Thursday, November 20, 2014

First Snow

The snow has arrived. I am not sure if it will stay or not. Some years it does stay from the middle of November on through March and even into April. I hope this lot does go away for a little while because it makes the winter seem a little long when it comes and stays so early. The forecast is for another long, cold winter with that dratted Polar Vortex in place once again, so I am not too anxious to jump right into winter. Can't be colder and longer than last year though (he said hopefully with crossed fingers).

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!


Linda Kay said...

Oh, my, there surely is a huge difference. The grass is even green. The trees are bare, of course, but that is very interesting to see both shots. The snow looks lovely from far away in Texas. It's 45 here this morning, and that is still pretty chilly for us.

Tabor said...

Clearly I need to by a photoshop for dummies book. I shoot in RAW sometimes, but do not really understand how to use it effectively.

ADRIAN said...

Nice work.
Beautiful shots.

Country Gal said...

Wonderful photos ! Yes we always photograph in raw as well actually most pro photographers do so they can adjust their photos to perfection or give their photos an entirly different look in either Lightroom which is what I use or photo shop which is what Papa here uses . I like the way you described the difference between taking JPEG and Raw photography ! We got slammed again with more snow but they say by Sunday it will be 9°C and rain and 11°C by Wed ! Thanks for sharing, Have a good day !

TexWisGirl said...

wow! big difference!

Ginnie said...

Both photos are outstanding. Many people take "good" pictures, but yours are always artistically framed and lovely...regardless of how you tweak them ... or maybe because of it !

Chicken said...

I like the snowy photo best--reminds me of a vintage winter photo.

Gail Dixon said...

What a difference! Both photos are gorgeous. RAW is the best way to go in my opinion. I think your edit turned out beautifully.

Jackie said...

Both photographs are post-card perfect, in my opinion.
Our seasons bring such spectacular beauty to us....if only we behold.
And you beheld....and shared.
Thank you for that.

Lorna Cunningham-Rushton said...

Everybody comments on your photos---I'll just mention that going to the same place twice in three days seems over the top

Hilary said...

They both turned out quite lovely. I started shooting in RAW for a while but found I wasn't getting anything more out of the images when it came to adjusting them than I did with JPEG so I gave it up. It was eating a lot of disc space too... and I was running out before I was ready to upload.

Mage said...

I do shoot in JPG, but only because that's what I remember to do. You have a creaky body and I a creaky brain. I can bring things to my point of view with Photoshop tho. Really powerful stuff there.

Regenia said...

This are beautiful.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I have never shot in RAWand know that I should try a side by side comparison with JPG especially after seeing your results.

Mary Gilmour said...

It's what you make the camera give you and how precise the changes are in the hands of someone who knows what he is doing.
Damn, you're good.