Sunday, June 30, 2013

Print of the Week

(click to view larger)

Grass and its reflections in the water, taken from the beach at Anglin Lake about 9am on a cloudy gray morning. It's almost abstract, but the grass is realistic. I printed it 17" x 22" and it came out quite well.

The original didn't look much like this, and I would have probably ignored it, but something about it caught my eye and I played with it in Lightroom until I came up with this rather stark high key treatment which I really like.

Here's the original. It's more faithful to what it really looked like, but nowhere near as attractive (to me, anyway).

The main adjustments in Lightroom were:
  • Exposure: +1
  • Highlights: +100
  • Whites: +100
  • Blacks: -55
  • Clarity: +50
  • Tone Curve: Strong Contrast
I didn't quite succeed in turning the background completely white, but almost. I used the Spot Removal tool to get rid of some distracting bugs and dirt on the water.

I also tried it as black and white, which makes it more abstract, but I decided I liked the green.

Note: If you want to do this kind of post-processing you'll get much better results if you shoot RAW (rather than JPEG). This requires a camera that can shoot RAW (most consumer point-and-shoots don't) and it also often requires shooting in P(rogram) mode since A(uto) mode often only allows JPEG. (Both my Pentax K7 II and my Canon G12 are like this.) If you're shopping for a camera, looking for one that shoots RAW helps narrow down the abundance of choices and will usually mean you're getting something decent. On the downside, you then have to convert the RAW files to JPEGS to email or post to Facebook, etc. but that's pretty easy with most photo programs (e.g. iPhoto or Lightroom).

See also: other print posts

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