If you are unfamiliar with this series, start HERE!
As I continue to try to find time to write the 85mm f/1.4 review, I came across one of the images that I was, at first, going to use for a test shot at small apertures. Much to my surprise, I’ve found that the 85mm maintains great sharpness even at f/11-16, which is fantastic when making landscapes that require both the foreground and background in focus.
On the photowalk I took with this lens and NEX-7 in hand, the moon was out early in a deep blue sky as the sun began to set for the night. This created a very interesting dynamic element that I could add to my photos that day. With the telephoto compression of an 85mm, objects close and far start to combine, and I used this to my advantage for more than a few shots. My experimentation was rewarded, though initially I could not see it through disappointment in this straight-out-of-camera shot:
Well…shoot. Digital cameras never seem to capture what the eye sees, especially when it comes to the sky. The problem with this photograph, however, is that my usual tricks to bring out deep blues in the sky (tinkering with saturation and vibrance) simply weren’t cutting it. Color would clip—that is, begin to splotch—before the deep blues came back into the image. Even adding global clarity wasn’t working, as the amount needed to adjust the sky completely changed the colors in the tin roof. So, what to do?
After my basic tonal curve adjustments I perform in most every photograph (exposure, shadows, highlights, etc.), I decided to give graduated filters a try as there are two distinct elements in this photograph: the sky and the tin roof. By adding a graduated filter that increased clarity and saturation selectively in the sky, and another that increased only contrast and clarity in the tin roof, I created a photograph that simultaneously displays the very different and dynamic elements exactly as I intended to be captured. The prominence of the moon, along with the deep color and wispy clouds of the sky, immediately contrasts with the rusting ventilation shaft and roof that cuts straight through the image.
I have a thing for odd symmetry and asymmetry, what can I say:
That’s all for this post guys and gals, thanks for dropping by!