that it was pointing up and not down, the way it was hanging on the branch.

I like the original more, but this was closer to what Simon had envisaged, so I printed it for him. Strangely enough, I have another photo of red maples hanging somewhere in England. This photo was taken at the same park a number of years ago. A friend of Sue's took it to England when she visited her daughter. I once saw a picture of it hanging in the daughter's pub.

In passing, I will post one other maple leaf photo. It was on the ground, and I like seeing the shadow of the grass behind the backlit leaf. While I don't consider it a candidate for printing, I like the image well enough.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Post Processing

I process/edit my photos, sometimes a little, sometimes quite a bit. For one thing you almost have to do process further if you shoot in RAW. Think of it as something akin to needing to turn an old-fashioned negative into a print. It's not that dramatic, but RAW images lack contrast and sharpening and so on. They are not equivalent to a processed jpeg image where the software in your camera or phone has made many assumptions and adjustments and handed them to you. In doing so, it also throws away much of the original data.

Normally however, I don't do much photoshopping in the way that people mean it. I don't generally add elements or move them from one part of the photo to another. I will sometimes remove distractions such wires if I feel so compelled but, certainly, not always. And most of the time I try to make an image that is in some dot of basic harmony with the what I saw when I pressed the shutter.

But I do photoshop sometimes. This, below, was a quick photo for a group on Flickr that posts trucks. I couldn't pass it by, but the light was harsh with much contrast, and the sky was blank.

So, I just cropped it a bit to eliminate much of the blank sky and then applied a few filters to tone down the contrast and even make it look a little bit vintage. So this was a little more than general tweaking of things such as lifting the shadows or nudging the exposure up or dawn, but it's not off the wall editing either. This is a matter of taste, of course, and my taste may be at odds with others.

I really photoshopped this next image, not so much the basic image itself, for I did very little to that, but I did think the flower deserved a better background, and while I was at it, I removed some of the extraneous elements.

In my opinion, the original shot was photographed well enough, so that it required very little processing, but the background and other elements that detracted from the beauty of the flower. To me, it's something like matting and framing a photo, any photo; it just looks better.

I may return to this theme at another time.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Riverside Park Morning

Although I get up early enough, our recent rambles have taken place during the middle parts of the day. But with our colour  rambling done, or so it seems, I headed to Riverside Park once the sun was up. It does rise late these days — around 7:30 — so it really isn't all that early at all.

I wanted to see what the early light and colour would look like at the town's main park, and they were both pretty good. However, as pretty as it was to look at, somehow, it's not all that easy to get great photos there. The trees are large and the quarters are somewhat tight.

I mean, you can see the colour below, and there is a nice frame with leading lines, but there isn't a very good focal point as the red is in shadow.

I think this is the same setting as above but closer to the red maple. The red maple still isn't very vibrant. I lifted it a bit in post, but the result is so-so.

Back to the drawing board, in an effort to get all that I wanted in the photo, both in height and length, I took two vertical photos which I stitched into one image in Lightroom. I think this is better with a definite subject placed in a good position on about the third line on the right.

Finally, I went back to the car and changed lenses, putting on my wide angle lens. I seldom use it as wide angle lenses can be difficult and lead to distortion, but I really like the quality of photos that it produces.

I wanted to get the line of three maples (above) because reseeding lines are supposed to be a good element, and groups of three are also supposed to have a strong impact. I think the farthest tree is a decent focal point and that there is a nice balancing of yellow trees elsewhere in the frame. Also, there is darker green on both side (especially the right) which I think helps put the focus back toward the centre. I also feel that the branches at the top of the nearest tree and even the next tree for that matter help to frame the image and push the eyes down toward the focal point. It's not that considered all of those things when I took the photo, but I did see the line and the three.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Trail

This part of the Riverwalk Trail isn't very long although it can lead to another part, but the boardwalks over the swampy areas can be good photo subjects. They also gave me a vantage point from which to take some of the photos of the previous post.

There are a few spots where one can get through the brush down to the river. Using my telephoto, I got a few photos of colour on the far bank.

Sometimes there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't a train either.

It's the Little Things

There is a nice, woodsy trail that we can access just around the corner. The woodsy part is actually a narrow strip beside the trail, and it is very scrubby and not all that conducive for photography. However, I got into looking for little shots, often with my telephoto lens. I was looking for a little light on small subjects.

I actually got into this mode on the entrance by the side of a fence.

Here are the rest. In addition to the telephoto, most are even cropped after in post, sometimes quite a bit.

I will probably show a few of the actual trail shots, maybe even later today. And just maybe I will return with my macro lens at some point.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Candidates

— a wrap to the whole ramble series, I think —

Although I change my opinion from time to time, I am going to post or re-post what I think are the best images from the recent rambles: images that I would be tempted to invest the paper and ink to print large and frame. (When I say large, the best that I can do with my equipment is 18x12.)

You've seen them all already although some may be edited a bit more from when you saw them.

In chronological order, this is the first. No, it probably won't make the final cut except that it is my most nearby photo which is what I generally display locally. It might resonate with some people because it is so local.

This is a good candidate for a 14x11 print since that is already the size that I inadvertently cropped to. It is very Canadiana, and it is not too far removed for local interest.

I really like the farm with the wall of trees behind. I did brighten it a little from when I first displayed it and removed a somewhat distracting roof up on the slope.

I like the next photo a lot. It is understated compared to the rest, and that may be why I like it. Once again, it is fairly close to home, in the nearest town to us.

Of the sugarbush photos, this is my fave,

I do like this next and final photo although with my equipment and the frames readily at my disposal, I don't think I actually would print it.

All in all, I think the 4 middle photos are the most likely candidates, but it also depends on what I need, including the crop size, for a specific display. I suspect, therefore that the red maple with fence photo may get the nod in the display that I am currently setting up. I think it will fit both the theme and the size that I need.

I do like that wishbone tree, though.