2158 – The First Snow II

Like I said, it didn’t fall all the way down to Villach, we had only rain on Thursday, but on the mountains there was enough snow that I could take this image on Friday morning.

There’s nothing special in this image, it’s not even a good one, in fact this is more like collecting evidence 🙂

One thing is interesting though. I have used the Sigma 150/2.8, probably the only Nikon mount lens that I won’t sell. Or maybe I’ll do. On the OM-D it is manual focus only and I need the Novoflex adapter, because the lens has no aperture ring. It also is a typical autofocus lens, thus its focus ring has not much throw. Maybe I should sell it as well and get myself a used Nikon 180/2.8 AI-S. That’s a fine lens and one that was meant to get focused manually 🙂

But that’s not the interesting thing. Interesting is, that an image like this can’t simply be enhanced by increasing contrast. If you do so, the shades get unnaturally blue.

The reason for this is, that when you look through such a long lens at something so far away), you look through a lot of atmospheric haze. It takes away much of the contrast, it strongly washes out colors, and the one color that it leaves alone mostly, that is blue.

You see, there is nothing wrong with how washed out and how low on contrast an image looks under such conditions. It just looks as it is.

Of course when we isolate that part of the scene by framing it, we suddenly expect normal colors and normal contrast, just like we would see them when we were as near as it looks in the image.

As always, you can look at the image on Flickr in its full size. What you see is remarkably noisy for ISO 200, but you must not forget that I had to greatly increase contrast, thus I have increased noise as well. You also see weird details, similar to the effect of noise reduction, but somehow different. That’s the influence of sufficiently much air of different temperatures in between. Remember, we are looking from my roof terrace over the city of Villach up to mount Dobratsch. Look at the big antenna. There you clearly see that we look at atmospheric distortion and not at the effect of noise reduction running wild.

Does this image look unnatural? Colors and contrast?

I think not, but what you see is the result of the application of two very different color temperatures. I’ve chosen a very warm color temperature for the forest regions, and a much cooler temperature for the sky and the clouds. The snow is in the area where the two smoothly blend.

The result, though not at all accurate, looks pretty much like we’d expect such a scene to look.

The Song of the Day is “First Snow In Kokomo” from Aretha Franklin’s 1972 album “Young, Gifted And Black”. We already had it in October 2007 in “372 – The First Snow“. Hear it on YouTube.