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.