1707 – The Long Day Is Over

It’s not only a problem of grass color, really. Are you satisfied with the JPEGs from your camera? Do you feel the colors are as good as they can possibly be?

I don’t know what your experiences are, but mine are largely negative. Colors on the D200 were frequently too greenish, the D300 goes a tad too far the other way, and the LX5’s colors are far from natural. That’s the reason why I don’t like to shoot JPEG. Using RAW, I really don’t care which camera produced the RAW file, I can create the result that I want.

What is it that I want? Yesterday I wanted the colors to look convincingly natural. In other cases I accept a certain degree of artificiality, as long as it is not obviously wrong.

Here’s an image that took me lots of layers to get it “right”. I took it at about noon, and on a bright, sunny summer day this means lots and lots of contrast, flat colors, burnt out skies and all sorts of nasty surprises. Global color temperature does not help here, you really must change the color balance for certain colors, push saturation for some colors and strictly control it for others. I’m pretty satisfied with the result, it is much more artificial than yesterday’s image, but it is so in a pleasing way.

I returned home at mid-afternoon, but today being the longest day of the year, I couldn’t resist going out in the evening again. At almost 8 pm I set out to make some sunset images. There is a place overlooking Villach, and I figured that, facing north-west, it would be ideal at this time of the year.

The result is a 25 megapixel stitched panorama. Click on the thumbnail, it links to the full size image. Pretty impressive, what you can make with a pocket sized camera like the LX5, huh? Sure, there is some noise, but then, I have sharpened the image to reveal brutal detail. It’s not a great image, but in a way it still impresses me and I wanted to share it with you.

The Image of the Day is a more traditional sunset image, exposed for the sunny fringes of the clouds, thus underexposed, and although this looks extremely different from what you see when you’re there, the funny thing is, this is the kind of photos that are perfectly accepted by “photography purists”. Crazy, huh?

The Song of the Day is “The Long Day Is Over” from Norah Jones’ 2002 album “Come Away With Me”. Hear it on YouTube.

3 thoughts on “1707 – The Long Day Is Over”

  1. It’s interesting that you notice a problem with green. With my LX5 and GF1 I often have a problem with blue skies that seem to have too much cyan in them. I often wonder if I am adjusting to what my own eyes see and whether that produces as pleasing a result for others that might look at my work. In other words, how do we accommodate for / identify whether we have any deficiencies in our colour vision?

  2. Well, when I had a Nikon D80, its skies were so cyan they were unbelievable. So I tried not to include too much sky in the images I shot with that D80. Then I got a D90. The skies were less cyan, but still looked artificial. Also it was impossible to get decent definition in reds and oranges and yellows.

    So then I graduated to the D300 and I like the skies it produces. But as you say, Andreas, it’s the greens. They seem to pick up too much cyan, so I’m always warming them up in one way or another. But at other times, it’ll make the greens too yellowish and then I must cool them off a bit.

    Although I do like yellow-greens, they tend to draw the eye away from the subject. Bright yellow-greens can dominate and give the illusion of coming forward, even if the trees/grasses are behind the subject.

    That said, I do like what you did with that landscape of the bright sunlight falling on the field. I like that the color draws me into the image and I want to go explore further into that field.

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