Jul 072017

Looks like an infrared image? It certainly does to me, at least in terms of tonality.

Basically that’s what happens when you pull back the highlights (-100 in Lightroom), raise the shadows (+70), pull up the whites until you get blown highlights (frequently around +60), compensate for too much brightness by dropping exposure (often by up to 1EV), adjusting the blacks for a full histogram, and finally fiddling with all that plus vibrancy, saturation, clarity and contrast, until things look right.

This has been my usual routine for more than a year. I do it with all my images. It’s contrary to the orthodox view, but it produces nicely saturated, richly contrasted images.

What I technically do is, I stretch the highlights. It’s kind of a tone mapping. In the end, although these adjustments look violent, I often find myself at a result that’s not very far from what the camera did. It’s just more controlled, more saturated, but in quite a pleasant way. Sometimes you almost don’t see it at all, sometimes, like in this case with that much yellow, you positively do. It can look unnatural (like all sorts of tone mapping), but I think, even if it slightly does so here, it does not look wrong at all. Ymmv.

Jul 062017

How much detail do I need? The PEN-F has 20 megapixels, and with a sharp lens, one like this 75/1.8, I can actually get at the limits of this sensor. Then I crop to a square, which drops me down to 15 megapixels.

Would it be enough to print the images? Well, I’ve recently used a printing service to make adhesive prints for a few white doors here in Carinthia. They were 70×90 in cm, that is 28×36 in inches. Big enough for a door, decently sized for a wall. Most images used were originally taken with the Nkon D200 (10 megapixels), one with the Panasonic LX5 (10 megapixels) and one with the Nikon D300 (12 megapixels).

I’d say 20 is enough for my use. And even if I’d use them to make billboards, honestly, how close do you get to a billboard?

Of course there are uses for higher resolution cameras, that’s OK, and of course when Olympus makes the step to 24, that’s the most likely next step, I will likely upgrade and I will surely appreciate the increase in resolution. Don’t get me wrong, it will be welcome. It just won’t be needed.

Why I say this? Well, it’s this image and its abundance of detail 🙂

Jul 012017

Color correction for this simple image of red vines in front of a green wall was problematic, to say the least.

As far as I remember, the wall was green and the vines were red. So far, so good. How red? How green? The white balance chosen by the camera was way off, so I couldn’t rely on that.

I finally settled on 5100 / +10, a little bit cooler than what Lightroom considers “Daylight”. Looks good on the wall, maybe a little too warm on the vines, but going cooler makes the wall look off. Otherwise I’ve adjusted vibrancy and saturation in preference of keeping detail. Maybe it looks well enough, at least that’s the best I can do. In any case, this is an image that would need extra treatment for a print.

3450 – Frosty Situation II

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Mar 302016

It’s already early Spring around here, but image-wise we are just diving into Winter. Rest assured, it won’t last very long.

Actually I had already wondered whether my lust to take images was gone. Then last Saturday I made 20 images on one short walk through Villach. This is not 20 exposures taken, this is 20 images processed and ready to be used on the blog. Not all of them are first rate, but, well, neither is everything I’ve published so far. In any case, I seemingly need just a lazy hour from time to time 😀

3432 – A Rose in Autumn

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Mar 122016

Sometimes you go to the hospital because you are ill yourself, sometimes you visit someone, but a hospital is not a typical place to go for taking photos.

It’s also not a typical place that you enjoy being in. Well, maybe our ideas of the enjoyability of places are too much tied to what we know is happening there. Sometimes it is a good idea to relax and just see.

The hospital in Villach has a nice park in front, and I knew that I would find some beautiful autumn colors there. I mostly went for the roses and I definitely found what I was looking for.

3430 – The Beauty of the Forest

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Mar 102016

For some reason I think this is a particularly beautiful forest image. I find it harmonic and I like its colors and all, but I guess the real reason is something different.

It’s a forest like I’ve never seen it in my childhood. In Carinthia we do have deciduous trees, but they are sprinkled in between. Mostly our forests are a sea of spruces, spruces, spruces.

I knew forests like this one, but I only knew them from illustrations in fairy tales. This is a magic forest, the forest of my fairy tales. I guess that’s what makes much of the beauty that I see in this picture 🙂

3429 – Red as Fire

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Mar 092016

This is another small trophy that I took away from Mauerbach. Sometimes I’m happy that I don’t have to print all those images. If there is anything like “Color Gamut Hell”, this must be close to it. Believe me, I know, I once printed the picture in this post, a picture now hanging on a wall in my apartment in Vienna 🙂