One thing about taking a photo, it becomes a creative process afterwards using software. When I first began digital photography, it seemed like cheating to post-process an image. However, I soon saw – learned – discovered – whatever – that it really was a way to enhance a mood, convey a feeling, evoke a sense of place.
The picture above is a pano, pieced together using two or three images. This is pretty much how they came out of the camera. Not a lot of dynamic “pop” here – and really, not as colorful as I recall the morning I took these images. Moving on, some changes. I wanted the clouds and sky to be more visible, and yet an overall softness of color be retained. Already, a different mood. Below, black and white, probably derived from the picture above. I like to look at anything I take in color in black and white. This helps me look for gradation and contrast. At times, I will set my camera to do all jpgs in black and white, and the raw files in color. (Cannot do anything further than that, anyway!) When I chimp, then I see the monochrome. At times, it’s fun to play a game with myself to guess if the picture will be successful before I take it. This means analyzing contrast and texture before shooting. More failures than successes at this time, but it is good training for the eye. The same can be done to consider what a histogram might look like, too. Finally, a bit of HDR and specialized filters in use. I pushed the image a bit in Photomatix Pro and then moved it into Color Efex Pro 2, and used the detail extractor and ND filter overlays. There you have it – a tale of changes. Each has a different visual quality and emotional or intellectual quality. Some are more a bit more dreamy, others sharper on the eye and evocative of a season or time.