Tag Archives: Mountains

2879 – On Up The Mountain I

This image has been taken on a short trip to one of the biggest mountains near Villach, Mangart, a peak right where Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet. I was not at the peak, just took the road to the highest parking lot at about 2000 meters. Still, with the help of wide angles I got some nice pictures for this and the next two posts.

The Song of the Day is “On Up The Mountain” by Jakob Dylan. Hear it on YouTube.

2662 – In The Cool Of The Evening

I’ve taken this image before and I guess I will take it a few times more. It always happens when I return from Italy. That’s the view from the highway before the valley closes in, and fortunately it is possible to pull over and stop the car. I love that gradient above the snowy mountains.

The Song of the Day is “In The Cool Of The Evening” by the Nat King Cole Trio. Hear it on YouTube.

2627 – I Can See The Sun In Late December

At least a few days ago I could. At the moment it’s rather warm for the time of the year and it’s raining. Pouring, to be precise 🙂

This image was made at the same time as “2624 – Fade Away“, just looking into the other direction.

The Song of the Day is “I Can See The Sun In Late December” from Roberta Flack’s 1974 album “Feel Like Makin’ Love”. Hear it on YouTube.

2448 – Wild Mountainside II

Here are the two pictures that I’ve promised yesterday. It’s the same trip, we had just reached the first of two mountain passes and had left the heavy shower behind, that had caught us on our way up.

We stayed for a few moments, ate a “Bauernkrapfen”, kind of a doughnut, I took some pictures, and then we rode on towards east, into the next rain.

The Song of the Day is again “Wild Mountainside” from Eddi Reader’s “The Songs of Robert Burns”. We’ve already had it in “566 – Wild Mountainside“, but Eddi Reader and this kind of landscape, that can’t possibly be wrong. See her live at the Scottish Parliament on YouTube.

2447 – Where The Wild Roses Grow III

This is the time of the year when the alpine rose, a.k.a “Almrausch” around here, should be in full flower. It only lasts a few days and the exact time depends on height above sea level and of course on the weather.

As you see, this year I was a bit too early, but I may come back next weekend for the sea of pink covering the mountains.

This is at the heart of one of Carinthia’s national parks. About 30 years ago “Nockalmstraße” was built, a fascinating street crossing one of the most beautiful areas in Carinthia. We’ll get back with two more images tomorrow.

The Song of the Day is one more time “Where The Wild Roses Grow“, a brilliant collaboration of Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave, taken from the 1996 album “Murder Ballads”. Hear it on YouTube.

2348 – Just A Friend Of Mine II

I first used this title an eternity ago in “783 – Just A Friend Of Mine“, and there I spoke about expertise and how you get better in doing things by doing them. I said there’s always room for improvement.

Well, I was right 🙂

When I see that image of the bicycle that accompanied that post, I can only cringe. How could I have missed such an obvious opportunity to anchor the subject in three corners? How could I have missed how awkward the bike hangs in the frame?

But anyway, this tree, photographed and featured on this blog a couple of times, is another friend of mine. Just a poser, I might say. Every time I pass by, I feel the urge to take an image. Once or twice a year I do 😀

The Song of the Day is “Just A Friend Of Mine” from the 1987 self-titled Vaya Con Dios debut album. Hear it on YouTube.

2292 – Out Of The Blue

My health is still flaky and so I didn’t go out on Friday. Honestly, it was a shame, because it was a bright, sunny day and I really would have liked to take the afternoon off and drive up one of the mountains around Villach. I actually did take the afternoon off, but only to sleep and try to recover.

The images that I took, I took in the morning, using the 75 and 150 Olympus lenses, my most expensive and my cheapest lens 🙂

And exactly there came the problem. Standing on our terrace I took some images of the mountains, using long lenses, and you know how it is, with haze and distance come low contrast and that horrible bluish cast. Actually it’s not really a cast, it’s just what mountains look like when viewed through an enormous amount of hazy air. If you use a wide-angle lens, it does not trouble you, there is enough normally colored foreground and the haze looks natural, because it increases the feeling of distance.

Things get weird when you use a long lens and suddenly don’t have “normal” colored foreground as a reference. What can you do?

It turns out you can do pretty much. Here is what I did in Lightroom:

I loaded the images and applied “Auto Tones”. This gave me good contrast and garish blue colors. Horrible. Then I applied “Auto White Balance”. Still horrible, but better. The blue in the forest and the shadows was gone, actually the forest looked pretty good, pretty natural, but of course this had completely whacked the snow and the clouds. They were much too yellow now. I further adjusted white balance manually, concentrating on the trees only, completely ignoring snow and clouds.

Then I applied split toning. Normally I only use this to tone B&W images, but in such drastic cases of color cast, it can also be used to correct colors.

I used a cool blue of around 220 (numeric value for the hue) for the highlights (which are mostly snow and clouds) and a slightly reddish gold of about 52 for the shadows.

You really have a lot of parameters here: value and saturation of highlight color, value and saturation of shadow color, and then there is the balance slider. You can use it to determine the crossover between highlight and shadow.

I have added two screenshots from Lightroom, to show you the settings used on these two pictures. Note that I have also shifted the blues slightly into purple, darkened and desaturated them.

I think the results are pretty impressive, the controls are extremely powerful, although they are slightly indirect. If you want to achieve a particular effect, it’s not always clear what’s the best way. You really have to experiment and to find out what does what. In the case of these two images, I already had two versions on Flickr last night, but today I was unsatisfied, tried again and now I really like what I’ve got.

Of course split toning can also be used for artistic purposes and that’s how many people use it routinely. Again, this is not Photoshop, but it is still amazing how much you can do in Lightroom.

The Song of the Day is “Out Of The Blue” from Neil Young’s 1979 live album “Rust Never Sleeps”. Hear it on YouTube.