Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Developing for Your Vision

Greetings, volks. Welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! Welcome to another delayed post.

Lots of things going on have delayed posting for several days, yet again! So here we go, continuing our last post about exposing for your vision.

We posted a photo that we referred to as N development, or normal. That going to be our starting point. Going back to our RAW conversion, we’re going to change that some. Since I use Canon’s Digital Photo Pro that came with my camera, I’ll refer to that.

Our first step is to adjust the slider for exposure. I took it down to -.33 stop. That added some depth to the sky and brighter areas, allowing for some slight texture and tonality. Then I set the white balance to color temperature, at 4200. You’ll see why I did that later.

After that, I crushed in the levels some, the method is shown below. That increases contrast and allows you to bring your levels at the extreme end in some. It gives deeper shadows and highlights. Some of this will be offset, while allowing the levels to be set in our next step.

Hohenfels Volks: Crushing levels
Looking at the arrows, you can see how the levels are crushed in using your sliding limits. This adds clarity, contrast, and depth to an image.

Bringing the contrast up to 2, and the highlights to –2, allowed for some slight increase in highlight detail along the snowy roof of the church and in the snow on the fields. Bringing the shadows up to +2, added depth to the forest and some detail to the church tower and tonality to the almost black barn. It also allowed the shadows to move higher along the exposure scale, increasing the open feeling of the spaces and the shadows from the buildings.

After setting my monochrome filter to red, which darkens greens and blues, the snow appeared brighter without fading or washing out, while adding some shadows back to the open parts of the further hill and forest. Adjusting the color temperature down to about 3900 cleared things up a little.

After rotating the image to a more suitable angle, due to my camera not being level while I shot, I was ready to sharpen, convert, and save. Below is the finished image.

Hohenfels Volks: N-.3 village outside Hohenfels
ISO 400, f/16, 1/500, 115mm
Our finished shot of this charming village.

Here is the photo in color with almost the same settings, with the biggest change coming from the color temperature. Outdoor shadows, and snow, usually have more blue light, so bumping up the color temperature allowed for white snow, blacker shadows, and still retained the color on the far hills.

Hohenfels Volks: N-.3 village outside Hohenfels
ISO 400, f/16, 1/500, 115mm
Our color shot of this charming village.

Some small edits in RAW can save tons of time fixing photos. They also allow us to create our vision, not just re-create what we saw. Using some dodging and burning tools and sharpening brushes, as well as the other tools, in editing applications can further that vision to a concrete expression of what our mind saw and wanted to show.

I hope to see some of your vision soon! Start sharing your work and showing us how you saw something, not what you saw. Making great photos is a great way to spend some time, and get in touch with the world around you! I hope you have a wonderful week and enjoy the weather we have right now!

Don’t forget to post any of your images you’d like to see here at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

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