Monday, February 10, 2014

Gray Day Camera Play - Pt. Reyes Station, California

My photographic soul is firmly influenced by the lovely and pure tones of work by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Sebastião Salgado. So when I succumb to a little devil whispering in my ear to pump things up beyond "pure" photography, I feel a bit naughty. 

I never messed with tone and color in the film, darkroom, and wet chemistry days. It was challenge enough to expose and process to get that sweet range of gray scale tones with black and white film, and keep the temperature and strength of color processing chemistry just right.

But digital temps one to play. Post-processing sliders and presets in tools like Lightroom make it easy to try out effects beyond the norm. In-camera tools, like the Sony Nex-7 Picture Effects are also fun to experiment with.

So today while Hilda explored the used book store in Point Reyes Station, I explored the main and side streets of town, pumping up what otherwise would have been quite flat and lifeless images on a gray overcast day.

The Nex-7 provides a Picture Effect called "HDR Painting", which builds an HDR image from three photos taken in quick succession, then pumps that image up by enhancing detail and warmth. Pretty sophisticated math is going on during the few seconds the camera takes to process each image. Totally letting go, I took a couple of those over-the-top images and further pumped them up with added saturation and contrast presets in Lightroom.

I like to think Ansel would smile rather than cringe at the results.

These three photos were taken at Toby's Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station. Established in 1942, Toby's has grown to include a farmer's market, art gallery, coffee shop, gift shop, community center, children's playground, and more that I can't recall just now!

1 comment:

  1. The holy trinity. I'm so in awe of all their work I'm unable to even contemplate trying to emulate any of them. Which is healthy, I think. Purist critics may cringe but fiddling with the curves has saved my bacon on more than a few occasions. Your results are great!