I drove around randomly, worrying about the sun, and suddenly I found rows of trees with strangly red fruit, planted around one of Villach’s schools.
No leaves, only thousand of red berries. In size they almost approximated cherries, but they were densely clustered along the twigs. Some of them were already foulish brown, many were still in red splendor. Any idea what that is?
This image is a good example for the “tone mapping” technique that I described a few days ago. The image from the camera also had a well distributed histogram across the full range of values, because cameras tend to do that, but while the sky was overly bright, the trees were dull and brownish at best. No gold was to be seen, and gold was, what I had in my memories.
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.
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 🙂
In fall 2008 we moved from “the country” to Villach. There we spent three years in one apartment until we finally moved to where we live now.
In a way I miss living in the country. I took many, many more images of trees, flowers and landscapes there. No wonder, but …
Today we have an exception. This tree is a hundred meters off the main road entering Villach from the south, maybe 150 meters further on is our apartment block. It’s near all shops, it’s only minutes to the next five supermarkets and so on, but it is almost as silent and rural as “in the country”.
Still, it makes a difference whether you only drive by those trees or if they grow in your garden. You give more attention to those in your garden 🙂