The good thing is that the paths were still walkable after only one snowfall, and a hobbled senior can get to spots that might prove difficult in another month or two. So, out I went with my camera to see what I could see.
And this is what I saw, or at least something close to what my camera saw since cameras don't necessarily see things the way that we do.
I liked this shot as soon as I saw it on the back of the camera. It didn't just have potential (as the shot in the previous post), but looked appealing to me right away.
However, on the monitor the RAW version lost quite a bit: the nice wintry blue cast for one thing. It was fairly easy to bring the blue back by cooling the white balance, and I also added a little more blueness in the shadows by using the split toning panel. This brought the image back closer to what I had seen on the camera.
I did some normal sharpening and some minor straightening and cropping, and increased the vibrance just a bit. I also adjusted the white and black points to boost the contrast, but once again, this was mostly to bring the RAW image back to what it should have been and not so much to alter it into my fanciful vision.
The one minor thing that I tried to improve, without great success, was to highlight the yellow bushes and trees. So I applied a little brightening via radial filters, but it really didn't do much and even looks a bit off. If I ever have another 'go' at this image, I will look at that effect again.
It seems like a lot of work when I write it out like this, but it really just involved moving a few sliders in Lightroom and didn't take more than a few minutes. It is one case where I preferred the camera's jpg version to the RAW version and worked to get the RAW image back closer to that.
The typical advantage of working with RAW data is that you make the decisions. When you shoot jpg images, the camera processes them as it sees fit, and then throws away so much good data that could be of use to 'the developer.' In this case, I had really liked what the camera had done (at least as I remembered what I had seen on the back), so I tried to process back toward that effect as opposed to the flat and dreary version I saw it when the RAW image initially came on the monitor.
In passing, permit me to insert a photo of the same pond from just three days prior. What a difference!